Eclectic style

A well-traveled homeowner is usually an eclectic homeowner. This occurs because everyone wants to buy a memento to remember their trips. I often hang watercolors by street artisans from every street around the world. The colors of South American cultures look great with the fields of Tuscany and delicate Asian mud people pair well with African art. Webster’s dictionary defines eclectic as composed of elements drawn from various sources. The answer to great eclectic display lies in the past! The Greeks provided us with design principles acquired through careful observation of nature and art. When these principles are applied, any style or model home can look wonderful. Let’s take a peek into the art filled foyer of a greatly expanded Chatham model somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Emphasis This is the wall of art now!
Those are fancy words for focal point. We need a focal point because it is natural to have a focal point. The eye naturally moves toward mass and since this is a natural function of the eye, designers work with it, not against it. Therefore, every room must, must, must have a focal point. The focal point has to be strong such as the largest wall or an architectural detail. Most homes I work in have three rooms in one large area, living room, dining room, and kitchen. The key to success is playing up the largest wall in each space. I like to think of the focal point as the star of the show and everything else in the room is the supporting actors. These principles apply to all rooms even if it is a large foyer. There are models (Iris, Lilac, Lily and Ivy) that have one large wall connecting the dining room and living room. Though they have one large wall the dining room still has a focal wall and the living room still has a focal wall.

• Scale
Scale is the size of something in proportion to the size of something else. The largest piece of furniture would be placed on the largest wall in this foyer because the proportions of the buffet would complement the proportions of the wall. The blue green buffet is in perfect proportion to the large wall and pops against the latte paint. Above the side board we hung an amazing large mirror that looks like a maze of octagons and it is definitely modern. This homeowner likes mixing modern and traditional pieces and it works! Lights were installed for the focal wall when it was just art and now they reflect off the mirror and provide amazing shimmer to foyer. We decided to build some of the art around the sideboard to pull out more of the green blue and get the color popping! This creates an amazingly strong and punchy focal point in the room and allows the traveled art work to shine.

• Balance
Balance is equilibrium in a space. A well balance room will not feel like a ship listing to one side because the furniture is so heavy on one side and light on the other. I always suggest larger items and less of them to create balance in the space. If you have small collections, contain them together so they will be interpreted as larger. In this foyer we placed a collection of pictures, wall shelves and artifacts on the smaller wall opposing the large wall. This is another application of the eye moving toward mass but applied to a collection. The artwork and artifacts make a powerful visual presentation when grouped together and balanced against the large focal wall. If your foyer is smaller the same concepts apply. Most foyers that I finish have a table with a mirror and art on the opposing wall and most foyers manage to accommodate a rug.

• Rhythm
Rhythm is what makes the eye move through the space. Designers accomplish this with the regular reoccurrence of an accent color. One color or in this case two, standing out as an accent and found throughout the room at regular intervals like the beat in a song creates a connection for the eye to follow. The look of a room can feel instantly pulled together when all the fabrics are in play. They are having what I call a “visual conversation” with each other and the common ground is color. Designers often rely on fabrics, pillows and rugs for the finishing touch to make a space feel complete. For example, to make the foyer look visually connected to the large living area, we pulled the old living room rug into the foyer to bring the latte and blue to the center of the foyer. In the living room we laid a new blue rug and popped blue accessories and pillows around the space. This blue draws the eye up to the latte window panels hanging in between each window, providing the room with the perfect rhythmical balance, which leads to harmony.

• Harmony
Harmony is accomplished by unity. When all the above principles are working together the finished product should be a harmonious blend of all the beautiful things you selected. Harmony is interpreted with the eyes and translates into a feeling in a space. If the space is in harmony the room will feel good.

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Before and After Pics Below