Eclectic style is a fun and creative approach to bathroom design that brings together a diverse mix of colors, textures, eras, and aesthetics. By thoughtfully combining various elements in unexpected ways, eclectic bathrooms have a vibrant, layered look that is full of character. There are no strict rules, making eclectic style very personalized. However, there are six key elements that help capture the eclectic spirit:
Mixing Periods and Styles
A hallmark of eclectic decor is blending furnishings and styles from different eras and movements. In a bathroom, look for ways to incorporate vintage, modern, and traditional elements together in creative ways. Some ideas:
- Hang an ornate gilded mirror along with sleek sconces.
- Pair a clawfoot tub with mid-century inspired ceramic tile.
- Choose a classic pedestal sink, then liven it up with an geometric print shower curtain.
- Mix modern vessel sinks with vintage inspired faucets.
The key is finding pieces with interesting shapes, lines, or details that work well together despite being from different periods. The blend of old and new adds visual interest and depth.
Combining Patterns and Textures
Layering varied prints and textures is an eclectic trademark. Make your bathroom lively by bringing in an assortment of patterns like florals, geometrics, stripes, or ikat in shower curtains, rugs, towels and wallpaper. Play with texture too – think glossy and matte tiles, natural stone, nubby linens, and distressed wood finishes.
Some tips for pulling off this mix successfully:
- Stick to a neutral color palette like whites, blacks and naturals to tie disparate patterns together.
- Combine small and large scale prints – florals with geometrics for example.
- Mix in solids and textures to give the eye a break between busy patterns.
- Limit patterns to 2-3 in a space so it doesn’t feel chaotic.
Using an Unexpected Color Scheme
While eclectic style allows for all sorts of color combinations, it often features hues you wouldn’t expect to see together. Some ideas:
- Metallic accents (brass, silver) with earth tones (browns, greens, taupes)
- Pops of bright colors like chartreuse or tomato red with neutral whites and grays
- Rich jewel tones like emerald, sapphire and amethyst together
- Bold black and white with a dash of crimson or periwinkle
The key is choosing a scheme with visual interest, then repeating colors throughout the space for cohesion. Don’t be afraid to go bold!
Incorporating Global Finds
Gathering furnishings, accessories and artwork from different cultures is common in eclectic decor. A modeled cement sink from Morocco, colorful Mexican tiles, or Eastern inspired prints can lend exotic flair. When sourcing global pieces:
- Choose those with artistic appeal that fit your color scheme.
- Mix in only 1-2 statement pieces so they can shine.
- Add worldly accent pieces like baskets, vases or decorative bowls.
- Frame vintage maps or posters with wanderlust-invoking imagery.
Displaying Treasured Collections
Incorporate personal collections like framed seashells, antique soap dishes, or vintage perfume bottles to add personal history. Display them artfully like:
- Groupings on open shelving or tabletops
- Shadowboxes or curio cabinets to highlight special finds
- Small arrangements on windowsills or edges of mirrors
Make sure to style collections attractively so they enhance, rather than clutter up the space. Keeping them well dusted also adds to the appeal.
Seeking Out the Old and Unusual
Part of the eclectic approach is finding unique vintage or antique pieces with patina and personality. Interesting items to look for include:
- An ornate chair or side table as a towel stand
- Mismatched glass bottles for cotton swabs or Q-tips
- Silver plate trays as catch-alls on vanities
- Distressed shutters as towel racks or cabinet fronts
- Salvaged wood for shelving or bathroom additions
Visit flea markets, antiques shops, architectural salvage warehouses, even grandma’s attic to uncover fascinating retro finds. When sourcing, make sure items are functional as well as being conversation pieces.
Eclectic Style Inspiration
For additional inspiration, here are some fabulous eclectic bathroom examples showing how these key elements can come together in fresh, creative ways:
Global Eclectic Style
This bathroom by deVOL Kitchens marries vintage furnishings from around the globe. The centerpiece is a carved Indonesian daybed and Moroccan side table used as a towel stand. Turkish porcelain plates hung as wall art, a Balinese mirror, and rattan storage trunks continue the far-flung flavor. Pops of crimson add drama against neutral walls.
Modern Meets Classic Eclecticism
Designer Janie Molster artfully blended modern and vintage elements in this soothing space. The classic clawfoot tub and tufted linen armchair contrast with the clean-lined floating vanity and organic modern sconces. Striped roman shades, mosaic floor tile, and a medley of collected bottles keep the look diverse.
Bold Eclectic Style
In this bathroom by Studio DB, bold black and white palette lets the diverse textures and periods shine. Modern white penny tile and lacquered finishes play off vintage furnishings like the exotic cabinet and gilded French chairs. Global touches like the Moroccan pouf, African baskets and Asian fused glass keeps the vibe worldly.
