9 Ways to Bring Home a Little British Colonial Style
During its peak, the British Empire was 100 times the size of Great Britain. The tribe surrounded parts of Africa, India, Asia, the South Pacific and North America, exposing colonists to a wide selection of design influences. Elements from these international stays ultimately worked their way into what we now know as British Colonial style.
This fashion made a dramatic impression with neutral environment and dark furnishings, responding mostly to local motifs and ponds to combine traditional British furniture with this of the new empire. These interiors had inviting textures, elegantly painted wood furniture and light and airy atmospheres, creating comfortably sophisticated spaces with a little formality.
The well-traveled appearance stays popular in today’s homes. Here are nine ways to add a little bit of British Colonial design to your house.
Lexington Home Brands
1. Campaign furniture. Motivated from the love of exotic traveling, most British Colonial furnishings were specifically designed to collapse into manageable, travel-ready pieces called effort furniture. Folding mahogany chairs, writing tables, collapsible beds and spirits cabinets were only a few items that could easily be stowed away in a steamer trunk, ready to ship off to the next site.
Get this appearance: Today’s reproduction effort furniture imitates the collapsible forms of the past (although frequently with no function). Choose pieces with classic criss-cross thighs in blank lines and dark woods, such as the desk in this image.
Thrifted items — such as old trunks or suitcases — may emulate this well-traveled feel, also.
Charmean Neithart Interiors
2. Lightweight and eclectic fabrics. Collectors who helped create this design traveled all around the world, bringing back genuine textiles from Asia, India, Africa and the Caribbean. Botanical prints, paisleys, ikats and animal prints in lighter weight cottons and linens were in significant demand.
Get this appearance: Mix and match throw cushions for an eclectic, world traveled seem. Hang flowing cotton or linen treatments on bed and windows frames to get soft, filtered light. You may even suspend lightweight fabrics from the ceiling for a bit of love.
3. Tropical inspired furnishings. During this time, the solid and formal designs of the Victorian age were finally adapted to adapt more tropical locales. Carved pineapples, lattice work and turned components were carved into woods and used with bamboo, rattan and leather accents. The pieces took their inspiration in the tropics but retained parts of British formality with dark woods and turned parts.
Get this appearance: Classic cane seats are an easily accessible furniture piece that is able to help you get the British Colonial appearance in your house. Try using a seat or two as an accent in a modern room, or immerse yourself in this fashion by fitting a seat with side, sofa and coffee tables.
Cooper Johnson Smith Architects and Town Planners
4. Natural texture. Texture is king (or queen) with British Colonial design. Caning, rattan, reed and sisal were frequently used to add an interesting contrast against traditional darker furniture.
Get this appearance: Woven window colors, rugs and backgrounds can all help add depth, texture and interest to your space. Look for organic fibers, such as rattan, jute or sisal. If redoing an whole room feels intimidating, then begin with papering a focal wall or a framed panel to put behind a vignette.
Wendi Young Design
5. Airy and light colours. Neutral and light colors adorned the walls of a traditional British Colonial interior. These airy hues helped colonial house-dwellers psychologically combat the overwhelming tropical heat.
Get this appearance: Concentrate on subtle colors inspired by the tropics. Pale greens, blues, tans, creams and whites will contrast beautifully against darker furnishings.
Lexington Home Brands
6. Traditional shutters. Window shutters helped restrain breezes, closed out storms, and deal with the tropical heat in British Colonial homes. Made from local woods, the walls were painted or left in their natural timber finish.
Get this appearance: Most window companies provide shutters in wood and vinyl choices which can be ordered as a stock product or customized. Opt for a less costly material and help save money on your project.
Certain installation options could possibly keep costs down. Stock shutters installed over the top of window frames instead of an inset mount are usually more affordable. Rather not mess with your windows? A few store-bought shutters strategically placed behind the sofa or as a headboard may appear beautiful.
Kelley & Company Home
7. Ceiling fans. Fans were an important approach to circulate cool air into the house, finally becoming a key British Colonial house accessory. Their wood, woven and brass components made a dramatic statement against large, white ceilings.
Get this appearance: Using woven ceiling fans is a bit less anticipated than the more traditional wooden appearance. If you are not ready to spend the money on a brand new ceiling fan, some woven hand-held enthusiasts can make beautiful accents in any room of the home.
Charmean Neithart Interiors
8. Eclectic accessories. The globe-trotting Brits who helped create this design style accumulated a wealth of eclectic accessories they loved to put on display. Fine china, crystal and silver sat on shelves combined with carved pieces, globes, maps, telescopes, letter-writing boxes and tortoise patterned glass.
Get this appearance: Vignettes of books topped with candles, magnifying glasses and other accessories can help your house look like a collection of excursions and experiences. Reach on the local flea market or your own favorite thrift store and hunt for maps, globes and telescopes for this old-world travel-inspired appearance.
Period Homes, Inc..
9. Flora and fauna. The Brits were fascinated with all the local flora and fauna in their new environment, and often brought them in to their houses.Potted plants, ferns and palms inserted the incredible play of the tropics to these elegant homes.
Get this appearance: Have a visit to the regional nursery or home improvement store and purchase some dramatic palms or ferns to get a few rooms in your residence. Do your research first, and find a houseplant that’ll fit your house and lifestyle best. You’d be surprised just how much a few well-placed palms can add to a British Colonial inside.