Eclectic interior design in historic Washington DC Church Transformation

Eclectic interior design transforms a historic church into one of Washington DC’s coolest hotels with some clever nods to its religious beginnings.

Eclectic interior design atrium space with feature chandelier and lounge seating.
Eclectic interior design on display in the atrium of the LINE Hotel (Washington, DC).

The Art of Eclecticism

Most classic interior design styles offer a consistent aesthetic direction in terms of furniture and decor. However, an eclectic style breaks the mold, throwing out many standard design conventions, mixing multiple styles together.

At first glance, eclectic interior design can seem a bit haphazard and disconnected. But, there is a real art to being able to create a beautiful design style that feels purposeful and integrated, rather than being a hodge-podge collection of random odds and ends.

If you’d like free interior design style tips, join my Designer Insider group by clicking here.

Curious to discover which interior design style is best for you? Take my design style quiz here.

How to Create a Successful Eclectic Interior Design Style

Eclectic interior design merges a mix of design styles into one space. Some pieces could be from various historic time periods. Others can stem from unique cultures or geographic regions. While others can capitalize on emerging design trends with all the latest and greatest accoutrements.

The key to a successful eclectic style really comes down to 2 things:

First, have an overall unifying concept that drives every design decision. There’s more to this look than just throwing together a bunch of random pieces.

Second, within the diverse assortment, be sure to create synergy in your selections. Find threads of common elements that weave together and unify the diversity of styles. This creates a cohesive collection and a harmonious spatial environment.

Weaving common design motifs together provides balance and allows room to celebrate the art of contrast – making for intriguing, unexpected style contradictions.

A Divine {Design} Intervention

If I were tasked with transforming a neoclassical church into a hip hotel, I can think of no better style to choose than eclectic. It’s the perfect way to bridge history with the present.

Lobby bar with hanging globe lights at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.
Lobby bar with hanging globe lights at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.

The Line Hotel masterfully incorporates aspects of eclectic interior design while mixing in a splash of history and humor, making this a fascinating case study in the art of eclecticism.

The Adams Morgan Scene

In the American city most famous for mixing different people, cultures, and viewpoints, it seems logical that a hip boutique getaway should embrace a similar eclectic spirit in its interior design aesthetic.

The Line Hotel in the diverse Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC has done that…and so much more.

Eclectic interior design style space with feature chandelier overhanging atrium at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.
Repurposed pipe organ chandelier overhanging atrium at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.

Spiritual Awakening

When you think of America’s Capitol – Washington DC – what are some of the first images that come to your mind? Sure, there are the monuments, the fleeting cherry blossoms (always gone too soon!), and museums galore. 

As a former DC resident, the first things I think of are politicians, gridlock on the Beltway, and guys who try way too hard to impress you with their security clearance status.

What you might not expect to find is an eclectic mix of old versus new, all beautifully presented in one of the coolest boutique hotels right at the heart of the buzzing Adams Morgan scene.

But that’s why you read this blog, right? So I can share all of my fun finds to help you hone in on the latest hot spots.

Hotel Tour

You know I completely fangirl over everything related to hotel design, so when I had a chance to stay here for a few nights AND get a tour by the designer of the hotel, I jumped at the chance.

And here’s shout-out to the teams who brought this hotel to life – the Sydell Group and INC Architecture & Design.

Vaulted Views

As I entered the 110-year-old sanctuary, I was surrounded by an impressive vaulted atrium.

Eclectic interior design expressed through an angled, tipped mirror at top of stairway at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.
Angled, tipped mirror at top of stairway at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.

As I began to admire the arched stairway nearby, my internal reverie was cut short as I noticed with horror the huge mirror that was seconds away from shattering into a million pieces on the landing below. 

Fortunately, the crash never came, and I slowly realized that the impending disaster I was staring at was actually a clever art piece, placed deliberately askew.

Sidenote: I may have gasped out loud and gotten some side-eye from my fellow tour members. Fortunately, you’ll know better when it’s your chance to visit.

Fun Finds

There are so many fun finds in this hotel like the buzzing communal lobby space, perfect for people watching while getting some work done. And the in-house radio station broadcasting daily podcasts is a unique setup.

Podcast studio with blue walls and neon signage with repeated "ON" letters with a leather sofa and a microphone.
Neon signage in the podcasting studio at the Line Hotel in Washington, DC.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

All too often, corridors are an afterthought – the neglected halls of hospitality. A true abomination!

