Dictionary.com defines Eclecticism as “a tendency in architecture and the decorative arts to mix various historical styles with modern elements with the aim of combining the virtues of many styles or increasing allusive content.”
Wikipedia defines Eclecticism as “a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.”
I did not know much about Eclectic style until recently. If you do a quick Google, you will be facing pictures with “visual messes” in terms of colours and styles. This is the very reason why I did not bother to even find out what is the definition of Eclecticism until I came across a magazine article that interests me with their use of a good mixture of dining chairs in the dining room. Rather than using a set of dining chairs and table, Eclectic style can use 6 different dining chairs around a single table. If done in a… errm… it is a controversial taste. But if done correctly, it can be very interesting and uniquely attractive. This is my first exposure to Eclecticism which tickled my curious mind to look up the definition of Eclecticism. It is also when I discovered that all these years, I had been an Eclectic!
One Chair Design Each, around a Single Dining Table. Absolutely Eclectic
Even during my younger years of building plastic models, I created unique designs of mechs from a popular Japanese series known as Gundam through my own imagination. I will take the “best” element from various designs and put them together in one “have-em all” Gundam. I even bought several different Gundams Model Kits and used the various parts to build my own unique mech. This is my first foray into Eclecticism. Throughout the years, I imagined cars, aircrafts using different aspects that I thought would bring out the best in a single product. I even planned to use body kits from different car models for my current car, but dropped the plan due to the costly project as all the parts will need to be customized.
Enter Eclecticism in Home Designs. Right from the onset of this blog, I had mentioned 3 design themes which I would like to combine in my future home design: Modernism, Contemporaries and Minimalism. These 3 styles are pretty close to each other and could be easily being mistaken as one. How about bringing a more obvious difference to the theme? The challenge will of course be, to effectively bind these vastly different styles without breaking the visual unity. There has to be a common denominator to bring these different designs together and to bring comfort to our eyes. It has to be pleasant to look at. Unfortunately, my searches online returns colour and styling disharmonies in Eclectic Home Themes. This is disappointing as the single best binder of different styles had been thrown out of the windows in bit to create a very obvious Eclectic style. The binding element that I am talking about is COLOUR. A lot of Eclectics may disagree with me as visual disharmony may be what sets Eclecticism apart from rigidity of the rest, which sticks to a single design paradigm. This is true as the colour variations itself can be the Eclectic element. I’m not saying that there is a right or wrong to such things. Afterall, Home Design is an Art and Art is subjective. Many may not like my idea of Eclectic Minimalism which takes colour out of the Eclectic Equation. But I hope that my idea may trigger some little thoughts to the Minimalist out there, on just another possibility of injecting life and fun into the least.
Eclecticism is restricted to Groups of Items in this case – Fair amount of Contrast
Taking Eclecticism to the Next Level – Adding Accent Chairs and Lamps to the Mix
Today, I am going to talk about an unusual Eclecticism in Home Designs. This is something which you will find it difficult to find in the ocean deep World Wide Web. As I had not found my next home, I will not be able to show you my Concept. But I will try my best to find examples of such designs and to put individual pictures together to get this concept across. If time permits, I will update this post with results from 3D modelling. Going along with my initial design concept of Modern-Contemporary Minimalism, let me try to add this new element of Eclecticism into the design language. Let’s call this, the Eclectic Minimalist Design Style since Modernism and Contemporaries are eras of art movements rather than specific styles like Eclecticism and Minimalism.
White is a key colour in minimalist designs and are often used as the background canvas for its clean and minimal visual complexity. You would have probably noticed that both black and white offers the least details in an object. Lesser details are what Minimalist look for. Similarly, this same property of black or white can be put into good use in the case of Eclectic designs. To bind different design styles together, we can use black or white pieces of furnishings from different styles and design eras and blend them using this common colour palette, offering minimum details to disharmonies for the eyes. In my opinion, white will be the perfect colour as it is also the common denominator with minimalism. Isn’t this a perfect assimilation of 2 styles falling on the different ends of visual complexities? What used to be conflicting elements in the 2 design styles (Visual Clutters and Complexities in Eclectic Styles; Expansiveness and Cleanliness of Minimalist Styles) can now coexist in the same space with perfect harmony.
Here are some of the best Eclectic Decors that I can find online. Basically, the closest Eclectic Minimalist Concept that I had been describing can be seen in the examples in the 2 blogs below. One of which uses the white palette while the other uses the black palette.
White Palette Eclectic Minimalism Example http://www.bellemaison23.com/2010/03/eclectic-dining-spaces.html
Black Palette Eclectic Minimalism Example http://designmyheartout.blogspot.sg/2011/04/eclectic-dining.html