Colourful and eclectic dining rooms

Maia Devereux Maia Devereux
atelier blur / georges hung architecte d.p.l.g. Modern dining room
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There's a beautiful symmetry to dining sets—the rows of matching chairs neatly pushed in to their complementary table, all combining to create a unitary whole. Dining is often about symmetry—think table settings arranged in precisely the same order in front of each diner; each diner facing his or her partner across the table. But, though symmetry is pleasing to both the eye and the heart, there's no reason to be a slave to it. If you're finding yourself a bit bored with your dining room set-up, but don't have the heart to rip it all up and start again, there's one easy way to change up its visual texture—and that's by mixing and matching your dining furniture. Hang on to your beloved dining table but pair it with an eclectic mix of chairs; or keep your chairs, and replace your dining table with a colourful statement piece. You can change accessories, too, to create an eclectic style for your room, but if it's a quick fix you're after, this isn't an absolute necessity—just mixing and matching colours can be enough. 

Coherent eclecticism

Mid-century furniture works beautifully with a warm industrial aesthetic. Eames-style chairs, like these ones, are available in a wide variety of colours, so you can mix and match as much, or as little, as you like. Note how eclecticism has been paired with symmetry here—three pairs of differently coloured chairs face off against each other while the two matching industrial style ceiling lamps delineate the edges of the dining space on the table.  If you're not confident in pulling off the difficult trick of creating a truly eclectic dining space, play it safe with symmetry but mix it up with a few different colours. 

An assortment of chairs

To really go eclectic, a mixture of different chairs from different eras and in different styles is a great start. It will give your dining space a bohemian, thrift store chic, though beware that eclecticism doesn't just mean a random jumble of items. If you're buying vintage chairs, like these ones, an easy way to create coherence is to repaint them in complementary colours. 

Going all out

If you can't bear to part with your chairs, but want to transform your dining space—and you're brave!—a really bold table like this one will certainly be a talking point. A table like this would probably be easiest to pull off in a more modern space, but will work in a more classic one, as we can see here, though it'll take a little bit of work to get right. This is a great example of how bold eclecticism, done right, can be truly stunning. 

Mix it up with fabric

Another way to inject some eclecticism into your dining room is with reupholstery. Take your existing dining chairs and reupholster them in different colours, or, as here, different patterns and textures. If the rest of your room is restrained and neutral, you can go as bold as you like, with contrasting stripes, floral patterns: whatever takes your fancy. The bright, patterned fabric on the chairs in this room have transformed a simple, modern space into a bold and eclectic one at a stroke. 

One style, many colours

If you're attached to a certain style, mixing and matching colours while maintaining that style is an option. Minimalism usually means white as the dominant colour scheme, but this dining space has been given a creative upgrade through a mix of coloured chairs and a brightly coloured rug. The basic style is untouched, but given visual interest and texture with a few small additions. 

The quickest fix

Bernhardt Design homify Dining roomChairs & benches

Bernhardt Design


One of the quickest fixes of all—mixing and matching cushions on your dining chairs. You can go for a mix of colours, a mix of patterns, or a mix of textures. It's a subtle upgrade, but a good way to dip your toe into creating a more eclectic dining space. 

Simple yet bold

Easier to achieve, but no less stylish, is a brightly coloured table in a super-minimal space. Let the colour do the talking, and minimise clutter and accessories. 

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