Mixing styles – eclectic, fusion and kitsch

Recommendation points

Finding an interior that would be kept strictly within the framework of one particular style is quite difficult. Yes, there are rooms, entering which you can confidently say – here it is, a classic in its purest form. However, more often than not, designers and homeowners themselves decide to experiment and combine two or three, and often several, traditional styles in one interior..

This mixture also has its own rules, features and characteristics, which made it possible to distinguish three main options for combining styles – eclecticism, fusion and kitsch..

What is the difference between these three areas of interior design? What rules can exist where it is decided to depart from the basic principles of “pure style”? And is kitsch really so terrible, which has long become a symbol of bad taste, outrageous and gross violation of all design canons and traditions? Let’s figure it out together with our site.

Mixing styles - eclectic, fusion and kitschA wicker bed with a colorful bedspread looks especially exotic in the center of an emphatically laconic room in a classic style


The oldest of the styles that emerged from the mixing of several design directions, so let’s start with it. At the beginning of the 19th century, when classics had already become commonplace, and wealthy homeowners wanted to surprise guests with something new, a style appeared that was a mixture of two or three main trends that existed at that time. Eclecticism was especially popular from about the 1830s to the end of the 19th century..

Compared to the then dominant classical style, eclecticism provided much more scope for experimentation and the embodiment of the wildest fantasies, but at the same time did not go beyond the bounds of decency and generally accepted traditions..

Eclecticism in the interior

Most often, eclecticism mixes only two interior styles, for example, classics and more magnificent baroque, solemn Empire and dynamic modern. Usually eclecticism brought notes of exoticism or original details to the classic style of the interior, so it can be called the basic and fundamental for this design direction.

Eclecticism for a harmonious and cozy mix of styles, in general, is the same classic, just in a light and unobtrusive processing. Eclecticism can be described as a well-known dish – a classic interior served under a new, often quite spicy and original sauce.

Eclectic interior

The main characteristics of eclecticism:

  1. Combination of pastel shades that distinguish classic style with brighter shades.
  2. Introducing individual details from exotic styles, for example, oriental ornaments, into strict European classics.
  3. A mix of antique furniture and ultra-modern details such as plastic chairs and glass and concrete finishes.
  4. Eclecticism loves silk wallpaper with a large expressive pattern, leather furniture, a combination of different wall finishes – one wall can be painted with a plain paint, and the second one can be faced with wooden panels or artificial stone.
  5. The basis of eclecticism is always the classics, which can be combined with Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo, colonial style and certain elements of exotic, ethnic trends.
  6. In eclecticism, it is not customary to mix more than two or three basic interior styles..

Eclectic interiorEclecticism is perfect for those homeowners who, despite everything, prefer the classics, but at the same time would like to move away from its strict canons and clear lines. Eclecticism can soften the classic interior, make it more modern and dynamic


The English term “fusion” (fusion – merging, merging) is more familiar to the lovers of cooking. In the field of cooking, this name means the author’s direction, which has absorbed all the best from the culinary traditions of the West and the East..

In the field of interior design, fusion also means free mixing of a wide variety of styles and trends. This style arose “outside of styles” by itself, in a natural way, so this design direction does not have a specific author. It’s just that in the twentieth century, people began to travel much more often than before, the most distant exotic countries became more accessible, and when returning from wanderings, I so wanted to bring something as a keepsake to decorate the interior.

Fusion living room

Fusion in design is when an elegant porcelain figurine from the times of Louis XIV stands on a low table in Japanese style, ceramic painted plates are located on a high-tech glass shelf, and African masks take center stage in a classic living room. And at the same time everything looks just perfect, it seems that it could not be otherwise!

Fusion in design can be called a real fusion of the cultures of the West and the East, emphasized modesty, functionality of the home interior and the luxury of the palace hall, rare, conservative classics and ultra-modern high-tech.

Fusion style apartment interiorIt’s easy to create a fusion style in your apartment – did you like a picture or a homespun rug while traveling in Egypt? Feel free to buy and hang on the wall in your laconic living room – such unusual things, collections and souvenirs will become the basis for a new, fresh interior

The main characteristics of the fusion style in design:

  1. Fusion creates new rules in the interior, combining seemingly completely incompatible things and providing a surprisingly wide scope for creativity.
  2. The color scheme can be any, as complex and variegated as you like, but bright shades are necessarily diluted with calmer, pastel colors, which creates a harmonious combination. The most popular shades of fusion are raspberry, gold, green, turquoise, yellow, purple and lilac..
  3. The interior looks homely, not thought out to the smallest detail, but appeared, it seems, by itself, in the process of family life.
  4. The fusion style allows you to create a truly individual space that will reflect all the hobbies of the owners. Collections, souvenirs, children’s drawings, crafts, patchwork and scrapbooking – in such an interior there is a place for any items, especially hand-made and therefore unique.
  5. Animal skins or their imitations have become one of the most striking features of the fusion style. In general, this direction gravitates towards soft, pleasant to the touch surfaces, decorative plaster, rough walls made of natural stone, wood.
  6. Lush multi-layered curtains a la Baroque will look especially original and solemn against the background of rough log walls, a luxurious chandelier with crystal pendants on the ceiling with wooden beams borrowed from country style, and a fireplace with an adobe chimney surrounded by austere classic furniture..

