A Colonial Living Room should feel light and spacious.
Dating to the 1600’s, the elegant simplicity of colonial furnishings remains in fashion today. A versatile style that adapts to a range of surroundings from modest to luxurious, colonial style living room suits the sophisticated character of most urban living rooms, but can also be dressed down for rustic rural settings. With a bit of planning and hunting for key pieces, you can create a furnished living room in this signature style that is both pleasing and practical.
How to Furnish Colonial Living Room
Choose wood furniture with clean lines and a hand-carved quality to achieve a colonial look. Though some pieces are curved or have finely carved details, they shouldn’t appear ornate or overly complicated. Tables and seating from the Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton styles are good choices for colonial living rooms. Though traditionally made of pine, maple or birch, other choices, such as mahogany, rattan and teak are also common. Look for pieces that are stained, not painted. Be selective with your furniture arrangements to ensure the room doesn’t feel crowded.
Most of the color in a Colonial Living Room is added through the use of textiles. Look for sofas and chairs upholstered in leather or muted earth tones, such as cream, blue-grey, brown or olive green. Drape a handmade quilt on top for a colorful accent. Treat windows with wood blinds or linens featuring a subtle pattern or ribbon border. Sisal rugs, lace tablecloths, delicate embroidery and decorative pillows in an understated floral pattern are also characteristic colonial furnishings.
Embellish walls with wide, detailed crown molding or dado rails attached around the entire perimeter of the room. Give the space a strong focal point with a still-life painting or mural featuring botanical motifs similar to those from the Arts-and-Crafts style. Antique portraits with dark backgrounds are also characteristic of the colonial style. Consider stringing bunches of dried herbs along a wall and hanging black-and-white family photos using dark matting and weathered wood or gold- or silver- toned frames. Keep wall decor simple to let wooden furniture and accessories stand out.
Accessorize a Colonial Living Room with a few well-chosen pieces with refined and elegant lines and little ornamentation. Antiques and rustic, handmade items such as wood bowls, stoneware pottery, glass vases, tin plates, hand-woven baskets, pewter tea sets and brass candlesticks are good choices. Light the room with cast-iron table and floor lamps, simple chandeliers and wall sconces in muted shades. Focus on simple, symmetrical arrangements to keep the space welcoming and uncluttered.