When doing up a room in your home, channeling a particular period in history can be a great way to give a room a cohesive sense of style and elegance. It’s all very well liking traditional furnishings, but if inspiration is drawn from various styles throughout the last few hundred years, the room may end up looking like an antique showroom with a little bit of everything.
One period of history which has proved extremely popular with interior designers and homeowners is the Regency era that fell in the latter part of the Georgian period, when the Prince of Wales – son of King George III – ruled as proxy Regent. The Georgian period itself covered the majority of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th.
Design styles and trends
As entertaining became a popular pastime, people became increasingly interested in interior design, fashions and trends. Even across the century itself, these trends developed and progressed, as colours and decoration became lighter as the years moved into the Regency era – in what some might call a refinement of style.
In terms of the framework of rooms, moulding on ceilings was popular and there are companies nowadays which specialise in either making replicas or restoring original features, should you be lucky enough to already have some in your home.
Items of furniture
Furniture tended to be rather delicate. All those wanting to channel Regency period chic in their homes should look at investing in furniture by Chippendale or Hepplewhite. However, original pieces can be extremely expensive and if you are wanting to restyle an entire room, you may not have hundreds – even thousands – to spend on just a couple of pieces of furniture. This is why pieces of reproduction mahogany furniture – such as these examples – are so perfect for period renovations, as they facilitate interior design overhauls without the crippling price tag.
Not quite an item of furniture, but the fireplace would often be a centrepiece of any Regency living room, with a basket grate and cast iron features.
Colours, paints and wallpaper
Space and light were important during this period, meaning that homeowners should bear this in mind when choosing fabrics, wallpapers, paints and finishing touches for their room. Generally, Regency trends were tending to move away from some of the more garish ones of earlier Georgian taste, like burgundy and sage green features, which had indeed been popular. By the Regency, people were experimenting more with block colours – sometimes with simple geometric shapes and stripes over the top – such as pastels, cream, duck egg blue and greys.
In terms of the floor, bare wood was very common, with ornate oriental rugs thrown over the top, as the East held a fairly strong influence over Georgian period tastes. Some of the more opulent households may have had stone or marble floors, should this be more to your taste.
One particular feature was panelling on the walls; however, this tended to only reach dado height (around waist height, traditionally to protect walls from the back of chairs). Above this, walls would be papered or painted accordingly.
In terms of the wall itself, trefoil prints were extremely popular during the Georgian era should you wish to opt for a pattern, as opposed to a uniform colour. Although be careful – the tessellation should be light and simple. People may also like to consider rococo prints, which were also popular at the start of the 19th century.
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