The Incredibly Attractive British Colonial-Style, Say Thanks to the English Colonists

In the 17th century, strong European states began to expand their territory. The settling of new lands by the people became the reason for the mixing of cultures: the colonists built their houses in the same way as their ancestors did, but over time, their interiors were enriched with the traditions of the local population. The largest number of immigrants stayed in the New World, less often Europeans chose tropical islands and other exotic corners for permanent life. The home of the pioneer colonists were simple and reliable houses filled with typical for today’s British colonial decor.

Natural Materials

British colonial decorating style in the interior is made of natural materials: solid wood board or masonry, tiles or laminate are out of the question. The walls are painted in light shades, instead of paint, you can use plain wallpaper with frequent and small relief, imitating bamboo shavings.

Colonial ceilings are an interesting question: they can be smooth white, traditionally decorated with wooden beams, but also the surface of the ceilings can be decorated with interior fabrics, canvas, or leather, which creates a stunningly picturesque effect.

In truly colonial houses, all the main surfaces (walls, floors, ceilings) have always been decorated in light neutral shades: cream, white, ivory or ivory, sand. This was done, first of all, so that the British colonial interiors, despite the hot climate, felt cooler, and the variegated palette of colors and dark furniture frames looked like a spectacular contrast.

Architectural Elements

colonial style decor

In colonial-style interiors, windows and doors are always large and wooden. The house should have exits to the garden or courtyard directly from the living room, kitchen or bedroom, so windows often function as doors, so a floor-to-ceiling construction is installed.

Exotic Vegetation

It is quite natural that from the surroundings of the exteriors of colonial houses, lush vegetation in the form of palms, vines, or ferns seeped into the interior. Therefore, without the use of living tropical trees and plants in tubs, it is impossible to arrange a believable interior in the colonial-style.


colonial style decorating

Colonial interior decorating does not limit you to the choice of certain models of chairs and wardrobes. On the contrary, its charm lies in the variety of objects that fill the room. We will only divide this point, suggesting options for combinations of objects in the setting of different rooms:

In the living room, you can use British colonial decor and diversify the sofa area with chairs of different shapes and types, for example, near the classic one with a massive frame, put an openwork wicker chair with colorful pillows. The furnishings will be complemented by carved wooden cabinets, vintage consoles, leather poufs, or chairs with legs in the form of animal paws.

The bedroom will definitely be decorated with a large bed with vertical carved supports under a canopy, and at the foot instead of a banquet put wicker or wooden chest with copper hinges. It is worth hanging a mirror in a gilded frame on the wall and placing a heavy mahogany chest of drawers near the wall.

In British colonial-style furniture and decor were precise of dark woods that were used for the production of furniture, since the raw materials were mined in the local jungle, in which, as you know, such valuable species as wenge, mahogany, as well as rattan and bamboo grow.

Colonial-style decorating ideas of cuisine are quite an interesting and distinctive phenomenon. A practical stone floor, carved wooden facades of kitchen furniture, a massive table, and chairs with high backs are required here. In addition, the furnishings can be complemented with African stools, a Chinese tea table, or bamboo chairs in the Chippendale style.

Window Decoration and Textiles

Among British colonial decorating ideas, in hot countries, there is a peculiarity of the climate not only due to the increased temperature, but frequent storms, storms, followed by a sudden calm and a scorching sun. That is why in the colonial houses it was decided to protect the windows with strong wooden shutters inside the building. But, in addition to them, they also used rich textiles: silk, velvet curtains or curtains made of the finest linen.

Now the need for shutters, which have become the hallmark of the style, has disappeared, but instead, they use bamboo blinds and Roman blinds, which no worse protect from the bright rays of the midday sun.

Among other textile colonial-style decors, a variety of materials are used for upholstery, bedspreads, and decorative pillows: velvet, wool, silk, cotton, linen, leather, and fur.

Exotics in Decor Items

Along with the textile decoration, the colonial decor furnishings represent a single composition of the interior in the colonial-style, where you can fully express your imagination, taste, and addiction to travel.

So, feel free to use colonial decorating ideas:

  • Chinese screens, and porcelain.
  • African masks and poufs covered in leather.
  • Lay carpets made of wool, animal skins, sisal paths, as colonial decor.
  • Decorate the walls with paintings in carved frames, mirrors in copper frames.
  • Use sconces in the form of oriental lanterns with perforation.
  • Decorate the room with globes, maps, telescopes, chess, figurines, and books.
  • Arrange palm trees in wooden pots in the room.


colonial decorating

One can guess that at the time of the formation of the colonial-style of the interior, no one even knew about the existence of electricity, therefore, the houses of wealthy planters were lit by hundreds of lighted candles. In the modern world, in colonial decorating, they are used as a decorative addition and nothing more, but for the colonial style, the image of burning candles and light rooms is also important.

In this regard, we recommend in colonial style decorating that when choosing lighting devices, pay attention to the stylization of lamps, including chandeliers. The pouring light should be bright, but warm, pleasant, coming from a chandelier with a forged frame in several tiers. Additional artificial light devices are required - these are table lamps and floor lamps with classic lampshades, suspensions with glass or metal shades with perforation, as well as wall sconces in the form of candles or lanterns.


The colonial-style decor was born where the proximity to wild untouched nature was very natural, therefore, various plant and animal motifs manifested themselves in the interior appearance of houses, primarily in textiles, furniture upholstery, and wall paintings.

To focus on the colonial-style interiors of your home, you need to draw the following patterns into the British colonial style decorating ideas of the rooms:

  1. Deciduous motives: palm, fern, arrowroot.
  2. The color of animal skins: tiger, zebra, leopard, ox, pony.
  3. Exotic flowers: orchids, anthurium, hibiscus.
  4. Birds and Feathers: Parrots, Canaries, Peacocks, and Pheasants.
  5. Engravings (black and white graphic images).
  6. Such picturesque drawings simply need to be used on carpets, screens, porcelain vases, paintings, decorative cushions.
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