Behind the Style: Eccentric Decor
Over the years, we have written various Behind the Style articles, from exploring arts and crafts to art deco. However, unlike these styles, eccentric interiors can’t be pinned down to one look; in fact, eccentricity in its very nature defies rules and norms in favour of the individual and characteristic.
In this journal, we explore the eccentric interior design approach and the rewards of embracing your individuality in the design of your home.
AN INTRODUCTION TO ECCENTRIC INTERIOR STYLE
As a blanket term, eccentricity is defined as behaviour that people think is strange or unusual, the quality of being unusual and different from others. For Marcello Cuconato, Extreme’s Creative Director, eccentric style in home decor is distinguished by ‘The pursuit of passion over trend, a design approach that values a life lived rather than a lifestyle. Eccentric interiors are about personality, authenticity, freedom, and individuality. An eccentric style is led by creative curiosity and an openness to challenge convention, to express your style, experiences, and character. Eccentricity is timeless; it eschews trends and focuses on pursuing joy. This resonates with me as a designer and these values and pursuit of enjoyment are part of what we aim to achieve for our clients here at Extreme.“
ICONIC FEATURES OF ECCENTRIC INTERIOR STYLE
Britain is famous for its eccentric designers. However, eccentricity as a style cannot be defined by one look. Eccentric style is characterised mainly by its design approach, resulting in recurring ideas or features.
Telling Your Story
Our first insight and perhaps the most important takeaway from this article is to showcase your style and tell your story. The insights below will help you achieve this, but it’s important to remember that an eccentric style isn’t a look you are trying to achieve, instead, it is an approach that tells your story and represents your unique taste.
“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”Dame Anna Wintour DBE
Valuing Joy Over Fashion
Eccentric spaces place a higher value on joy and expression than fashion or status. By valuing the joy each interior piece brings, the room celebrates the individual taste of its inhabitants, whatever their style. Creating a joyful space is about being very selective, making decisions based on emotion and curating pieces that connect with us on a personal level. Joy is found in identifying how a piece makes you feel, whether it makes a statement of identity, sparks a sense of nostalgia, brings a smile, or quite simply delivers a sense of comfort.
An eccentric style is an approach rather than a set style and shouldn’t be born from fashion trends. While some aspects of an eccentric home will fall in and out of fashion throughout the years, fashion is irrelevant if the choices follow a principle of joy and personal expression of style. As the great Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion’s fade, style is eternal.” and we couldn’t agree more.
Embracing the Unusual
In valuing joy over fashion, eccentric styles tend to embrace the unusual, deviating from what’s available from mainstream shops. Eccentric interiors often feature curated items, including rare finds, personal collections, antiques, family air looms, or pieces sourced from unexpected and unique places or individually crafted.
“Unconventional spaces offer the freedom to be more personal and eclectic, creating a space that’s a statement tailored to your taste. Don’t be afraid to divide opinion; it’s your space after all.” Marcello Cuconato
Embracing the unusual isn’t about the expense, but rather a celebration of personality, a life lived and mementoes full of sentiment and story. Adopting the unique is less about mass appeal and more about the freedom to add the owner’s personality to their space.
Celebrating the Whimsical
Celebrating the whimsical in your interior offers the opportunity to explore a style full of spontaneity and create something unpredictable. Whimsy is another way to express personality whilst adding intrigue and amusement to an interior. Whimsical designs are all about embracing the unexpected, challenging convention and finding the fun.
Whimsical elements can add humour to a space and conjure a laissez-faire atmosphere, ultimately making the environment more enjoyable to inhabit. The best whimsical features also serve a functional purpose, interacting with the environment whilst maintaining a sense of belonging to the design.
Finding Beauty in Imperfection (Wabi-Sabi)
Our homes are a nurturing place to grow, learn and thrive. Our lives and the passage of time sculpt our homes to tell our story. An eccentric interior embraces this, creating a patchwork of a life lived, represented in every statement, choice, and detail.
The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi celebrates imperfections and the beauty of age and wear. As a guiding philosophy, Wabi-sabi can be used to create truthful, meaningful, and enduring interiors that value life over possessions and fashion. By finding the beauty in the imperfect, we can celebrate the story of each piece and the quirky elegance of things and life. Wabi-sabi is an approach that touches on all points in this article; it is a guiding philosophy rooted in the belief that we should enjoy life. Life is imperfect, full of tarnish and patina and Wabi-sabi embraces a life lived by celebrating every scuff, mark, wrinkle, and flaw because they are evidence of life.
Colour, Texture and Pattern
Colour is powerful and can influence mood. Everyone’s relationship with colour is unique. People experience and interpret colour differently, so colour palettes and textures should stem from the individual. Whilst colour theory and design principles are a helpful practice, ultimately, colour preference should not be restricted and should originate from emotion, following the principle of enjoyment and authenticity.
Challenging Convention and Normality
As we covered earlier in this journal, an eccentric interior does not conform to fashion trends or conventions. However, being ‘anti-fashion’ or ‘anti-convention’ should never be the goal. Instead, the design approach should centre around openness to embracing unconventional ideas if they are born from the principles of joy, authenticity, and story. Eccentricity isn’t about trying to be ‘eccentric’; it is about having the confidence to express oneself and embrace uniqueness.
At Extreme, our mission is to create designs that are truly unique to each client, capturing what is most important to them and upholding our ethos that our homes should ‘reflect a life lived, not just a lifestyle’.
To discover how Extreme can help you create a unique, personal and individual home, contact the design team at your local studio.