Colonial Home Décor

Colonial décor can be described as simple, practical, and homey. Although it has some rustic elements, it’s more formal than rustic style, but much cleaner and less fussy than formal styles like Victorian décor. Natural colors and materials provide the aforementioned rustic elements, but these materials are finished to provide a cleaner look.

Or, if you prefer, go for a more formal Colonial style, which uses deeper colors on the walls and heavier fabrics in window treatments to create a slightly more formal look without the fussiness of Victorian décor.

Simple patterns add some interest, but the goal is to keep rooms simple in appearance. Most Colonial homes had small rooms with little natural light, so light colors and streamlined designs helped to keep rooms from feeling cramped and claustrophobic.

A variety of colors are used in dull or muted hues: think olive green, brick red, and putty rather than forest or garnet.

Colonial Décor Walls and Floors

  • Wood flooring is one of the most common choices
  • Floral rugs in muted colors can introduce warmth to floors
  • Sisal rugs were also common to help keep dust and dirt off the floors
  • Walls may be whitewashed or painted
  • Borders are very common, using either wallpaper or stencils in fruit (particularly pineapples), flower, or plaid patterns
  • Chair rails, simple molding, and wainscoting are some common architectural details to integrate into your design
  • Trim and exposed beams may be stained or painted to best match your décor

Colonial Décor Furnishings

  • Common materials:
    • Wood
    • Leather
    • Iron
  • Wood furniture in Chippendale, Sheraton, and Hepplewhite styles are good choices for homes decorated in Colonial style
  • Slat back chairs with turned legs were particularly common in Colonial homes
  • Make them a little more comfortable with a cushion in a cheery pattern
  • Place the chairs at a small corner pedestal table with a lace tablecloth to create an attractive nook for reading or conversation
  • Try hiding modern equipment like the television in a traditional furniture piece that can be closed when not in use
  • Most furnishings are stained rather than painted, and color is added through the use of textiles

Colonial Décor Accessories

  • Wall decoration ideas:
    • String some dried herbs along a wall
    • Hang black and white family photos in simple frames: wood, silver, and gold are all good choices
    • Frame some antique wallpaper or fabric swatches in floral or fruit prints
    • Display some pieces of fine china along a wall
    • Try a still life painting
  • Table and counter decoration ideas:
    • Line a counter or mantle with a collection of tin plates
    • Display a row of painted or glazed stoneware
    • Create a symmetrical line of vases with a large hand-painted piece occupying the middle spot
    • Display a unique hand woven basket
    • Pot a fern in an attractive, hand painted vessel
  • Lighting ideas:
    • Table lamps with stained glass shades add color without overwhelming the room
    • Simple sconces with ceramic covers serve as decoration and light sources
    • A simple chandelier offers light without eclipsing the restrained furnishings

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