Many consider the way they design the interior of their homes as an extension of their own style, attitude, and approach to life.
Indeed, nowadays, there is almost a myriad of different interior design philosophies – ranging from the simple and minimalist to the overly ornate and intricate.
One particular interior design that has remained both fresh and innovative throughout the years is the English-style home.
The English home is characterized by several essential criteria and main characteristics – being rooted in deep history, creating a sense of cosiness, and retaining a strong connection to nature.
1. Using Antiques in A Modern Home
The typical picture people first imagine when they hear the word antique is of an imposing item that has stood the test of time and is still as impressive today as the day it was created.
The second one is that antiques are incredibly expensive. However, thanks to specialized antique dealerships, such as Westland London, it is now possible to find that perfect antique piece that will tie the look of an entire room together without having to break the bank.
Of course, going after a statement piece such as a fireplace or a delicate chandelier could still be an expensive purchase that must be approached after careful consideration.
Introducing antiques to your home could be the ideal way to achieve that highly-desired English-style design. Depending on the existing layout of each room and the end result you wish to achieve, you can go for a variety of different antique items.
A classic fireplace in the living room will create a natural focal point for your gatherings and could be an immediate conversation starter for your guests.
An antique harvest or refectory table could anchor your dining room and add a bit of class and sophistication.
The same applies to a 4 poster bed added to the bedroom. The bed will immediately create a more comforting, intimate, and warmer sleeping environment, why also making the room appear visually smaller.
2. Show Your History
For an English-style home, you need to show that you appreciate history in general and your history in particular. Old furnishings or decor left by family members could be restored and easily introduced into the home design.
Alternatively, you can browse through some thrift stores for interesting items or visit a professional antique shop. However, the pieces you choose must be introduced to each room strategically.
The antique or historical items should help connect the whole place together while not feeling overbearing or disrupting the vibe of the room.
Smaller antique items could be an ideal complementary piece and accentuate the desired effect. For example, adding mirrors to a tight space or placing them opposite the room’s windows will visually expand the space and create a sense of light and airiness.
Carefully chosen antique vases, sconces, desk lamps, etc., could be placed alongside more modern pieces and still achieve a coherent look. For this effect, it is best to find a unifying trait, with one of the most commonly used being the items’ color pallet.
Think about and try to pair the colors, textiles, and artwork that you place into the room.
3. Think About The Outside
One element that is always present when it comes to English-style manors is the meticulously curated and maintained garden.
Of course, not everyone can afford a Lord’s estate that comes with rolling hills, a small lake, and a dedicated forest area.
This should not be a problem, though, as there are several easily implemented techniques that will give your garden space that characteristic English feel.
When planning the layout of the garden, rely heavily on geometry. English gardens are structured around geometric shapes, such as ovals, circles, squares, and rectangles.
The idea is to create a sense of order while simultaneously retaining the natural atmosphere. Using a variety of hedges, short walls, and stone paths could help tremendously in creating separate zones or ‘rooms.’
By moving along, guests will experience a sense of discovery when passing through each area.
Pay attention to the materials and flowers you plan to use. In general, the garden should not clash with the home.
Depending on the house, use appropriate stones or bricks for the walls in the garden, add similarly styled columns at strategic places, or think about introducing a small fountain to create visual interest.
The goal is for the home and its garden to have a sense of unity.
Making a proper selection of plants and flowers is equally as important. Ideally, you would like the garden to naturally change with the seasons while also remaining visually interesting.
Some ideas include tulips to signal the first days of spring, while summer flowers, trees with vibrant fall foliage, and several winter berries will retain the sense of excitement through the rest of the year.
Putting some effort into creating dedicated displays of annual flowers could produce a tremendous effect. These types of flowers can usually bloom for several months, something that very few perennials or shrubs are capable of.
However, keep things in moderation as creating too many focal points could be counterproductive and cause dissonance.
4. Achieve Stunning Effects with Wallpapers
Since wallpapers gained popularity during the reign of Queen Victoria, they have become a staple and an integral part of English-style homes. There is an almost endless variety when it comes to wallpapers.
They can have floral patterns, geometrical shapes, vibrant or more subdued color schemes, or imitate the style of a specific historical period. Wallpapers can infuse a room with much-needed color and artistry, creating a space with a specific atmosphere.
Depending on the chosen pattern, each room could be transformed completely, creating dedicated spaces to rejuvenate, relax, or get energized. Starting from the hallway, a more dramatic wallpaper choice could be a great opportunity to create a first impression.
After all, we spend little time in these transitional spaces, so the bold patterns or graphics will not have time to become too overbearing. Another great space for some more experimental patterns is the bathroom.
As one of the smallest rooms in the house, you can afford to use wallpapers with more character and personality as a way to bring visual interest to the interior.
Of course, if you have a more spacious bathroom or simply want a calmer atmosphere, a minimalist or naturally-designed wallpaper could be the way to go.
Don’t limit your imagination. There are no rules stating that just one wallpaper pattern has to be used for the entire room. Using differently styled wallpapers can create separate zones within the same room.
For example, with the widespread adoption of remote work, you can use bright or vibrant patterns to visually distinguish your corner home office from the rest of the living space.
The contrast with the rest of the room will also help get you into a professional mindset whenever you step into your ‘designated’ office.
5. Put Emphasis On Wood
When going for an English-style home, few materials are as predominant as wood. Wooden furniture, wall panels, wooden beams on the ceiling, hardwood flooring, etc., would all help your home feel more connected to nature.
There are numerous types of wood, giving you ample options while also avoiding the risk of everything starting to blend together. The used wooden materials can be light, dark, painted, stencilled, distressed, and more.
Even if you already have laminated flooring installed in the home, it won’t be a problem. According to experts like Hubert Miles, you can give your laminated flooring a more authentic wood-like look and antique feel by hand scraping.
When you touch a hand-scraped floor, you will be able to feel the grains and indentations created in the process, which will mimic the texture of a natural wood floor.
Other ideas include adding a stair runner and brass stair rods to a staircase, opting for traditional window curtains instead of the more modern window treatments such as shades or blinds, and adding antique rugs with actual wear-and-tear under the furniture.
6. Show Quirkiness
One of the reasons that English home design has managed to remain popular and always feel fresh is that it is never afraid to show a bit of its playful side.
Finding the right levels of weirdness to introduce as part of your home decor could be difficult at first, but all worries will disappear after seeing the effect it can have.
With time, it will be far easier to pick the themes and personal interests you would like to show through a couple of peculiar items or striking patterns and textures.
An unexpectedly-patterned wallpaper – one with hummingbirds, large-scale bouquets, bold geometrical designs, or textures with vibrant laser-printed details could add a touch of much-needed levity and playfulness to the room and the home as a whole.
Another way to have some visual flair while also letting your personal interests shine is via smaller DIY projects.
Changing the handles on your wardrobes or kitchen cabinets with more old-fashioned ones or placing some hand-crafted wicker baskets to store fruit, field flowers, or even towels in the bathroom requires little effort for immediate visual impact.
Picking an English-style inferior for your home will ensure that your guests will always find something new and interesting to talk about when visiting.
This particular style manages to layer various eclectic ideas, patterns, color palettes, and focal points while maintaining cohesion within each room.
Equally as important, it allows for each home to have its own character and personality.