A Misunderstood Style: Interior Designers On What Really Makes An Eclectic Space

The eclectic Hotel X in Toronto designed by Andi Pepper.

The eclectic Hotel X in Toronto designed by Andi Pepper.ANDI PEPPER

There are so many things we connote with eclectic decorating. People tend to use the term when they have no other words to describe their taste. For example, that very special person who just loves to combine glass bricks, French antiques and cat figurines. But, it’s actually something else entirely. Eclectic isn’t a term to label the mismatched. True eclectic decor actually has cohesiveness. I spoke with several top interior designers to learn their secrets to creating beautiful eclectic spaces.

What Is Eclectic, Really?

Viale Dei Romani is a very eclectic restaurant.

Viale Dei Romani is a very eclectic restaurant.VIALE DEI ROMANI

Interior designer Andi Pepper, who recently completed the Breakwater Hotel in South Beach and the Hotel X in Toronto, has a very sensible approach to this style. “To me, the notion of being eclectic is to mix different styles and eras together to create a cohesive space, but you can’t simply put everything together. You have to have a sense of commonality about it, with thought put into the design.” 

True eclectic decorating is highly intentional. A good example of this is the Viale dei Romanirestaurant at the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood California. Andrew Cohen of Parts and Labor, who designed the space told me, “The concept for the restaurant was eclectic simply because we were combining our own design philosophy with that of the chef, hotel and location. But as with all of our projects, there is always a single conceptual thread tying those eclectic moments together.”

Viale dei Romani features a variety of unique design elements from modern art to parquet wood floors. Proprietor Casey Lane explained, “Being in a dining room that has different collected pieces gives the illusion that various seating arrangements create myriad ‘experiences’ when looking across the restaurant. This ultimately keeps guest interest at a peak, and curiosities heightened.”