How to create a Georgian style living room

How to create a Georgian style living room

The team here at Etons of Bath have designed many living rooms and drawing rooms for clients in Georgian homes or hotels in Bath, Bristol and beyond. Here, we give a few tips and some history on how best to design living rooms in Georgian buildings.

The Georgian period style was named after King George I, and has had a considerable impact on almost all other decor styles. What many people fail to realise, is that Georgian style decor was actually a combination of multiple styles, such as rococo (large amounts of scrolls, ribbons, flowers – and a real French vibe). Wealthy young Englishman travelled to Italy to visit some of the country’s most fashionable towns (they had a lot of admiration for the Palladian style). This had a large influence on English architecture, which then went on to influence the decor styles of North America. In this article I will provide you with a number of tips which will help you to create your very own, Georgian style living room.

Let plenty of light in

During the Georgian era, people liked to keep their home warm and realised the importance in letting in as much light as possible. For this reason alone, the fireplace was the main focus in every single home. If you are lucky enough to have a Georgian style home, try to utilise its original design features. Fireplaces tended to be made of white marble or white painted. If you have an old fireplace, a great way to achieve the Georgian look is to paint it in a marble effect finish.

Other items which are representative of the Georgian period are wall lanterns made from brass, wood or glass, fancy candlesticks and rococo-style candelabras.  When you look at the windows on a Georgian style home, you will notice how much emphasis they placed on letting plenty of light in. The Georgians also used mirrors to create the perception that their rooms were larger and reflect any light that was already there.

Opt for regal floors

To create a truly authentic Georgian look, it’s paramount that you don’t forget about your living rooms flooring. It can be waxed wood, inlaid or even parquet. If you opt for waxed wood flooring, compliment it with a large Georgian style rug – neoclassic and oriental designs are both ideal choices. During the Georgian period, people used to lay marble and stone to make to make their rooms look more luxurious. Neutral and light coloured wall to wall carpets were also very popular during Georgian times. If you opt for a patterned carpet, it’s important to make sure that it’s delicate, intricate and in keeping with the overall décor style of your living room.

Choose a well coordinated colour scheme

Colours from the Georgian period were actually very toned down. Walls tended to be painted in subtle shades such as olive, pale blue, greys, off whites and a very specific colour called ‘eau-de-nil’.  Later in the Georgian period, other subtle shades such as muted yellows, reds pins, pinks, indigos and deep blue’s were introduced. Wooden skirting boards and doors were either stained or painted in olive, brown, stone or white.  The secret to creating a Georgian style living room is coordination – It’s very important that your furnishings blend well with your walls.

Integrate your media

The Georgian era was a time when televisions and electrical devices weren’t invented. So it’s hardly a surprise that most modern television sets will look out of place in a Georgian style living room. There is a way around this which will allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds! The first idea is to place your television and any other media in an antique Georgian cabinet; the cabinet must have doors though!

If you don’t want to hide your television away, you could mount it on the wall and place large art pieces either side of it. This will create a nice eclectic mix and lessen the visual impact that your TV has on your living room! If you have a large décor budget, the most technical option would be to hide your TV behind an electrically controlled mirror; this has become very popular in the USA but not so much in the UK.  The image below, from the Dormy House is a humorous yet very creative example of integrating media into a period style property.

the Dormy House Georgian Living room

Choose Georgian furniture and fabrics

Last but not least, bring in some Georgian furniture to complete the look. Choose upholstery that matches your living rooms colour scheme. If you have opted for plain colours on your walls, then maybe some fabrics with Georgian stripes could work well.  Furniture is an area of the living room where you can afford to be a little bit bolder in your colour choices. Incorporate darker blues, oranges and golds, for example.

Furniture shouldn’t be too over the top, but if you do want to add some sophisticated style to your space, a Georgian-style chaise longue is ideal and can really set your room off. If you want to incorporate furniture from other periods, Chesterfield sofas work well with just about any style. Chesterfield leather sofas from Thomas Lloyd are a prime example of furniture that can work well in just about any décor style.

For help with interior design for your Georgian living room, contact Etons of Bath on 01225 639002

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