The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - THE DECORATOR - anna cald­well

Quirk. It’s hard to do, but get it right and you’ve got your­self one fab­u­lous room. Quirk is the un­ex­pected, the con­fus­ing, the doesn’t-quite-be­long el­e­ment that sets a room apart from some­thing you’d see in a cat­a­logue. It takes the for­mula out of the per­fect room. You can do quirk with just one sur­prise piece, or a col­lec­tion. Maybe some­thing gath­ered on an over­seas adventure, a piece of fur­ni­ture handed down from loved an­ces­tors, or a paint­ing done by a child.

This room ( right), styled by Aus­tralian in­te­rior stylists Fen­ton & Fen­ton, takes the col­lected ap­proach to quirk. The African-in­spired art, the bright blue rhino and the stuffed mag­pie are a world away from the cool blues and warm tim­ber that an­chor the decor.

You might take a more se­date ap­proach with a sin­gle un­ex­pected piece. Try the punk el­e­ment of a painted skull on a cof­fee ta­ble. Sim­i­larly, a tat­tered old book adds depth to a stark mod­ern bed­side ta­ble, or an an­i­mal hide rug in a pas­tel room in­jects a sur­prise mas­cu­line vibe.

The trick is to add quirk with some­thing you love, some­thing that ref­er­ences your own life. It makes for a far bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion when some­one in­evitably asks you about that weird but fab­u­lous piece that doesn’t quite be­long.

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