The Eclectic-Traditional Style Genre

This living room has a traditional ‘feel’ to it, but on closer inspection, there are some modern elements that make it just that little bit more restrained than your typical ‘traditional’ room.

We are of course, talking about our fourth genre on the “Big Five” spectrum between Modern and Traditional: That of the Eclectic-Traditional interior.

What better way to get started on a discussion about yet another decorating genre, than with a picture that really sums it up !

Can you spot the aspects to the room that give it a slightly more updated edge?

The bold motif on the rug, the simpler window dressing treatment, and the modern side table are the first things that come to mind for me.


A quick reminder that there are five genres (‘genre‘, just like in music!), and we are doing a post on each of them, along with three boards that I have put together for style reference.

1. Modern Style GenreOpens in a new tab.

2. Modern-Eclectic Style GenreOpens in a new tab.

3. Eclectic Style GenreOpens in a new tab.

4. Eclectic-Traditional Style Genre (You’re reading it!)

5. Traditional Style Genre (coming soon!)


A full round up of the styles list as well as a more detailed introduction to the concept of style genres can be found here:

The 30 Major Interior Decorating StylesOpens in a new tab.

The Design Baddie Big Five Style Genre Project -Explained!Opens in a new tab.


If you like traditional styles, but you crave calm, this one might just be the one for you!


The Eclectic-Traditional Genre

The eclectic-traditional genre can incorporate those styles that are about seventy-five percent traditional, but which have up to 25 percent other influences, including modern.


This style can come about when someone with a mostly traditional style still likes to keep it fresh with interesting new fixtures and new takes on old themes.


Eclectic-traditional departs from the pure traditional if you know what to look for, but to the untrained eye, it reads as mostly traditional in vibe.

A clear exception to this is the whimsical style of Hollywood Regency, which definitely reads as its own style even though it is composed of many traditional elements (albeit, with newer ‘twists’)

The color palette used also helps to steer it away from traditional, as the colors tend to be more what we could think of as ‘pop’.


On the opposite side of the pole from this genre we have Art DecoOpens in a new tab. in Modern-Eclectic.


Do you see any similarity between Art Deco and Hollywood Regency, below?

It seems to me that a lot of the geometric pattern seen on the walls and ceilings in Art Deco have moved to the floor in Hollywood Regency, while some popular graphic design is having a big moment on the walls.


This is where I’m glad I took my interior design history.

While both styles continue to be replicated, I do know that they originated in slightly different eras.


1. Hollywood Regency


I’ve said that Hollywood Regency has its soul in the past, which is how it lands in this category.


While this look can be classed as either masculine or feminine, it often reminds us of the sirens of the silver screen, including the icon Marilyn Monroe, whose portrait would not be out of place in a room of this style.

If Hollywood Regency style was a woman, she’d be a ‘more is more’ kinda gal.

True blue blood traditionalists might see this style as an abomination, but many more fans of Hollywood’s golden era are charmed by the maximalism and the sense of outrageous and unabashed fun on display.


Depending on who’s doing the decorating, this can be an elegant, classical look, or it can at times be an ode to excess.

Geometric patterns, prints and furniture in large scale, curved and beveled edges, jewel tones and glamorous features are all hallmarks of this somewhat hedonistic, yet somehow still orderly style.


Do you love or hate Hollywood Regency?

If you’re a lover and want to know more about Hollywood Regency, Creative Market’s articleOpens in a new tab. on the topic is excellent.

Comment below!


2. Chalet Style


While it lacks all the embellishment of the traditional styles that we’re used to, chalets are as old as the hills, and frequently on one.

They bring the rustic charm that we find in country style and combine it with a few modern comforts to keep it all inviting and comfortable.

Chalets and country cabins have not evolved much at all in some geographic areas, and this old character gives it a sense of history and timelessness at the same time.

In many chalet-styled residences today, modern furniture helps to give the home an updated feel.


What are your thoughts on chalet style?

It seems a very architecturally-heavy style to me, not something that would be easy to achieve simply as a “look’ or ‘style’.

Would you love to live off the grid or simply in a more remote area or is it just the fantasy that you find appealing?

Comment below!


3. Vintage Style

Vintage is really anything that is less than one hundred years old (after which it is considered an antiqueOpens in a new tab.), and of equal importance, it must be something that is also out of production in our current age.

If, at any point in time a certain furniture or deco brand, common style, or some combination of the two goes out of common fashion, stock of this variety might become unsellable.

This leads to eventual discontinuation and makes way for newer products in ever more novel styles to capture the public’s interest.

Sometimes these products are never continued again.

Often it is only years later that these styles are properly appreciated for the incredible works of design and craftsmanship that they are.


Some furniture pieces carry the summation of an entire architectural movement’s approach to thinking.

They become cult classics.

A couple of great examples of this are Shaker stylesOpens in a new tab. and Bauhaus styles.Opens in a new tab.


When a piece of furniture sells incredibly well as vintage, as well as continues to be made in reproduction, you are looking at an ‘enduring’ style. (When people ask how styles evolve, this is exactly how!)

Have you guessed which style I’m talking about yet?


I’m speaking of the wonder that is mid-century modern furniture.


Of course, mid century modern is a modern era style. The clue’s in the title!

The reason that Vintage Style is eclectic-traditional on our five style genre spectrum, because we aren’t only looking at mid-century styles in this decorating style.

We are looking at furniture of any non-current era that is sold or acquired second-hand and used as elements of an overall theme, often including other vintage pieces.


The old ‘shabby chic‘ and modern day ‘vintage‘ might share a lot of common traits, but vintage does not have to equal frumpy or musty.

Another added benefit is that recycling and upcycling are both great for the environment.

Vintage style might stay true to a theme, such as, ‘Americana‘, ‘nautical‘, ‘dollhouse‘ or ‘global’, but it will always find a way to blend items with differing ‘stories’ into one overarching one.

This is the hallmark of good decorating.


Above we see examples of Maine coastal vintage style, some Victorian, mid-century and Singaporean vintage style.

I personally love the vintage decorating styles of Vietnam and Singapore. They have such incredible depth and character, while still being simple and timelessly tasteful.

man and woman sitting on chair beside cactus plant
Photo by Ba Phi on Pexels.com

What is your favorite vintage style of furniture, if any?

Would you like to know more about vintage and antique furniture and decor?

Hit me up below!

And as always, happy decorating!

Want to know more about this particular genre?

Read this great article comparing styles within eclectic and traditional.

vonsassy

Designer, writer & educator living in East Asia since 2001

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