Guide to Creating an Eclectic Kitchen

This design links unexpected elements in a cohesive look.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionFor a true eclectic look, find something you love and build your design around it. Design by Van Tullis.
You can achieve an eclectic look in your kitchen with small additions or major changes. Valencich offers her ideas for adding unusual touches to ordinary kitchens:

Start with one item you love and build a design around it. "There are so many choices these days in materials, colors and finishes that sometimes you just need to pick something and start!" Valencich says. "Maybe it’s a tile, or a beautiful piece of stone for a countertop." Or perhaps you have a collection of unusual items you’d like to show off. Take that single element and consider its texture, color, style and era to find accessories and finishes that complement it. Don’t be afraid to choose companion items from a different decade or design style as long as you find a common thread.

Break a rule. Why, for example, should your cabinets be identical? "In the kitchen, I never like to have all the cabinets the same color," Valencich says. "One of my favorite looks is an update on a nautical theme, and I’m in the midst of redesigning my own kitchen in that style. I’m painting the lower cabinets navy and the upper cabinets a high-gloss white."