Of all the ways you can decorate, ‘English eccentric’ style has to be my favourite. I love how how it isn’t afraid of bright colour, bold pattern, rich detail, and eclectic influences. For me, English eccentric interiors are busy, bohemian, and timeless. Check out my Pinterest board here for some inspiration.
I love that by nature, it’s a very unique style of decorating; no two eccentric homes are the same. This said, there are certain elements which lots of eccentric interiors have in common.
Antiques are really great way to add eccentricity to your interiors. I know some people don’t think that antiques fit well in modern design, but I have to disagree. Take a look at the turquoise Fo dogs in the photo above; they’re beautiful (and valuable!) antiques, but the vibrancy of the colour makes them look fresh & modern. For me, really cool interiors are ones which mix old and new; I think that antiques add a richness to interiors that is hard to match. They really make a space personal. Decor items that you pick up in Habitat or Ikea will be on the shelves of hundreds of homes, but antiques are special finds.
I know this one will probably divide, but for me, taxidermy is a great feature of eccentric decor. I am only advocating ethical taxidermy here. As someone who was vegetarian for thirteen years, animal welfare is something that I feel extremely passionately about. Luckily, there are plenty of ethical taxidermists who work solely with animals who have died of natural causes. I absolutely love animals, and although some may find it macabre, I think taxidermy can be beautiful.
Good art can really give a space personality. I always think art looks best when you mix up your prints with original pieces and other mixed media art (wall hangings, sconces etc) to give your space an authentic feel. I love sites like Society6, Junique, and Desino for getting quirky prints, and have them up alongside original art by my friends (and myself! Anyone can make art (just listen to Bob Ross)). Gallery walls are a great way of displaying your collection, and always add a hint of eccentricity.
Over the past year or so, rugs have become a complete obsession for me. If I’d bought every rug I’d wanted to since Christmas, I’d be penniless! The beautiful arts & crafts style embroidered rug below from Anthropologie is my newest acquisition… (It was in the sale I swear!!) I think that bold rugs are a great way to get an eclectic feel in a room. Even if the rest of your style is quite plain and minimal, a boldy patterned or brightly coloured rug can add a lot of character to the space. I love how versatile they are too; a large area rug can create a focal point, while smaller layered rugs create a more relaxed, bohemian feel.
Chinoiserie is one of my favourite elements of English eccentric interiors. Chinese art is so amazingly detailed, both in style and in terms of the symbolism of all the different plants, flowers, and animals. I think Chinese lacquered furniture is particularly dreamy, but there are plenty of smaller ways to weave chinoiserie into a room. I have lots of lovely trinkets and vases that cost peanuts and don’t take up much space. I got the vase below for £6 from Camden Passage. It’s had a few knocks and repairs through it’s life but that just adds to it’s character!
Busts are a brilliant hallmark of eccentric decor for me. The photo below is an amazing bust that sadly isn’t mine, but sits just behind my desk at work – apparently the Victorians thought crying babies were a great subject for busts, and I have to agree! You may have spotted this poor little guy in Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes’ apartment (NB for those of you new to my blog, hello! I work at a prop house – find out more here). While a marble or alabaster bust will set you back a few squid, you can pick up plaster and resin ones pretty cheap. I’m always looking out for them on eBay! (Check my top tips for shopping on Ebay here)
A vibrant collection of books
I think my favourite possessions are probably my books. I guess this one only really applies if you’re a book fiend, but a great eclectic book collection can make for awesome decor. Books are one of those things that I never manage to guilt trip myself over buying (I’m learning!) so I’m building quite the collection… Even if you aren’t ‘a reader’ (of Nicholas Sparks or whoever is fashionable in novels rn), there are books for everyone. You can see some of my current faves in the photo below. If you’re into eccentric interiors, I highly recommend both ‘The Selby is in your Place’ and ‘The Fashionable Selby’. I also love independent magazines; most are made from such thick stock and are so beautiful that they are as good as coffee table books. Check out some faves here!
What do you think of eccentric interiors? Would you add any items to this list? Let me know in the comments!