The new trend is not being trendy

It's spring, a fine time to talk about fresh design ideas. We are in a period that embraces just about anything; there is acceptance for every genre, from vintage to crisp, modern precision. Being freed from any specific look is liberating! As you arm yourself to complete a design project, this is good news.

Eclectic interiors are luscious to create and have a longer life span because their often quirky feel cannot be labeled. Blending styles is rewarding yet can be deceptively challenging. This is where a pro can be immensely helpful.

If a designer is not in the picture, do your homework, and study rooms that appeal to you. Typically, successful eclectic rooms are layered with different textures, colors and finishes.

Interior designer Regina Kurtz, president of Alpha Design Group in San Diego, advises: “Think outside the box, and choose elements that you love and are important to you without worrying if they go together. The rest will fall into place!”

Kurtz is known for her broad range of style. She mixes adeptly contemporary with traditional.

However, as is always the case with any space-conscious interior, you must make your decisions a little more carefully. There is less room for error, and you must get the size right. One extraordinary choice can make a striking difference in a public space such as a living room or dining area.

Need a mirror in your foyer? Choose an asymmetric shape or a style that is not repeated elsewhere. Want a shallow console table to go with it? Make a concerted effort not to match the finishes of the two pieces.

For example, this Soho Sideboard by Boca do Lobo is a standout accent piece with attitude and irreverence that immediately made it an icon when first presented in London. The Boca do Lobo website says: “Drawers that count different and varied techniques from glass to wood, lacquer color to mirror and gold leaf compose this contemporary sideboard, finely refined by brass handles.” This modern sideboard is like an exquisite work of art.

Vintage pieces can be spicy when paired with basic modern lines. This applies to wood-case goods, like tables and cabinets, or upholstered items, such as sofas and chairs.

Do not forget to scour your local antique mall for accent items loaded with personality. Vintage furniture locations offer an unstructured array of unique items that span many design eras. Of course you can peruse Houzz and Pinterest for hours to gain inspiration for what sorts of pieces to pursue. These sites encourage branching outside of your comfort zone. Focus on boards that compile eclectic interior ideas.

Never be shy about asking a local shop whether it will allow you to take an item home to try it out. If it is an accessory piece and not a large furniture item, this may be possible. There is often a 24-hour hour policy, so do ask.

Additionally, there are now apps for indoor design like Hutch, a virtual decorator tool available in the Apple app store, Home Design 3D and specific ones from IKEA and that allow you to visualize furnishings in your room.

The take-away this spring is that you can have what makes you feel comfortable and excited without worrying about any specific trend. There are no fast and firm rules. Branch out, relax and shop!

• Christine Brun is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of “Small Space Living.” Send questions and comments to her by email at

© 2018, Creators Syndicate

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