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The maximalist: how to make eclectic work

The maximalist: how to make eclectic work

Bohemian maximalist, Ruth Matthews is queen of the eclectic. And it’s no surprise, as the mind behind interiors blog, Design Soda. Drawing together decadent elements (hello, cocktail room) with calming Scandi touches, her Victorian home in Wallington is a visual treat. From carefully selected, colourful textiles to vintage design details, including her ten-year-old Chesterfield sofa - Ruth’s home is truly one-of-a-kind.

A cocktail room with green, velvet Margot chair and a brass drinks cart

Colour lover

The colour palette in Ruth’s home is full of cooler tones including splashes of green, blue, grey and white. “I like to use colour but not in a statement-y way, I couldn’t have a home without colour but I also couldn’t live in one that shouted its hues at me.” On the flipside, she’s not hesitant to make bold choices. “I'm not afraid of going dark with my colour schemes and think they help to create a rich cocooning backdrop in the right setting.”

A space for relaxing

“I love that our home is full of design that we love and treasures we've collected over the years. But above all I think our home is a happy and relaxed space. We are a pretty hectic family so a museum piece home could never be kept up around here.”

Reading room with dark walls and feature wall with large brass mirror

Jumping the gun

“Don't let impatience to transform a space lead you to rush to the end with furnishings. My favourite spaces in our home have all taken time to source and have evolved over the years.”

Cubus towels hanging in bathroom next to sink with brass mirror and wooden unit

Vintage meets modern

"Having been a bit seduced by American images on Pinterest, I knew that I wanted brass in the bathroom. I love its warmth and the effect of patina with age is also really pleasing with brass."

Bathroom with encaustic tiles and brass shower fixture and dark painted walls.

Cocoon over clinical

"I wanted to have dark walls in the bathroom as I like a cocooning feel in a wash space over a clinical one. The shade we chose, Hague Blue, is a really infinite colour and makes a play of depth within such a tight space."

Pastel blue living room featuring pallet coffee table and sofas with MADE Axle printed cushions

Reclaimed vintage

Ruth's space is full of unexpected vintage treasures. Her coffee table was once such lucky find. "The pallet itself was hanging around destined for the dustbin at work. So all we spent on it was a set of wheels and some stained wax. We’ve now had it for 5 years so it's become a pretty treasured item (especially for putting feet up on between the sofas after a long day!")

Gallery of pictures around round mirror hanging in the living room over the sofa with Axle printed cushions

Setting the scene

“I see myself as a bohemian maximalist with an eclectic taste. In my home I mainly use a mix of vintage and modern with natural history elements and a nod to the calm use of colour to create mood. It's also a pretty relaxed space, being a family home.”

MADE Frosini lamp fixed in the kitchen over the chimney breast

Style solution

One of the first MADE.COM products that Ruth bought was the Frosini lamp for her kitchen. “I felt that the chimney breast where our oven is housed was lacking a feature - a task light was the perfect style solution. This was the best one I found on the market, and at a really great price too.”

Corner of the kitchen featuring wooden table and wall art

Gallery wall in the hallway

Bedroom with feature fireplace, double bed with grey Brisa duvet and Sketch cushions in grey and yellow
Elisa marble candle holder on dressing table with vase and round hanging wall mirror

Statement ‘stick

“I love my candlestick holders from MADE. Our marble and brass triple candle holder lives in the bedroom but we bring it out in the cocktail room when we have guests round in the evening to add a celebratory feel to the atmosphere of getting together.”

Bookcase, library wall in room painted dark blue

Future heirlooms

“It may sound counterintuitive but my greatest indulgence is usually textile related. I see these pieces as true heirlooms and I'm happy to splurge on really special patterns that I know I will keep for years.”

Children's bedroom featuring hanging mobiles and soft toys in soft grey and blue

Out of sight. Out of mind

“We have baskets in pretty much every room. They’re great for adapting to changing storage needs of a small family - what once housed changing items now contain latest favourite toys. There’s something very teenage but satisfying about being able to pile things away in baskets at the end of the day - out of sight and mind!”

Children's bedroom featuring hanging mobiles and soft toys in soft grey and blue. Single bed with MADE Iso mono bedspread

Children's bedroom featuring hanging mobiles and soft toys in soft grey and blue

Corner of the bedroom featuring fireplace, chest of drawers and reading chair with the Cubus cushion

Inspiration in the everyday

"For inspiration, I love to visit cafes and see how elements of their design - the surfaces, colours and textures - can be incorporated into a home; even seeing what people are wearing on the tube, and how they've paired colours and shapes together can lead me to think about my own home design.”

Portrait of fenced garden with plants growing up the white fence.

Portrait of fenced garden with plants growing up the white fence.

Landscape of fenced garden with plants growing up the white fence.

Article written by: Helena Murphy
Imagery by: Anna Batchelor

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