Eclectic Style

Eclectic, definition: borrowing freely from various sources, not exclusive in opinion or taste.
Combining a unique mixture of furnishings and décor to create a cohesive design, the homeowners of our eclectic features often feel most at home when they’re surrounded by gathered objects from a variety of sources. Eclectic rooms cross styles and periods; mix contemporary design favourites with renovated furniture finds; old fashioned heirlooms with flea market treasures and collected mementoes from travels, family and friends.

However, eclectic decorating is not a jumble of whatever catches your eye. It only works when the basic principles of design are understood and the individual elements work together to create a unified whole. Whether you mix design classics with retro furniture, display a fornasetti plate on an antique dresser don’t forget the basic design principles of line, colour, texture, mass and form.

In our features section you’ll find homes that have successfully achieved this... view features section
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Opposites Attract

Swedish-born designer Vanessa Fristedt’s East London home successfully combines a Scandinavian passion for clean lines with a collector’s eye for quirky British memorabilia and design. In the converted basement and first-floor flat of her period terraced house, Fristedt has skilfully drawn together the twin threads of her life. The large, bright inner hall, with its open staircase and wall of glass which looks out on to the sauna at the end of the garden, answers her Nordic desire for light and air, while the quirky décor and playful artworks speak of her immersion in the East London art scene... view feature
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Suspensions of Disbelief

Daniel Chadwick started out working for the architect Zaha Hadid as an engineer in the 1980s, but he soon realised he was more passionate about creating art instead. His father was the sculptor Lynn Chadwick, who won the International Prize for sculpture in 1956. Lynn bought this house in Gloucestershire with the winnings, and Daniel moved in after his father died in 2003. ‘We can’t afford to buy the sort of furniture we’d like from places such as Italia, so we just fill the rooms with work by me and my friends,’ he says. Handily, his friends include Damien Hirst... view feature
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Perfect Timing

Quirky clockmakers Jim and Chloe Read used a combination of the chic and cheerful to bring a dilapidated Victorian vicarage bang up to date. There are more than 30 clocks in their house. Few of them tell the time, but that’s not the point. This fabulous collection of timepieces is a reminder of what earns them their keep. Although their listed Welsh vicarage, built in 1850, is chocolate-box pretty on the outside, it oozes 21st-century style within. Jim and Chloe’s labour of love has saved the place from a sad and shabby decline, transforming it into a fresh and contemporary family home... view feature
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Groovy Baby

When artists John and Molly bought an old Tudor stables as a rural retreat from their full-on London lives, they brought punk rock and pop art to the heart of Norfolk. Inspired by the heady cross-fertilisation between music,fashion and art in the swinging Sixties, the couple made their names - and their retirement fund - when they stumbled on a screen-printing process and subsequently set up their fashion company, Wonder Workshop, in 1969. Their iconic roaring-leopard jacket was worn by Iggy Pop on the back cover of his Raw Power album. Mick Jagger, the Beatles, Marc Bolan, Lou Reed and Sid Vicious all snapped up their designs, and their wild thing T-Shirt has been a bestseller... view feature
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On Top of the World

Legend’ is a word much bandied around today, but few people have earned the right to wear that particular badge. In Celia Birtwell’s case it is most appropriate. Not only is her image immortalised in one of the most visited paintings of all time - Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney - but she was the pragmatic half of one of the most exciting fashion partnerships of the twentieth century. The prints she created for her then husband, Ossie Clark, were transformed by his gossamer touch into romantic, womanly, sensual garments that send the e-bay community into a frenzy each time one is listed. No wonder that Top Shop has snapped her up - her first collection launched in Spring 2006 caused near riots when it hit the rails. The west London villa where she lives with her partner, Andy, is overflowing with paintings, books, mementoes and mad touches of kitsch that have caught her eyes over the years. Celia may be a grandmother of six, but there is nothing matronly about her home - deep red felt lines the walls of the drawing room giving a depth of colour paint can only aspire to - while Fornisetti plates look chic against the lavender white of the dining room. As she says: “This is a fun house. The children can come round and slide down the banisters if they want - they create a lot of happiness when we are all together”... view feature
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Traditional Modern

One can easily lose sight of the decade we live in when you enter Bo's and Hans', Vesterbro apartment, located in central Copenhagen. Danish decor meets with humour and informality, creating a style that is both traditional and modern. Whether souvenir or heirloom, new or recovered goods, it's just a matter of making it work within the room. "We are drawn to beautiful things, their colour, form, function and history always compel us to change something so it forms a harmony between the things we already have. The desire to make a design more functional can also be a great inspiration." says the couple. Bo Donslund works as a decorator and graphic designer at a major chain store that sells furniture and accessories, expanding her interest for interior design... view feature
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