Colonial style in interior design

Want to somehow update the interiors of your home, but the popular directions in design do not suit you? Pay attention to the colonial style. With it, you can emphasize your wealth, enhance the feeling of comfort and coziness.

The name of the style dates back to the time of the mighty British Empire, when it included more than a quarter of the lands of Asia, Africa and the New World. Of course, the British imposed their language and even culture – certain English features appeared in the interior of the houses.


  1. Characteristic features
  2. Plants
  3. Special architecture
  4. Walls and ceiling
  5. Curtains and textiles
  6. Colonial style furniture
  7. Decor
  8. Prints

Characteristic features

Despite the fact that several centuries have passed, the idea of colonial style remains the same – a reasonable combination of rich luxury, comfort and exoticism. Note! This design is suitable for those whose wealth is above average. High-quality natural materials, decoration and decor are worth a lot.


The most striking hallmark of the colonial style is exotic plants. Around lush and stormy vegetation, everything is green and bright. Naturally, the inhabitants of the eastern territories decorated their homes in the most affordable way – palm trees and ferns.

Note! This is not about one almost withered palm in the corner, which everyone feel compassion to. In the colonial style, greenery, standing in several tubs, pleases the eye of anyone who enters the room.If you do not like or do not know how to care for plants, do not torment yourself and flowers – skip this point. Do not forget that the main goal is to achieve maximum comfort and coziness.

Special architecture

Most often, the owners of two-story houses choose the colonial style. In this case, the designer has a place to roam and show imagination.

Since such house is decorated according to the principles of past years, no plastic and stretch ceilings. Artificial materials are too striking. High-quality wooden windows will warm in winter no worse than plastic ones, and dark wood doors will give an unforgettable feeling of comfort.Advice. It will be nice to make several exits to the garden: from the kitchen, bedroom or hall. A large window to the floor and the phrase “go out the window” will change its tragic meaning.

As facing materials, natural stone and wood are suitable. Just imagine: the facade of the house is lined with masonry, massive wooden window and doorways, natural wood floors, wicker furniture and you. All that is missing is a fireplace and a fluffy rug underfoot. In such a place, everyone will feel the comfort and warmth of their home.

Note! The colonial style uses dark wood: red, wenge and bamboo.

Walls and ceiling

Colonial design uses natural materials: stone, wood, copper, clay and brick.

If you do not want to fool around with wallpapering, you can paint the walls in a light shade. Beige or cream is the best fit – they will give a feeling of air and visually enlarge the room.Love wallpapers? Choose them. Monochrome or with a small bamboo pattern will look great.

Advice! Want something more vibrant? Then look for wallpaper with an exotic pattern. A prerequisite is natural colors. Otherwise, the walls will look weird comparing to the general concept.

You can leave the ceilings even and bright, or you can decorate with fabric or leather. This will give an interior more pretentiousness and grace.

The floor should be darker than the walls and ceiling, but also preferably monophonic. This surface design serves as an ideal backdrop for furniture and decor.

Curtains and other textiles

Initially, all colonial-style houses had wooden shutters. They protected from the scorching sun, strong winds and storms, as the climate in these countries left much to be desired. At night, the windows were usually hung with curtains made of expensive fabrics: velvet, silk or thin linen.

Now there is no need for shutters. Instead, they use bamboo blinds that cope with the task no worse than the old method.In addition to windows, textiles are used for upholstery in armchairs and sofas, bedspreads and decorative pillows.

Advice! Pillows are a great way to add accents to your room. Place several products in one style, and the room will noticeably change.

For a house in colonial style, designers recommend using natural fabrics:

  • silk;
  • linen;
  • fur;
  • cotton;
  • wool;
  • velvet.

You can combine several varieties of textiles in one room. For example, complement curtains of the finest linen with chic velvet bedspreads. It will look richer and more interesting.

Note! Do not overdo the decor. Everything should be in moderation.

Colonial furniture

The beauty of this style is the variety of furniture elements. Among the many models of sofas and cabinets, you will definitely find your dream.

Here are a few placement options:

  1. Living room.

Who doesn’t like to spend an evening on the couch in the living room with family or friends? You can diversify an interior with the help of soft armchairs upholstered in pleasant fabric or leather, placed near an electric fireplace.Carved wooden bookcases, soft poufs, candles and a beautiful landscape above the fireplace will complement the decor. It is recommended to have several decorative cushions on the sofa and chairs.

Several pots with exotic plants, a warm carpet on the floor and a small dark coffee table – the atmosphere of such a living room will delight you every day.

     2. Bedroom.

A huge four-poster bed, a ladies’ table with a mirror in a gilded frame and a chest of drawers – these bedrooms seemed to have descended from the screens of old films. In it, you will definitely feel coziness and comfort.To enliven an interior a bit, use plants and decorative items. Do not overdo it with decor or furniture – the bedroom should have enough space and air.

An abundance of artificial light is not recommended in the room. Want more light? Large windows are ideal for a bright bedroom.

    3. Bedroom.

The most important thing in the kitchen is comfort and functionality. Massive wooden furniture and countertops made of natural stone. A sturdy stone table is surrounded by dark wood chairs with soft velvet upholstery. Such a kitchen is the pride of the whole house.You can also dream up and arrange your furniture the way you want – there are no strict restrictions on this.


What can be used as decor except for plants and textiles? In this, one can show imagination and realize even the most daring solutions.

Designers recommend placing:

  • Oriental porcelain vases and screens;
  • African masks;
  • Animal skins;
  • Massive wooden frames;
  • Old mirrors in aged frames;
  • Books, chess, cards and globes.

A harmonious combination of different decor elements will create a cozy atmosphere in the house, which will always delight its owners.Advice! Lamps in the form of burning candles are an excellent alternative for ordinary bulbs. Such pleasure will cost a bit more, but it will give an amazing light and will fit perfectly into the big picture.

Remember that abuse of decoration will make the room appear much smaller. If you do not want to clutter up the room, use a minimum of decorations.


Colonial style is an amazing combination of restraint and exotic, urban features and wildlife. It was born exactly where animal skins, palm trees are an element of everyday life. This is now manifested in the patterns that designers most often use.

Naturalness, naturalness – ideal for a colonial-style house. For wallpaper, floral motifs are more suitable. Fern leaves or orchids on a calm background will look great in the living room.Animal prints will look better on the decor elements. In this way, the attention will be focused on it, but it does not irritate the eye.

Engravings are a great solution for a kitchen or bedroom. Want something brighter? Choose a pattern with the image of exotic birds.


Colonial style is a great way to richly and tastefully decorate your home. This will require a lot of financial costs, but the result will definitely please you.See modern colonial home tours:
The charm of a colonial mansion in Marrakesh
Colonial villa in San Francisco

About Author:
Anna Pufik is the founder and creative mind at blog. Anna specializes in interior design, together with her husband Sergiy they head the PH Studio design firm. She loves Scandinavian style and sophisticated timeless interiors. Follow Anna on Instagram.
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