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  • Disordered Sophistication | Eclectic Living

Disordered Sophistication | Eclectic Living

IMAGES David Boyle Architects: The Marrickville House II

Be bold, be bright, and dare to be different with eclectic living trends. Discover the liberty and leeway that eclectic living provides. Defy all minimal objectives, allowing that you don’t trip over the thin line between contrast and chaos.

In this day and age maximalist interior design or the art of eclectic living is the ultimate antidote to the minimalist design philosophy that dictates clean lines, simple furnishings and a neutral colour palette, where home essentials are hidden away and just one errant cup or a child’s toy can spoil the whole look.

It’s not easy to create an aesthetic redundancy in interior design, that’s why it’s always safer to go the minimalist way because simple and minimal almost always works. But if you can create an eclectic decor without breaking things, it can add a unique dramatism to any room.

Eclectic living is bold, dramatic and daring as well as warm and welcoming. It’s offer is a feast for the eye, conveying the owner’s personality and most definitely a sense of fun. With an eclectic living style, design rules go out the window, in fact the rule book has most likely been shredded and recycled for a decoupage project.

Nothing brings life to a room, for the indecisive or budgeting type than mixing styles and incorporating a healthy mix of pieces from different eras and inspirations, through the use of antiques, colour, frames galore, and countless stacks of books. The love of playing with colour, pattern, texture and scale is a theme that is key when creating this interior design trend.

Embellish your quirky finds from everywhere and watch them come together in a disorderly, sophisticated vogue.

We visited Sydney, and the stunning Marrickville House II in all its glory. 

This project involves the subdivision of an inner city block in Marrickville into 2 torrens titled properties, and the construction of 2 semi detached houses as contemporary infill development. The houses have different plans to suit the site’s orientation and the clients brief for a new house to live in and a house to rent or sell to subsidise the construction costs. The project acts as a model for small scale urban consolidation at a scale that is sensitive to the existing streetscape housing pattern, built form and neighbourhood amenity.

The floor and ceiling levels have been modulated to create a series of interlocking spaces yielding to the aspect and light to maximise the perception of space. Spaces are carved to provide a backdrop to the owner’s eclectic collection of furniture and artwork culminating in a gallery like living room space opening out to an elevated deck and yard. Skylights and mezzanine bedroom spaces blur the boundaries of the central living area and provide light and ventilation to the compact building footprint.

Passive environmental design principals of orientation, daylight and cross ventilation underpin the design. Bricks salvaged from the existing house have been used to construct the central party wall, and these have been partly painted to provide a layer of texture and pattern to the interior. Recycled timber floors have been used in the living area, marmoleum in the kitchen and coia carpet for the upper level.

Simple, cost effective construction materials add a layer of texture to the design and comply with acoustic building requirements under the airport flight path. The external building form has been carved to include negative spaces including; the entry verandah, covered courtyard and covered rear deck. These spaces are expressed through material or colour variation.



Shop around your local op-shops and antique stores and grab the quirkiest and most eccentric items you can find. Frames are good. Hang them all together on a wall in the home, stack, embrace and have no limits. Pop a book shelf or tall boy in front of the wall, and place plants, candles, jewels, and anything dramatic on it. 


Embrace the mix-match pieces that never had a home. Cushions from different stores and parts of the world make the perfect addition to your eclectic living space. ‘More’ is reflected as ‘better’ in this situation.


There are no limits. Colour and pattern that you never imagined would go together creates a new rulebook. A calm chaos that can never really be defined is what the modern age is about. No normalities mean, that you can do whatever you want whilst presenting your home as the ultimate living haven.

All information is deemed to be true at the time of publication | For more read the article in the latest issue of Renovate Magazine No. 22. 
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    Renovate Magazine