Robert O’byrne touches on the origins of English style and why this look has continued to be a favorite over the years. “[England] is a nation unaccustomed to social upheaval, a place where change comes slowly and meets a reluctant welcome,” writes O’byrne. Thanks to their preference, we are able to enjoy their style of living.
Though elegant, the idea behind the style is less organized and more inclusive. “The Victorian home was frenziedly cluttered, holding a host of tables and display cabinets, sofas and armchairs, every surface covered with bibelots and gewgaws,” he writes. This eclectic style is central to the Victorian home. “Disparate accumulation leads to the notion all these pieces have been gathered over a long time and thanks to successive generations,” O’byrne writes.
So use what you love. Your pieces don’t have to match one another to work in a space. In English homes, “classical will be placed next to gothic, tartan pattern mingled with floral print, one clashing color lain beside the other.” This puts quality and history over visual balance. “The less the pieces match one another,” he writes, “the more successful the resulting ensemble.”