That’s not the case here. Instead, this hotel makes the most of this undervalued real estate with delightful flourishes any holy power would most likely approve of.

My favorite is this bold, whimsical wallpaper which is a total show-stopper.

Whimsical, eclectic interior design wallpaper at elevator with witty signage. The Line Hotel, Washington, DC.
Whimsical wallpaper at the elevator with witty signage.

There are no pearly gates to be found upon exiting the elevator (although that would’ve been a nice touch). Instead, you will stumble upon an iconic piece of furniture – the church pew, all decked out in today’s color trends.

These revitalized pews brought a smile to my face. Rarely do design, religion, and humor intersect, but here the combo has a divine effect.

I’m completely on board with the color-blocking trend. Sure, dip-dying a church pew in a cobalt blue might raise a few eyebrows. But it’s such a fun way to add a pop of color in a cheeky way. And using the hymnal display for the room signage…now that’s quite clever!

Witty and eclectic interior design expressions with color-blocked church pew and hymnal-inspired room signage at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.
Colorblocked church pew and hymnal-inspired room signage at the Line Hotel, Washington DC.

In the Hot Seat

The guest room is a fun exploration of an eclectic style. The first thing I noticed when walking into this room is the commanding presence of this ornate black chair.

Here’s a fun little inside scoop the design team shared with me on my tour. When they were kicking off the project, they discovered the original parson’s chair in one of the offices. They decided to create a reproduction and put it into every single guest room. How cool is that? You gotta love a well-placed bit of authentic nostalgia. 

Eclectic interior design guest room with parsons chair, brass headboard, hanging pendant light fixtures, and artwork, at the Line Hotel in Adams Morgan.
Eclectic interior design style brass bed, vintage parson’s chair, and hanging pendant lighting at the Line Hotel, Washington, DC.

Eclectic Accessorizing

That vintage parson’s chair stands in stark contrast to the bold and vivid geometric statements made by the sculptural hanging light fixture and funky side chair gracing the opposite side of the room. These elements are further contrasted by the more traditional stately and formal style of the desk and office chair.

This eclectic furniture collection is completed with the more classic brass headboard which is flanked by two sconces, rocking a much more contemporary vibe with their black graphic forms and hanging cord outlines.

You can appreciate how this deliberate mixing of old and new styles creates a sense of tension – leading to a unique and dynamic interior environment.

Eclectic interior design style guest room in the Line Hotel in Washington DC featuring a vintage desk, funky geometric patterned lounge chair and a wire metal light fixture.
Eclectic interior design style guest room at the Line Hotel in Washington DC with a mix of furniture from a vintage desk to a funky, geometric-patterned lounge chair and a wire light fixture pendant.

How Great Thou Art

I think the most impressive part of this guest room is the artwork selection.

There is much to be atoned for in the world of generic hotel artwork.

But this gem of a hotel has taken their art program to the next level. Every single one of the 200+ guest rooms boasts a completely unique art collection.

The art wall itself is a study in eclecticism with its mix of media, frame styles, and varying sized pieces.

And pay close attention to the stragegic use of white space that adds emphasis to the art selections. Negative space, or “white space” is a design term that references the areas in a room that are deliberately left “blank” or void of any decor.

It all comes down to contrast. Those art pieces pop and draw your attention because they’re on such a neutral backdrop that isn’t competing for your attention.

Guest room at the Line Hotel in Washington DC, featuring a brass headboard, hanging pendant lighting, and an art wall.
Guest room at the Line Hotel in Washington DC, featuring a brass headboard, hanging pendant lighting, and an art wall.

The color palette in this room is primarily neutral, minus the vivid pop of yellow from the bed throw and the modern geometric pattern boldly displayed on the lounge chair. The rest of the space recedes with the white walls and herringbone plank wood floor to allow those graphic moments to shine, without competing for attention.

Best Seat in the House

The best seat in the house is upstairs at the Brothers and Sisters bar where mixologists crank out tasty tinctures and libations – some picked from their own in-house herb garden.

Large stained glass window with amber-colored class as the backdrop to the cocktail bar at the Line Hotel in Washington, DC.
Large stained glass window with amber-colored glass as the backdrop to the cocktail bar at the Line Hotel in Washington, DC.

No historic church would be complete without an iconic stained glass window. And this one is no exception. There’s something slightly ironic about this religious relic that once overlooked a pulpit now casting its warm glow over various bottles of liquor.

Here’s a fun game to play: In the photo above, can you find the one panel of glass that isn’t original to the window?

