Eclectic, Not Hectic: Blending Different Styles

white living room with traditional gray sofa and contemporary colorful, geometric rug and oversized crystal chandeliere

Say you live in a contemporary home yet like antiques, vintage items, and an artistic look.  Can you merge these into a coherent space? Heck, yeah!

You enjoy an eclectic decorating scheme, meaning “derived from ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.”

Antique furniture and accessories are more than 100 years old while vintage items range from 10-100 years old.  Not only can you blend both into today’s homes, your penchant for an artistic flare – often hand-crafted, surprising, and unstructured, makes the marriage of styles a little easier. Using antique and vintage furniture and accessories is environmentally friendly as it does not delete natural resources, so kudos to your sustainable approach to interior decorating.

“Brown” or stained furniture is experiencing a resurgence after a long hiatus and both stained and painted pieces nicely fit in a contemporary home.  Because you have an artistic edge, I would suggest you paint vintage end tables, for example, in a trendy color (other than a neutral) to complement your décor.

Where can you source these materials? Head to the thrift stores and second-hand shops.  You might also go “shopping” in your parents’ or grandparents’ attic to find anything from vintage barware to tables and chairs. Or jump in the car for a short road trip to Windsmith Mills in Norwood (open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) or Main Street Antiques in Plymouth Center and plan to spend at least an hour in each amazing place.

By all means, have fun shopping, seek out and embrace artistic pieces, and don’t rush. The best interiors are curated over time with a piece of artwork purchased on vacation, from family hand-me-downs, or even from a neighborhood yard sale or found on the curb on trash day. My home is full of all these cherished things and each comes with a story I love to share with my guests.



With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website www.sec-interior.com or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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