Let's mix it up - check out our top tips on embracing the eclectibles this season.
If you’re bonkers about vintage, but not too sure how to pull it off, then let me introduce you to Lizzie and Georgie from Oxbow & Peach, who have an Aladdin’s cave (actually it’s a bijoux showroom) in the pretty village of Whittlesford. They’re old Cambridge school mates who have have turned their passion for seeking out unusual, vintage finds from antique decanters and vintage china, to French linens and mirrors into a thriving business.
They’ve spent the past few months busily sourcing new finds – they frequently head off on road-trips around the UK so watch out Drew Prtichard and they’re opening the doors of their showroom which is rammed with eclectic pieces for the Autumn season. Here they are to share their top tips for creating the ultimate chic retreat – whether you want an industrial look or a dash of rural elegance now is the time to start raiding granny’s attic.
Tips to nail the eclectic look
1. The use of vintage furniture and accessories, preferably not in pristine condition
Lizzie’s top tip: Mixing and matching is more stylish than complete co-ordination which can be taken too far. Vintage is timeless, contemporary and uniquely personal – aim to create an interior to reflect your lifestyle and passions, don’t be restricted by rules.
2. Don’t mistake eclectic for ‘anything goes’ It’s a close call between a layered look and chaotic mayhem – so limit the number of contrasting styles in one room to avoid things feeling random
Georgie”s top tip: it takes time to make rooms work and the key to success is by creating a layered effect. Start with one or two vintage finds and then allow them to find their space in a room, from there you can see colours or styles that start to prevail.
3. The trend this season is to mix up different periods – a few strategically placed vintage pieces alongside a more contemporary look will avoid your sitting room resembling a swinging sixties crashpad.
Georgie’s top tip: Forget convention, interior design can take itself too seriously. There aren’t really any restrictions on what you can include but a starting point is to surround yourself with things you love and see what takes shape. It’s important not to overcrowd a space – creating a focal point (or accentuating an existing one) will help create an eye catching element.
4. Using objects in unusual ways – a teapot becomes a planter; a pedal sewing machine becomes a table with the addition of a marble top; old jeans are used to reupholster a french chair. This design creates an intimate, comfortable and homely feeling, and can easily be applied to any room in the house.
Lizzie’s top tip: Oxbow and Peach have an eclectic range of jewellery and if you’re not so keen on a brooch pinned to your bosom then use them to tie back voile curtains or create pretty pictures – the mini mudder loves this idea for her bedroom.
5. Mix it up! Nothing needs to match perfectly. A few odd pieces of china, different carved knobs on a drawer, mixed cushion styles…anything goes so long as the colour scheme is neutral.
Georgie’s top tip: there’s a fair bit hanging out on the mantlepiece but keeping the colour scheme neutral ties it all together and avoids it looking random.
6. Add some flowers. Add a few blossoms to tea cups, creamers, Mason jars, or old vases and jugs for a feminine touch.
Lizzie’s top tip: plant seasonal flowers or bulbs in old china to create a pretty vintage vibe.
Remember there are really no rules in the world of eclecticism – put big items in small rooms and small things in cavernous spaces and see what happens? Have fun sourcing finds for your home and if you’re not keen on rummaging through peoples beloved toot then pop into Oxbow & Peach – they make life easier. Lizzie and Georgie are full of helpful tips and ideas and better still – the coffee is always on! If you want to make a day of it then lunch at The Tickell Arms is always a delight.
The showroom is open Fri 29 Sept and then every Fri and Sat through to Christmas. Georgie is going to be working there (painting, polishing, up-cycling) most Thursdays – you will need to ring in advance to check (07749 408444), but you are welcome to shop then too.
Oxbow & Peach, The Old School, Old School Lane, Whittlesford, Cambridge CB22 4LT, oxbowandpeach.co.uk