(Spoiler alert – it’s the one on the far-right, in the central arched section of windows. Do you see it? It’s the darker orange panel).

Cheers to Crafted Cocktails

I’m a sucker for a killer cocktail, and the mixologists at this joint are next level. Not to mention, the lovely presentation of the drinks makes them even more tasty.

Check out this mix of autumnal colors and materials – amber glass, bronze metal, and a crystal goblet.

Eclectic design details shouldn’t just happen on a macro level. Perfecting these micro touches differentiates the good from the great. #Cheers!

Autumn colored cocktails with amber glass and a copper mule sitting at the bar at the Line Hotel in Washington DCAutumn colored cocktails with amber glass and a copper mule sitting at the bar at the Line Hotel in Washington DC
Autumn-colored cocktails.

As inviting as it is, try to resist the temptation to spend all your time belly-up at the bar. Turn around, because the best part of the entire hotel is directly behind you.

See that beautiful brass sculptural chandelier? Look closer. The chandelier is the reconstruction and restoration of the church’s original pipe organ.

Eclectic interior design atrium with pipe organ transformed into feature atrium chandelier in matte brass at the Line Hotel in Washington DC.
Stunning transformation of a pipe organ to chandelier overhanging the atrium at the Line Hotel in Washington DC.

Amazing, right? Brilliant design move – deconstructing the church’s most iconic element and repurposing it into this sculptural masterpiece. It seems to levitate within the domed ceiling, prominently featured in the center of the lobby.

Sometimes breaking strict rules and conventions, and giving vintage pieces new life can lead to captivating design installations.

Eclectic Interior Design Style – Breakdown, Why it Works

Within the hotel’s restaurant, you’ll find a mix of different styles all converging. The traditional powder blue walls, trim, and moldings provide the foundation to the dramatic arches in the ceiling. The neutral chairs and banquette contrast the lighter color palette and allow the furniture to ground the openness of the vaulted space.

Eclectic interior design artwork and accessories line gallery wall of restaurant at the Line Hotel in Washington, DC.
Eclectic interior design artwork and accessories line gallery wall of restaurant at the Line Hotel in Washington, DC.

The gallery art wall and surrounding display ledge bring in visual interest and showcase the eclectic decor and accessories. There’s a mix of shapes and sizes among all of these objects. Each item on display has its own unique personality and characteristics, from the classic column to the rustic ladder and ornate lantern.

Bring it Home – Eclectic Interior Design Style

Have you found yourself transfixed by this hotel? Do you want to bring some of this edgy, eclectic vibe into your own home? Keep reading, and I’ll share some takeaways that you can use in your own space.

Now, you may be skeptical, thinking, “Um, I don’t have huge vaulted ceilings or my own personal mixologist.”

Bummer, neither do I. But you can still take some inspiration from this space and use it to make a dramatic eclectic statement in your own home.

Eclectic interior design style living room illustration with camelback sofa and unique faceted wooden lounge chairs.
Eclectic interior design style living room inspiration with camelback sofa and unique faceted wooden lounge chairs.

1. Highlight your personality.

Eclectic styles offer the best way to highlight all the unique things that make you special. For example, bring in mementos from your favorite vacation, and then position those next to favorite objects your grandmother has passed on to you.

Remember – there’s beauty in celebrating your story by displaying the artifacts of your life!

2. Keep it cohesive.

To achieve a beautiful designer look, you’ll want to find common threads in colors, materials, textures, and style eras to keep the look from feeling random and disconnected.

3. Break some rules.

Sometimes, it’s okay to break design rules and try some edgy and unexpected things in your home. Remember, an eclectic look is all about contrasts and style mash-ups.

4. Raise some eyebrows.

An eclectic style is anything but boring, so go out and find some unique treasures that have a fascinating story to tell within your space.

5. Mix and Match.

Find a balance of mixing similarity and diversity within your space. Your finishes should be complementary but varied.

Be sure to include mixed metals, and blend in multiple wood species within your furniture selections.

Eclectic Interior Design Wrap-Up

This is just one way to bring an eclectic design style to life in a big way. For more free interior design advice and style tips, be sure to join my Designer Insider group here.

Discover More Styles

The eclectic interior design style is just one of many aesthetics you can consider for your home.

If you’d like to explore more interior design styles, check out these links below:

Can I get an amen?!

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I'm Sarah

As a hospitality designer, my passion is creating stunning spaces that delight millions of travelers as they journey around the world.

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