In today’s TikTok-obsessed world, it’s hard to remember that before there were FYP trends like cottagecore and Coastal grandmother, you could sort of lump interior styles into three buckets: traditional, modern and eclectic. Modern elements eventually spurred off into more granular terms, like midcentury modern, minimalism, or contemporary (any look that’s chic and sleek). Traditional, with its 18th- and 19th-century-rooted dark wood furnishings, ornate architectural moldings and chinoiserie patterns, largely stayed the same. But it’s starting to find a new niche—one that merges with that black sheep of the design family, eclectic.
Eclectic’s colorful, artistic spaces have been stereotypically misunderstood, often devalued as maximalist (cluttered) or kitschy. In reality, the term stems from eklektikos, a Greek verb that roughly translates as “selective” or “choosing the best.” It’s all about you and your interests, prioritizing your specific tastes and interests above common design principals. Why all of this matters, you ask? Because we’re seeing increasing interest in a niche, ‘90s-eclectic-meets-traditional style that we’re dubbing New England eclectic.