This light and breezy bathroom by Homepolish fully embraces collections. The medicine cabinet displays a neat array of vintage grooming products. Old frames, oils and soaps decorate open shelving while stacked antique suitcases hold extra towels. Paired with beadboard walls, floral roman shades and vintage signs, it’s a charming space to enjoy prized finds.
Achieving Your Dream Eclectic Bathroom
If you’re inspired to create an eclectic bathroom filled with the vintage, global and artistic elements you love most, here are some tips to achieve bathroom nirvana:
Spend time gathering inspiration from books, magazines and Pinterest to crystallize the eclectic style direction you envision. Note colors, patterns, textures, eras and accessories that appeal to you. This will help guide your choices moving forward.
Make a Mood Board
Compile all your inspiring images and fabric swatches into a mood board. This lets you see how everything might work together. Tweak your board as you find new pieces.
Set the Backdrop
Choose foundational elements like cabinetry, tile, countertops and paint colors to set the backdrop for layers to come. Neutrals work well so busier accents can pop.
Shop Second Hand First
Check out flea markets, antiques shops and online auctions as you hunt for special vintage or global décor. These pieces will likely steal the show.
Curate Your Collections
Decide which treasured collections can be nicely highlighted in your new bathroom. Edit them to just your most special pieces for impact.
Select Statement Pieces
Search for unique items like an antique chair, distinctive mirror or extravagant tub that speak to you. These stars will anchor the room.
Seek Quality over Quantity
Carefully choose just a few showstopping accessories, rather than filling space with clutter. A few incredible finds displayed well is better than overflowing a room haphazardly.
Repeat Key Elements
Use touches of your main colors, patterns and materials throughout to unify the look. Consistent elements prevent a space from feeling too busy.
Allow Form to Follow Function
Make sure your vintage finds are functional for bathroom tasks like storage, lighting or providing space to set items down. Whimsical pieces that just take up space can quickly become annoyances.
Live with your finished space for a bit, then edit out pieces that disrupt the flow or fail to add value. Remove anything that makes the bathroom feel cluttered.
Final Thoughts on Eclectic Bathroom Style
Eclectic bathroom design allows you to reimagine a utilitarian space as your own personal retreat, filled with treasures and finds that tell your unique story. By thoughtfully mixing favorite furnishings and global accents from old and new, you can create a vibrant, welcoming bath that is truly one-of-a-kind. The key is learning to edit and combine disparate elements into a cohesive whole for a layered, collected look. Be bold, break decorating “rules” and you’ll end up with a beautifully personal bathroom that reflects your inspired inner eclectic!
FAQ About Creating an Eclectic Bathroom
Eclectic style opens the door to exciting bathroom possibilities, but also raises some common questions. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about designing an eclectic bath.
What paint colors work best in an eclectic bathroom?
Neutral hues like white, gray, tan and black make the ideal backdrops so busier patterns and vivid accent colors can take center stage. But don’t be afraid to paint your vanity or one wall an unexpected bold shade!
What flooring options fit with eclectic style?
Natural stone, tile, or wood floors suit an eclectic bath. Use mosaics, geometric patterns or distressed wood for added interest. Try laying tile or wood diagonally for a dynamic look.
Should I mix metal finishes in an eclectic bathroom?
Yes! Blending brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome and unlacquered brass faucets, sconces and hardware adds vintage appeal.
What type of vanity works best for eclectic style?
Look for vanities with antique or vintage appeal – anything from repurposed dressers, secretaries, or nightstands to scalloped cabinetry. Distressed finishes add to the eclectic charm.
How can I incorporate collections in my eclectic bathroom?
Display treasured collections in wall cabinets, shelving, under-sink organizers, or neatly in wall-mounted shadowboxes. Aim for artistic presentation.
What type of tub suits an eclectic bathroom?
Clawfoot tubs immediately evoke old-world glamour. Slipper tubs, hammered copper, and carved stone are other eclectic choices full of character.
How do I keep an eclectic bathroom looking tidy?
Conceal necessities in closed storage like cabinets, hampers and under-sink organizers. HAVE open shelving styled neatly with just a few cherished objects.
Eclectic bathroom style brings together a diverse mix of eras, aesthetics and global finds for a one-of-a-kind look. By blending vintage, modern and traditional elements in unexpected ways, following key principles like thoughtful color combinations and display of meaningful collections, you can create a vibrant, personalized bath. Focus on choosing pieces with substance and visual interest, then edit ruthlessly. The end result will be a space that reflects your own take on eclectic decor. Just remember – in an eclectic bathroom, anything goes as long as it delights your spirit!