So, you have decor ideas for your bathroom, but it's not traditional, or modern, or anything definable. It's filled with vintage items, a nice rug you found antiquing the other weekend, old kitchen chairs you inherited from your last move, and towels in a variety of weird, mismatched colors.
Can this work?
Of course it can! In the design world, we call such styles "eclectic". This name is used for every style that doesn't quite fit with the established conventions of a style like traditional, modern, retro, etc.
Eclectic, at its heart, can really be anything you like. But in order for it to work as decor (and not look just like you gathered a bunch of stuff from a yard sale), you need to follow a few principles. Here are some ideas to make your eclectic bathroom the perfect eclectic bathroom.
Colors: be thoughtful
Colors are flexible and easily manipulated--but they can also make or break your decor. Thoughtful contrasts between apparently mismatched colors can work, but you can't just put two or three random shades together and hope they work.
Look at the objects that will make up your eclectic decor. Is there a color you particularly like or that catches your eye? Make a note of it, maybe find a color chip that matches it. Then try to see how well your other decor items match with this particular color. Does anything need painting to change its shade or color? Usually palettes of 3 to 4 colors work best.
Textures: be varied
One of the beauties of the eclectic style is that you can play with textures and materials a lot more than in more typical bathroom styles.
Mix wood and stone, soft and hard, matte and shiny. Some things can appear brand new while others can look used and worn.
Pair an old wooden chair with chipped paint to a brand new wicker basket. Have a wood-framed mirror next to a metal-framed one. Add shelves of different styles and colors to break walls up and give you more storage space.
It's also interesting to play with different textures on your walls and floor. Play with the myriad patterns and designs wallpaper designers now offer. Put one style on one side of the bathroom and something completely different on another wall.
And, as a final touch, add a rug that completely turns things around: new colors, new textures, new patterns (make sure the colors still work well together though!). This will provide a nice focal point to the room as a whole.
Accessories: be crazy
But it's really in the accessories department that eclectic bathrooms are their best. They are the accessories accumulated over years of antiquing and clever yard sale shopping. They are the family heirlooms and the inside jokes between friends. They are the cute and the thoughtful--a rubber ducky next to a Buddha!
The accessories in your bathroom are what is truly going to give the room personality and pizzaz.
Add a touch of glitter with a glamour shower curtain among wood accessories. Add a green plant to an industrial look. The possibilities are infinite.
Most of all, have fun
Eclectic decor is all about fun and personality. The style is defined by you, not by magazines and catalogs. So don't be afraid to use things that call to your personal sense of style: fall in love with a mirror, be moved by a painting, and put them together in the same room even though they haven't been made to fit together.
This is the essence of eclectic style!