Some of us just don’t like to be pigeonholed into a standard category. We like to set our own style. We think outside the box and are able to see continuity in what appears to be randomness to others. The eclectic style has become a standard of its own in everything from fashion to home décor. It breaks all the rules and then sets a few of its own, originality being one of them. The word eclectic itself means to be varied, diverse, assorted and free from pattern.
What Does It Look Like?
An eclectic kitchen style will generally also fit into the casual kitchen style, particularly the country or rustic style kitchens. However, an eclectic kitchen with a contemporary look is achievable as well. Choosing a kitchen island that is a very different style and has a different type of countertop and a different finish on the wood is just the beginning for the true eclectic kitchen. Using different wood finishes on sections of the cabinets themselves to give the appearance of having been pieced together is another common feature for the eclectic kitchen. Lighter stained cabinets can be offset with some that are of a much darker or redder tone. For an even greater contrast, painted cabinets with an antiqued finish can be set in amongst stained maple cabinets or rustic distressed oak cabinets. What may seem like a hodge-podge of colors, when done with the assistance of a designer’s eye, can be tied together with other finishes and décor items to bring a sense of continuity within the eclectic kitchen’s variety of colors, styles and textures.
The eclectic style is all about putting together pieces that appear random and creating a harmony within the diversity. The diversity doesn’t need to be confined to the colors of the wood finishes in your kitchen. Incorporating pieces of furniture into your kitchen layout is another way of breaking away from the conventional. A table can turn into an island or a built-in workspace between cabinetry. Choosing mismatched chairs for your seating area is another way to use furniture to add to the eclectic nature of your kitchen. Concrete countertops are ideal for the eclectic kitchen because of the ability to embed objects into the concrete tops. Use of found objects and non-traditional materials in the décor are favorites for decorating the eclectic kitchen.
What will an eclectic kitchen look like? It will look unique. It will be unlike any other kitchen and yet have a sincere intentionality to the design. Of course, you don’t have to have an eclectic kitchen to have a totally unique kitchen. That uniqueness can be achieved with any kitchen style by working with a creative kitchen designer and the use of some imagination in your choice of materials and layout. Let’s review the three other kitchen styles we’ve discussed earlier in this series of blog articles.
The Traditional Kitchen
Classic symmetric styling is what we find in the traditional kitchen. Arches, crown molding, columns and the luxurious look of granite or marble will all be likely components in a traditional style kitchen. Rich looking wood stains such as cherry or mahogany are popular for these kitchens, as are raised panel doors and elegant styling for the glass front doors of china cabinets.
Lighting will offer several layers, enabling the homeowner to adjust the lighting to fit both their entertaining needs for lower lighting and bright lighting for all work areas during food preparation.
The Contemporary Kitchen
Smooth, clean lines and simplicity are the key ingredients to the contemporary kitchen. Geometric shapes like spheres, tubes and cones will be used to soften the straight lines and many rectangular shapes that fill this kitchen. Texture will be minimal, but colors could range from muted, natural tones to bright, bold contrasts.
The Casual Kitchen
The country kitchen with the humble look of painted flat-panel doors, windowpane glass door fronts turns back the clock to a simpler time. Skirted, farm-style sinks and durable, old-style cabinet hardware are common in this practical, but cozy kitchen style. The country kitchen is great for vintage style homes and summer beach houses.
For those whose idea of leisure requires a more inland setting, the rustic kitchen is great for the mountain cabin or log home. Wrought iron, copper and bronze features will be the metals of choice to fit with woods of heavier grain and the stone accents of the rustic kitchen.
Choosing Your Kitchen Style
When choosing the style for your kitchen there really are only two questions you need to ask yourself: What do I like, and what fits best with the style of my home? Reading through the descriptions of the different styles and looking at a few different kitchens that demonstrate those styles should quickly give you the answers to those two questions.