Style Clash: Bohemian Eclectic Meets Globally Eccentric


What happens when one style meets another? Is it catastrophe waiting to happen or is there hope for harmony?

That’s why we created Style Clash. Some design styles are more flexible; others force us to stretch outside our comfort zone. Each week we will offer tips for mixing competing styles successfully.

What do we mean by “successful”, you ask? If nothing seems strange, jarring or just plain ugly, then I’m all for it regardless of time period, colorway or material. I call it a successful Style Clash.

For our seventh and final installment in the Series we will mix Vintage with Ethnic and see where we land.


Over the years we’ve watched Vintage (image above and below) run the gamut of trendy, from fashion to architecture to cars to movies and music. Shopping at second-hand stores quickly went from a sometime and secret event to hot, hip and cool.

In the interior design department, Vintage has a secure spot in design history simply by virtue of its eclectic and versatile nature. Vintage inspires a warm and fuzzy feeling, whether through nostalgia of times past or comfort in the worn and unpretentious.


Furniture and accessories are often hand-made or pre-owned but always solid and of good quality. This style reminds me of my grandfather who always liked to say, “such a shame…things just aren’t made the way they used to be.”

Interiors designed with Vintage in mind are packed with this and that; knick-knacks of all types from flower vases, pottery, tea cups and saucers, to framed mirrors and family photos.


Materials are mixed, styles switched and there are always plenty of comfy cushions, blankets and throws. The Vintage style (image above) isn’t strict so almost anything goes, as long as it’s old and eclectic.


Around the world we go for a look at another interior style called Global or Ethnic (image above and below). Lots of layers, intricate patterns and colorful combinations create the Ethnic space. Bold pieces of furniture and lots of carved wood and metal accessories add to this richly decorated design style.


Inspired by any and all foreign landscapes and cultures, Ethnic design (image above and below) means to all something completely unique and unusual. But the common thread throughout is exotic and natural elements full of deep, rich colors. The kind of color you can bite into, it’s so thick and rich.


Combining these styles may seem impossible to imagine, but that’s why we are here. Style Clash turns this unlikely duo into a design marriage made in heaven.


The bold, colorful textures of the Ethnic in the “clash” interiors (image at very top, image above and below) speak loudly but don’t drown out the nostalgic, flea market bohemian. Notice how the simple and stoic second-hand furniture combines comfortably with the exotic patterns, textures and layers of the rugs, pillows, throws and wall coverings.


There’s a mixture of lighting fixtures – an intricate chandelier and bold pendant – as well as a plethora of detailed accessories, each telling a significant story. The spaces communicate eccentric, rich and worldly while remaining simple and nostalgic. Truly balanced and brave at its finest!


If I had to define this “clash”, I’d call it something like mix and match bohemian with a spoonful of around the world eccentricity.

I’m sorry to report that this is the last of our Style Clash combinations, but please feel free to peruse the entire Series for further inspiration and eye candy.

Images via sköna hem, flickr, design is mine, Lonny, interior divine, NY Times.

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