Mister Bean, Miss Marple and Only Fools and Horses? Have you watched them? TV characters famous the world over for showing an eccentrically English window on life. And the homes they live in or laugh in or are murdered in? Naturally they are also essentially English. These beloved and eccentric characters and programmes are how we have become so familiar with the unique styling of English eccentric interiors.
What are the signatures of this interior style? And should we let them lie in an archive of strange and dusty old-fashioned trends? Or is there something of value to home-makers and designers, regardless of trends or location?
The heart of the English eccentric style is not in a particular decorative look. It lies in the nation’s collective personality, which is then reflected and magnified in their quirky, curious, weird and the wonderful homes.
The Home, The Castle
“Thank you”, Please” and “Excuse Me”. A careful and mannered reserve is the foundation of English public life. But that reserve is firmly abandoned once you step through their doors. In their eccentric interiors you see and feel elements which are at the core of being English. Homes which celebrate their owner. Home which do not follow trends. Owners that cherish the feeling of the design over the expense of the design. It is where imperfection is embraced. Design rules are disobeyed. Home that tell their owner’s stories. They are collectors. They are free. Style is important but comfort is even more important.
Of course, if we are honest, we often do see the imperfection, the mess, the clash and clutter. We might say, “That’s not our style”. But it doesn’t matter. As Evros Agathou of interior design studio Avocado Sweets says when describing English eccentric design “There are no rules. Just taste.”
Another grey day in the UK? Not indoors. Colour shyness is not to be found in your English eccentric homes. We see everything from extravagant mansions to intimate council home coated in strong and impactful shades. No doubt one of the main reasons for this is the fact that there is such fragile natural light throughout most of the year. And so, according to research, 95% of Brits say they take colour risks with their interior design scheme. Right now two of the most popular paint shades bought for English homes are Forest Green and Midnight Blue. Definitely a bold step away from the “only white and beige” interior philosophy.
The English are famous for their dry humour and not taking themselves seriously. This too is reflected in the decorating style of the home. The often quirky and strange marriage of colour and objects in their home will often shout the owner’s unique and not-too-serious view on life. Take another look at Del Boy’s home (The Peckham Palace) in Only Fools and Horses and see the Palm Tree wallpaper and fake animal skins rugs. It may be comedy, but there is truth in the styling.
Where the Sun Does Shine
How is English eccentric style relevant to Cyprus, an island where the sun rarely hides, and where there is a very different personality and way-of-life?
Well there certainly isn’t the need for bold colour indoors, when Cyprus living is filled with glorious blues and hues. What does travel, we firmly believe, is the English eccentric’s very human approach to home design. A readiness to take risks and to mix-it-up. And using memories, stories, and your heritage to give your home a soul is also central to our philosophy. As we say, FOUNDiiD is LIVING with Design and not LOOKING at Design. This is exactly what the English eccentric approach is all about. Whether it is London, Lisbon or Limassol, that personal story-telling and being true to yourself should be the key idea to creating your own home.
FOUNDiiD can work with you to help you bring out your own design personality. Eccentric or otherwise. Contact us at email@example.com
Paul – Researcher