©Ballard Designs Eclectic style comes to life in an intricately hand-painted, handwoven bamboo basket.

Eclectic Country

For a really fresh country style, look to the eclectic. Not since the 1960s has America been so tuned in to the cultural richness of the world, and today's eclectic country style borrows freely from a wealth of exotic influences.

Sure, American style has always included elements from afar brought back by seafaring ships. Paisley shawls, Oriental rugs, Chinese porcelains, and African mahogany and jewels are just some of the treasures that have long embellished Western life.

But unlike in the Victorian era, today's eclectic style isn't about acquisition and clutter. Instead, it's about carefully selecting pieces you really love from several eras and cultures and using them in a livable, balanced way.

Eclectic country style takes pottery from Asia, basketry from Africa, and sari-silk pillows and a dhurrie rug from India and makes them look exciting with an antique armoire, a modern serpentine sectional, and a plain Shaker table. Worldly yet whimsical, eclectic country style can help make the global village feel like home.

More globally inspired decorating ideas are in the next section, along with advice on mixing and matching country styles.

For more decorating ideas, see: