Eccentric English interiors: how to get the Saltburn look

Eccentric English interiors aesthetic

Ever daydreamed about living in an English country manor? Think high-to-the-sky interiors painted in heritage colours, traditional wood furniture, an eclectic mix of prints, and oversized lighting. The dream, right?

I, like many others, watched the film Saltburn, and fell in love with the superb interiors. Filmed at Drayton House, a Grade I-listed country house in Northamptonshire, England, the interiors were fully decked out in classic English interiors but with a maximalist twist.

So, if you’ve been thinking about going big with your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom renovation, here is how you can embrace this eccentric aesthetic…

dining room in grand interiors with statement table and black chairs
Karndean Heritage Mayfair luxury vinyl, £189 per sq m, The Floor Room.

“With maximalism, anything goes, and the key to this trend is to embrace bold patterns, colours and textures whilst allowing traditional architectural details and antique furniture to shine,” says Carly Greening, creative product manager at The Floor Room.

Jen Nash, Magnet’s head of design, agrees: “Achieving a classic English interior with a maximalist twist is all about combining larger-than-life designs, bold colours and interesting textures with more traditional kitchen styles. From huge vases to vintage picture frames and extravagant mirrors, when it comes to maximalist styling, the brighter, bolder and bigger, the better!”

Let’s dive into the specifics of bringing the eccentric English style into your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom…

maximalist living room with striped sofa, patterned wallpaper, wall panelling and printed cushions
Gallus medium tassel velvet cushion in Noir, £195, House of Hackney.
eccentric english living room with lots of cushions and table lamps
Penny Morrison cushions, from £207.90, The Roost.
eccentric english living room with wall art, colourful cushions and marble table
Collage Juxtaposition rug with Cotton Dun border, £179 per sq m, Crucial Trading.

Get the look

The eccentric English kitchen

How do you get the eccentric English look in a kitchen, I hear you ask? Lois Riley, designer at Mowlem & Co, explains that individuality is key in creating the true eccentric English kitchen. Your designer should get to know you, your property and your style to bring your true vision to life.

“That means careful consideration of colour combinations, materials and distinctive details such as handles, edges etc, but also choosing to create one or two stand-out features that really make a statement,” says Lois. “For example, a freestanding pantry or a marble-topped table style island or other designs that reference classic English looks, perhaps inspired by an heirloom item you might cherish, or a favourite artwork.”

larder in shaker kitchen pained in burgundy with blue interiors
Liberty kitchen. Mowlem & Co kitchens cost from £40,000. 

For the cabinetry, classic styles, such as Shaker, are ideal. And, don’t shy away from using daring paint colours – for both the interior and exterior of your units – and quirky wallcoverings. “Adding bold colours or statement patterned wallpaper can be a great way to add maximalism into your kitchen,” advises Jen.

Complete your eccentric English interior with irregular tiles, brass handles, traditional taps and sophisticated antique lights. And, if you have open shelves, decorate using artwork with aged frames, organic vases, and patterned table lamps.

classic English kitchen with wallpaper and zellige tiles on the walls, copper cooker hood and classic range cooker
Classic English kitchen by Devol, prices start from £30,000. Plantasia wallpaper in Sage by House of Hackney on the walls, and range cooker by Officine Gullo.

In the bedroom

In the bedroom, you can recreate this maximalist aesthetic with the help of four poster beds, statement headboards, chunky armchairs, traditional furniture, and layered textiles. “The key to achieving this look is to mix together old and new, and to not to be afraid to layer a variety of different prints, to achieve an eclectic look that is packed with personality,” advises John Rastall, head of home at Dfs.

Saffron Hare, managing director at British fabric brand James Hare, agrees: “Using patterns in varying scales throughout a scheme creates an interesting interior and is far removed from the idea that everything has to match. It’s fun to play with scale and I would always say be bold with both pattern and colour.”

For the colour palette, Bailey Oates, colour expert at Earthborn, recommends starting with a neutral paint shade as the backdrop and building your scheme by layering textures and colourful decorations. “Alternatively, opt for richer, heritage shades for your walls that are timeless, such as olive greens and soft pinks, as this will introduce the traditional and rustic English countryside feel to spaces,” says Bailey.

green bedroom with panelling, patterned bed, cushions, throws, wood beside tables and double yellow lamps
Joules Thornton king size bed frame in Festival Floral, £1,249, Dfs.

“When it comes to styling your bedroom, if you prefer a maximalist look then go for a patterned bed frame with a statement headboard, as it’s always going to be the most dominant piece of furniture in the space,” adds John. For the full effect, rest your bed against traditional-style wall panelling or maximalist wallpaper.

Add country charm to your scheme with patterned rugs, ruffled cushions and tactile throws, and use bobbin bedside tables and oversized table lamps to create symmetry.

Eccentric English bathrooms

Lastly, in the bathroom, Lisa Cooper, head of product at Thomas Sanderson says an eccentric English bathroom is all about finding the right balance between traditional features and quirky elements. So, how do you get the look?

Phil Etherden, managing director at The Albion Bath Co, explains: “To create an eccentric English interior in a bathroom it is crucial to select the right sanitaryware that exudes vintage charm. Consider opting for a traditional pedestal sink or a high-level cistern toilet to evoke nostalgia and incorporate a roll-top bath with ornate taps to instantly add grandeur and serve as a captivating focal point.”

We also recommend traditional radiators – perfect for keeping warm and your towels toasty.

colourful bathroom design with roll top bath, yellow tiles, blue windows and patterned wallpaper
Swale bath with a painted exterior, £6,804; Mull floorstanding bath and shower mixer, £2,868, and 3-bar heated towel rail, £2,946, Drummonds. Interior design: Emil Eve Architects.
Eccentric English bathroom design with white window shutters
Eccentric English bathroom design featuring window shutters from Thomas Sanderson.

Once you’ve sourced the right sanitaryware pieces, it’s time to have fun decorating. “Wallpaper featuring whimsical prints or rich, deep colours can inject personality, while vintage-style lighting fixtures and mirrors complete the look, creating a bathroom retreat that’s both eccentric and enchanting,” adds Phil.

Romantic floral soft furnishings, from grand curtains to chairs upholstered in ruffled fabrics, help add to the luxury country look. And why not show your walls some love by hanging your favourite artwork or family portraits?

maximalist bathroom with patterned wallpaper on the walls and ceiling
Bathroom goals – we love renovator Roisin Quinn (@roisinquinn)’s traditional bathroom with a twist.
eccentric English bedroom with patterned wallpaper, freestanding bath and classic furniture
Tubby tub, from £2,025, The Albion Bath Company.

Now, are you ready to live the extravagant English manor lifestyle?

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