Fusion style in the interior of the apartment

And yet, even such a freedom-loving style as fusion, which denies the generally accepted rules for decorating a space, requires attention to detail and a thoughtful approach. Are you sure that a painted Russian samovar will be appropriate in a bedroom furnished with furniture in the style of French kings? Intending to decorate your kitchen with glossy, laconic fronts in a “high-tech” style with embroidered napkins or gathered curtains in a large cage? Close your eyes and imagine what a similar interior would look like in reality.

When creating an interior in the fusion style, it is difficult to resist and not turn the room into a collection of disparate objects, so in this case, you should be guided by the rule – “less is better.” Let there be not so many objects in the room, but they will harmoniously combine with each other.

Fusion in the interiorPlastic ultra-trendy chairs around a classic coffee table? Why not, if you end up with a cozy corner for relaxation and communication


And finally, the most scandalous and controversial style, implying a mixture of various design directions – kitsch.

This term, which comes from German – kitch, denotes the phenomenon of mass culture and has become synonymous with pseudo-art, which pays special attention to the external extravagance and loudness of individual elements. Kitsch appeared in interior design in the middle of the twentieth century and initially timidly tried to transfer the palace luxury and design details of nightclubs and discos into ordinary apartments. However, very soon kitsch ceased to be an imitation and became a completely independent, easily recognizable style, “combining the incongruous”.

Kitsch style in the interior

In design, the concept of “kitsch-style” appeared relatively recently, earlier this term was used only in relation to culture and art. If eclecticism and fusion are based on traditional styles and create something new from well-known details and techniques, then kitsch in the interior looks like a mockery, a denial of taste and prefers to work with the brightest and easily recognizable elements of different, radically opposite design directions.

Poisonous colors in the interior of kitschThe combination of colors in the spirit of “twisted eyes” is the favorite activity of kitsch. Leopard curtains against a background of dark blue walls, a gilded cornice on the lilac ceiling, pink walls and a snow-white fluffy carpet – you will not find such combinations anywhere else

The main characteristics of the kitsch style:

  1. Various accessories that are made in completely different styles, a combination of expensive porcelain and rough handicrafts. Ethnic items next to the palace vases, crystal on the same shelf with incomprehensible figures made of colored glass – the more unusual, the better.
  2. The use of bright, “acidic” colors and shades: light green, raspberry, hot pink, aquamarine, and in such combinations that look frankly “too”.
  3. The use of pseudo-materials, when plastic is “disguised” as wood and metal, metal – as plastic or fabric, and wood is covered with gilding and changes beyond recognition. Often expensive natural materials are imitated in kitsch – “fake style” is true to its principles.
  4. The old painting on the wall is often adjacent to graffiti, which have become one of the most striking signs of kitsch. In addition to graffiti on the walls, stencil drawings, bright prints and unusual photos can also appear on which a variety of objects and landscapes can be depicted..
  5. Extraordinary furniture – a combination of an old, shabby grandmother’s sideboard and an ultra-modern coffee table of an unusual shape, a shiny metal bar and an oriental sofa with a bunch of pillows. A set of living room furniture can be assembled from completely disparate objects: a wicker rocking chair, a bright red sofa and a solid leather chair.
  6. In the decoration, metal is adjacent to stucco molding, glass – with natural wood, strict striped wallpaper – with bright graffiti, brick wall – with a cozy fluffy rug.

Kitsch interior

The one who doesn’t follow any rules is kitsch. The main thing to remember is that, unlike the much more strict eclecticism and fresh dynamic fusion kitsch, in no case should you be taken seriously. This style comes to the rescue when you want to “hooligan”, to surprise guests by striking them in the heart with a golden bathroom with a “throne” and a fur seat in the center, where the drain handle was replaced, for example, by a deer horn.

Kitsch style in the interior

And another important point – in pursuit of a luxurious interior, it is actually very easy to create a kitsch-style room. One has only to overdo it with the design, combining a marble fireplace, fluorescent lamps, heavy velvet curtains and oriental vases in one space, and the interior becomes pseudo-luxurious, a parody or a pathetic imitation of a real classic. Often, the owners themselves do not notice the impression that their interior, which emphasizes luxury and lack of taste, makes on the guests of the house, believing that a demonstration of wealth is always appropriate.

Kitsch interior designOf course, such an extraordinary interior is more common in nightclubs, bars and cafes, in a residential building kitsch is really out of place. Although, in a teenager’s room, decorated with many posters and drawings, kitsch appears on its own

Despite the fact that all of the above styles arose from a mixture of different design directions, they are very different from each other. If eclecticism is not far from its predecessor – the classics, it is guided by firmly established rules and principles, then fusion has gone much further, allowing you to mix not two or three, but many styles. And quite apart from this list is kitsch – bright, hooligan, unique and never tired of surprising.

Rate article
Tips on any topic from experts
Add comment

By clicking the "Submit comment" button, I consent to the processing of personal data and accept privacy policy