Flaunt your family's story through eclectic modern design

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Tudors Down · the design column ·

Eclectic modern - a trend growing faster than you can say it - is a style I embrace in my home. This worn, lived-in look gets better with age, knowledge and wisdom, and it pops up in many design magazines and websites.

This look, in my opinion, is one of the hardest to create because you can't find it in a store. Rather, eclectic modern is a storyboard created through your home. This display of personal objects, gathered over time, tells your family's story. The items might make you laugh, smile, remember and evoke thought. They will inspire your guest to ask questions, such as and leaves people asking questions: "Where did you get that? Why is it here? Tell me your story."

Everyone loves a good story, but no one is going to retell the tale about walking into a big-box store and buying a whole living room.

A good story has more substance, more sparks, more laughs. Like the time my two-year-old daughter and I attempted to fit a vintage, oversized, wingback chair into our undersized hatchback. The chair was free and, at the time, I had to have it. Or when I nearly caused my husband a heart attack because I screamed, "Stop! Turn around! Now!" while he was driving. I had spotted a mid-century modern credenza in great condition thrown out on the curb.

Stories: People want to not only hear them, but also see them in your home. I'd much rather look at items from family vacations, estate sale pieces with history or a cookie jar passed down from family members than a display mimic from a store display.

How can you achieve this popular look?

First, slow down. Don't rush decorating. Why hurry? Sure, you may need the staples, such as tables and seating, right away, but artwork or knickknacks can wait. Fill your home with memories, and let the design come second. Sometimes the most interesting pieces are the oddest looking. If you love the items in your home, chances are you will love the way they fit into your décor.

Take artwork seriously. Don't just buy art to fill a space. Rather, find a space to display it. Ask artistic family members or friends to create original art. Commission local artists. Hang unusual items that remind you of the past. Almost anything can be art. Think outside the box.

Don't worry what others might think. Decorate for yourself and your family. When my husband and I bought our first home, my mom hated practically everything we bought. Now that she sees everything together, she loves our home. Why? Because it represents us. People may not necessarily want your furniture, artwork or knickknacks in their home, but they will love it in yours if it reflects who you are. They love you, after all - quirks included.

Just like the people in your home and the love that fills it: eclectic modern will never go out of style.


In October 2011, Sarah Meeks and her husband purchased their first house, a fixer-upper, which is located two doors down (hence, Tudors Down) from Sarah's childhood home. Besides blogging about home renovations and design, Meeks sells vintage home goods. For more design ideas, to purchase items from her Etsy shop and to watch her home transform from drab to fab, visit www.tudorsdownblog.com.