She's Eclectic...

Buy antiques, buy Mid-century, buy vintage; buying across the board has neveR been so popular.
Karyn Sparks explains how she’s always enjoyed mixing it up!


Thankfully the interiors world is undergoing a revolution. Design fans are screaming out for individuality and craving to be surrounded by objects with provenance and heritage regardless of period. This ‘Eclectic Living’ is about mixing up interior trends and combining your favourite objects to create a look that is so very personal. It’s a mix of antiques, Mid-century and vintage glamour held together with contemporary undertones.

It’s a style that comes about when you’ve got an ‘eye’ for the best, and your taste won’t be pigeon-holed – a subject I’ve been writing about for over 18 years now. For me, buying, selling and writing about items with heritage across all periods, has always been high up the list - I love that everything I’m surrounded by, both at work and at home, has a story to tell. My perfect place is where Modern Art, Mid-century modern, Deco and Edwardian mix with tribal, taxidermy, folk art and apothecary jars, with sumptuous soft leathers and patinated woods – think Sherlock Holmes meets James Bond!

I also really enjoy being part of a community where the passion for buying quality items that will stand the test of time, is thriving – I mean what could be more sustainable than an item that was built to last, and reused over-and-over again? And, if you haven’t cottoned on already, now is the perfect time to buy traditional antiques, especially as the prices are comparable with newly made pieces, and there’s a plus; dark oak, mahogany and textured walnut can really add new depth to a room.

A Victorian chest of drawers is not only a solid storage solution, it adds a luxurious feel, and these pieces can also sit surprisingly well in the same room as say, a 1960s Ladderax shelving system and a 1930s chrome chair!

At home, my bedroom is painted grey and features two Georgian chests of drawers, a brass and iron bedstead, Victorian plant stands, and a 1960s black leather Barcelona footstool. This combination goes really well with black and gold accessories, no matter what the period. I’ve layered objects that have the same accent colour; a mustard and black vintage Welsh blanket, an antique starburst mirror, brass candlesticks converted into bedside lamps, a Modernist metallic wall panel, and 1970s gold satin brocade curtains. You get the picture. Add your most precious belongings, and you’ve created a stylish, sumptuous, eclectic, and above all, individual room. Forget cutting edge – it’s all about cutting your own edge!

Woo Gilchrist