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Interior Design

Ariel Emrani

Old Plus New: Eclectic Room Design

“Eclectic,” is defined as “composed of elements drawn from various sources.” Eclectic design is exactly that. It involves creating a design with elements from a range of periods and styles, along with pieces sourced from nature, such as plants, fur, stone, wood, and natural fibers. There is no one way to create an eclectic design. The room is a canvas for your imagination.

Reclaimed wood in tables, doors, accent walls, shelving, and floors can transform a space from cold and uninviting to warm and welcoming. The natural variations in color, an uneven or pitted surface, a reclaimed wooden piece used as wall art, or an antique table, chair, or other beautifully worn piece could be the perfect way to artfully update a living room, bedroom, or other space. 

Creating Harmony with a Juxtaposition of Periods and Styles

An eclectic design involves pieces from various periods, including antiques, vintage pieces, a mix of varying patterns, colors, and designs, to create an unusual, personalized room. Contrasting styles, if used judiciously, shows the hidden depths of your personality. A mix of rustic and modern can be a fresh look when the pieces are chosen with a cohesive color and pattern. If you love an eclectic look, the search is part of the game. You can find almost unlimited online resources for sourcing new pieces, space planning, and ideas from pro interior designers. 

Repeating Patterns Create Harmony

The patterns on your throws, rugs, furnishings, and wall art can work together for a look that is clean rather than cluttered. Varying textures echoing a pattern in mixed materials ranging from fibers to metal can create harmony. Balance is achieved with color and form, rather than symmetry. 

Let Your Personality Shine Through

To create an eclectic space, look at the pieces you own. Have you inherited pieces from your family that you want to add to your room design? As an eclectic design involves mixing materials, time periods, and textures, you can take your design to the limits, or go minimalist. Adding plants, natural fibers, accent pillows, throws, wall art, and rugs create a cohesive look. You can choose natural fibers and neutrals for an organic look, or full-on color with a wall in a heavily saturated color, or one of the beautiful wallpaper designs now on the market. 

The Sustainability Factor

Many people are doing what they can to protect the environment. Restoring older, vintage, or antique pieces reduces manufacturing waste. Many antique dealers offer restoration services, and you should consider a professional restoration for valuable antiques, as an incorrect refinishing technique affects resale value. You also have the option to purchase eco-friendly and fair trade items, shipped with recyclable packaging, or manufactured with reclaimed materials. Reupholstering furniture with organically produced upholstery fabrics means cleaner indoor air, a safer space for children, animals, and adults. So much to consider!

Minimalist or Maximalist?

Be daring, take chances, and go with your inherent design sense. If you love brights, use them and create a space filled with color, for a theatrical, contemporary look. Go minimalist and create a Zen-like space with neutrals and pops of color from wall art, pillows, and indoor plants. Your home is yours to create, and the journey is part of the fun!


Modern Can Be Cozy

Modern interior design, whether mid-century, transitional, eclectic, or contemporary, can be warmed by adding natural elements. Interior design trends are constantly changing, but one thing never changes – your home should be comfortable, a sanctuary where you can restore and rejuvenate. Sleek, minimalist décor has a sophisticated look, but may appear cold and uninviting. Bringing the warmth back to a modern room is often referred to as “organic modernism.” 

What is Organic Modernism? 

Organic modern design is a combination of the clean, architectural lines of modernism, with organic elements in fibers, colors, and materials. Rustic handmade pieces in wood, wool, silk, cotton, or linen added to a modern space can make it more inviting. A reclaimed wooden coffee table with a rough, worn texture, or handwoven throws, pillows, handcrafted pottery or lamps, jute rugs, or potted plants are an affordable way to create a warmer, cozier environment. You may want to consider combining the sophisticated lines of modernism with the warmth of natural elements. 

Cozy is a Feeling, not a Style.

A cozy room design that invites you to relax, curl up with a book, or snuggle with a loved one, child, or pet. There are no limits or rules as to how you create that feeling in your home. A soft, textured rug, soft seating options, floor to ceiling bookshelves, an antique piece, or a chair covered in fluffy sheepskin – select the pieces that appeal to your aesthetic eye. A cozy space is visually appealing and functional, created to inspire a sensation of warmth and comfort, whether you love modern farmhouse, minimalist, contemporary, traditional, mid-century modern, boho, rustic, French country, Scandinavian, beach, industrial, eclectic, Zen, or urban modern. You are the artist behind how you create a room, and your design aesthetic may not fit any category other than your own.

Master Your Room Design with Technology

Some people seem to be born with a natural eye for design, and others find it difficult. Work with a friend who has a beautifully designed home to help you create the space you love. You can find endless ideas online for inspiration, and free online room design apps that allow you to create a space. If you are considering a fresh look for your home, the resources available online make room design a fun task. Before you splurge on furniture, you view how it would look in a room, and read online reviews before you invest. As you will be living with your choices for years, it is well worth spending the time.

What the Danish Call Hygge: Coziness

The Danish people have a concept, “hygge.” The word does not translate well to English, as it refers to both coziness and togetherness, and the enjoyment of the simple pleasures of life. Nothing is cozier than spending an evening with friends, discussing subjects you care about, in a space that inspires a feeling of togetherness and warmth. However you create hygge in your home, a cozy space invites conversation – and communication with friends and family makes life sweeter all around.

Ariel Emrani

The Right Stuff

Designing a room to suit my aesthetic vision means hours and hours of research to find just the right pieces. An interior that a previous owner created might look dated or doesn’t work or needs a total update. Interior design trends come and go, so choosing furniture with classic lines can make a lot of sense. 

Recent events have led to most of us spending much more time at home. The ideal sofa from my perspective, should be ultra-comfortable and invite you to curl up and read a good book, binge-watch a series, or settle in and work from home. In my case, the sofa may be where Frankie, my French bulldog, has chosen for one of his daily naps. Should I shoo him off? 

The Quest

Once I find the right sofa– which can take days or even weeks, the ideas for creating the rest of the design come alive. One of the fun parts of designing your own home spaces is the quest. With the online resources where I can look at pro design concepts, the search is one of the parts of the process I enjoy the most.

One of the recent design trends that appeals to me is to combine the old with the new. Antique pieces added to my design add a bit more character to the room. Some of us have inherited pieces from a relative, whether a work of art, a chair, a corner table, or chest, or seek out those unique pieces online or in person.

When I decide it is time for a room refresh, new accent pieces like pillows and throws, live plants, or a fresh vase of flowers can create an appealing aesthetic and a more inviting feel to a room. Room design is a never-ending process, with changes made along the way, with no final destination, as ideas and tastes change over time.

Light it Up

The lighting makes a massive difference in the vibe of a room. That one lamp, placed next to the perfect comfortable chair can transform a corner into the ideal place to read. Whether you like modern, traditional, industrial, country French, Zen, modern, Boho, or a beachy style, carefully chosen lighting makes all the difference.

Technology for Interior Design

Designing a room has become much more fun with technology. Designer apps allow you to virtually create a space so you can visualize it before you commit. Some of the most acclaimed interior designers offer tips and looking at various ideas on Pinterest inspires the creative process. 


If you need changes to the room before you start, get the names of trusted contractors from your friends or associates, and get three quotes – it’s surprising how much the prices for work can vary, and why pay more, as long as you can trust in the quality of the work. One of the biggest complaints is getting a contractor to arrive as promised, and a personal recommendation from another customer is so critical, whether to paint or for another job.

The ideal room design is lasting, with the ability to change it up when you feel the need and delivers comfort in every space. I am creating it for the people I care about, so that is the force that drives me.