Georgian Interior Design - Traditional or Modern Elegance

Published: 20th July 2008
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Whether you have a Georgian period home, or just want a relaxed and elegant feel in your more modern home, a Georgian interior design style is bound to be top of your list.

Georgian design concentrates on simplicity, beauty and proportion. This makes it an excellent choice for any traditional or modern home.

The Georgian interior design style is named after the decorating style in vogue during the reigns of George I through to George IV in England. This covers a time period from 1714 to 1837.

Of course there were many minor changes of style and design through this lengthy period of time. The Georgian style gradually became more decorative throughout the period. So do consider this if your home dates from either end of the time spectrum, or if you need to be historically accurate, for any reason.

You will see strong influences of other periods and design styles in the Georgian interior design style. The main influences on Georgian design styles were: neo-classical (classical Greek and Roman art and architecture), Oriental design, French aristocratic style, Rococo and Gothic Revival.

Georgian interior design relies quite heavily on its distinctive architectural style. The architecture is very decorative, so add plaster mouldings, ceiling roses and rails and friezes.

The Georgian wall was comprised of 3 sections:

The lower part: This was often wood panelled and ended with a dado rail/chair rail at 75cm height (2'6'')

The centre part: This was most of the wall, and was where wallpaper or decorative fabrics were hung

The upper part: The upper part of the wall comprised a picture rail, cornice and frieze.

Typical Georgian decorative mouldings are egg and dart, acanthus leaves, shells, scrolls, mythological subjects and beasts from fantasy.

Georgian wall colors were quite toned down and muted. Using heritage ranges of paint is an excellent way of making sure you get the right tones and colors.

Wood work was usually painted in white, or chocolate brown or olive green.

Georgian rooms were quite dark, but it was usual to find quite a few little touches of gold and gilt to brighten the feel a bit.

For wallpapers and fabrics choose beautiful patterns. Typical designs are stripes, urns, columns, oriental designs and 'Toile de Jouy'.

Georgian rooms were kept very simple and uncluttered. So keep furniture pared down to a minimum. The furniture itself was dainty in style, in dark woods, and with scrolled arms and 'ball and claw' feet. All very refined and elegant.

Genuine Georgian accessories are very important to help you get an authentic look. Luckily they are still quite plentiful in antique and flea markets and even eBay.

A great finishing touch is to include a typical black silhouette cut-out photo. This could be a great craft project for the family to enjoy!

Click here for more details on Georgian interior design, including photos and Georgian accessories.

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