How to master British Eccentric style at home

Top tips for creating flamboyant interiors

archive by sanderson design wallpaper, fabrics and chair
Archive By Sanderson Design

Has there ever been a time that we needed colour in our lives more? Enter British Eccentric – an unbound design style that brings a jolt of joy to interiors by drawing on the striking, the eclectic and the quirky, to create the impression of effortless energy. Done well, it’s about using colours, textures and patterns to vibrant, expressive effect – with a dash of distinctive British humour in the mix. Here's how to embrace this most flamboyant of styles and make it work.

1. Go a little (or a lot) wild

    British Eccentric is about owning your quirks and embracing the peculiar. This is no style for the fainthearted, so think about approaching your living spaces with playfulness and humour. Setting the standard is Archive By Sanderson Design, a new brand that celebrates the look by breaking down the barriers between vintage and modern. With its range of wallpaper, fabrics, curtains and blinds, Archive By Sanderson Design is making some of the most iconic names in British interiors relevant in today’s home. ‘We’ve pulled out prints such as dancing unicorns, naked-lady designs and the William Morris Golden Lily print,’ says brand manager Hannah Bowen. ‘It’s a mad mix that comes together to create a wonderful story. This trend is all about breaking rules, so go your own way with the prints that you love.’

    unicorn wallpaper by archive by sanderson design
    Archive By Sanderson Design

    2. Build gradually

    While more is definitely more with this look, you don’t have to go overboard immediately. Begin by introducing elements of rich pattern and saturated colour, and stop things from becoming overwhelming by choosing prints that are of a similar scale. ‘Ease yourself in slowly,’ suggests Bowen. ‘Start off by layering different prints on cushions and throws before taking the leap with matching wallpaper and curtains. Bold colours are the way forward for creating a lively interior. My top tip would be to keep a consistent theme in each room. This might be a key colour or a striking print that you want to be your hero – if you build a scheme around something you love, you can’t go wrong.’

    archive by sanderson design wallpaper
    Archive By Sanderson Design

    3. Mix and match

    Once you’re ready for more, try matching up your prints – and make it look like you mean it. (Choosing the same print for the wallpaper and curtains can also create a cocoon-like effect in a room.) Archive By Sanderson Design’s William Morris Golden Lily wallpaper in bold ‘serotonin’ pink, paired with matching curtains or velvet cushions, for example, shouts flamboyance and freedom of expression. Conversely, clashing the brand's Daisy floral wallpaper with a window blind in Fruits floral fabric in the kitchen would make for a charming and cohesive look without being too lairy for a high-traffic space. Or, if in doubt, go for a complementary stripe. ‘Stripes are a great way to create the feeling of pattern while also bringing a scheme together with the use of block colour,’ says Bowen.

    4. Use your assets

    Pull together collectables and other pieces of homeware that you love and use them to guide your choice of pattern and colour – building a theme around British eccentricity can give your favourite items a platform to shine. Match wild prints with the colours in your treasured possessions to bring a space together, or, even better, go for a clash. ‘It’s all about mixing and matching design styles,’ says Bowen. ‘It doesn’t matter if you pair some antique candle holders with some ’70s pieces… The layering of your favourite possessions is what will make your space unique.’

    archive by sanderson design living room wallpaper and fabrics
    Archive By Sanderson Design

    5. Let it flow

    Keep the look flowing from room to room. You can use colour to bring the theme together, using a single tone as an anchor. ‘Go to town on the prints, but just make sure that they have at least a hint of that key colour running throughout,’ advises Bowen. ‘The beauty of British eccentricity is that it can work in different rooms, allowing you to create unique spaces. The key is to create unexpected moments throughout your home.’

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