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Bohemian vs. Eclectic

Eclectic Interior Design and Image by Home Polish

If words like ‘blended’, ‘funky’ or “outside the box” fit your preferred design style your style may be eclectic or bohemian (boho). Both styles share a lot of similarities but subtle differences set the two apart. In fact, “similar but different” is a phrase that perfectly describes the relationship between eclectic and boho style.

“Collected” vs. “Layered”

Collected and layered are two words commonly used to describe both styles, but collected is more often associated with eclectic style while layered better fits the boho look. Some designers describe the eclectic style as a more “grown-up” version of bohemian. Both styles are “collections” of furniture and accessories of various designs and time periods. But eclectic style is more cohesive, more balanced, and more intentional.

Methodically Mismatched vs. Thrown Together

Eclectic style can be described as “methodically mismatched”. Color schemes, textures, and patterns are carefully chosen to be perfectly mismatched together to create the illusion of a room that’s been exquisitely “thrown together” though, in reality, not one piece was simply thrown into the mix. Upon closer look, you’ll see a pattern or theme in the room’s decor, such as the repetitive use of a shape or color. For instance, the room pictured below features a pattern of rectangles and the repeated use of the colors yellow and green.

Bohemian Interior Style Image by DecorAid

Use of What You Have vs. Intentionally Collected and Blended

Another aspect that sets eclectic apart from bohemian style is the types of decor pieces used to create the look. Bohemian decor consists of findings from around the world, thrift store finds and pieces you’ve collected over the years, including beloved heirlooms. In a bohemian space, a rattan couch might be layered with a crocheted afghan made by your grandmother along with a plethora of mismatched pillows made of various vintage textiles with no obvious rhyme or reason for their pairings. A faux animal skin or handwoven Turkish rug (or both) may cover the floor. In other words, boho looks are often created by using what you already have.

Eclectic decor, however, is more complex and “grown-up”, if you will, and is created by colors, patterns, and pieces that have been intentionally collected and blended together for the purpose of creating the eclectic look. Though it’s not unusual to see a poster or piece of art or furniture found in a thrift store in an eclectic room, designers more often use bold, impressive, and sometimes, pricey, pieces to create an eclectic look. Like with Boho style, textiles may be layered together and vintage finds and Turkish rugs are commonplace in an eclectic style, but it’s unlikely that you’ll see outdoor furniture used indoors, a popular trend in boho-styled spaces. You’re much more likely to find a tufted, contemporary couch paired with a sleek, modern sofa and an egg chair.

Is your style bohemian or eclectic? Still not entirely sure which fits you better? Let us help you figure it out! For your next home renovation project, choose McCarley Cabinets as your cabinet and storage solution designer and we’ll walk through the entire project with you every step of the way. We’ll even work together with a trusted interior designer to help you figure out what design style best fits you and your newly renovated space.

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