You may have noticed the term ‘British Colonial’ as a design movement coming into vogue. So, what exactly is British Colonial style, and how can you adopt the features of this look throughout your interior design? Let’s discuss this iconic, elegant interior styles’ origins, its trademark features and how you can incorporate them into your home.
British Colonial style is a style created by the British explorers of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries, also known as the ‘Age Of Discovery’, where explorers discovered the America’s, the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and East Asia. These pioneering explorers created a unique interior style, with their travel- influenced characteristics including leather trunks, light, fold-able bamboo chairs which they planted between heavy, dark timber furniture. Sketches of local flora and fauna adorned the walls, Plantation-style fans and furniture were abundant and in keeping with the hot and humid local destinations. Styling often included artefacts collected from their travels- Chinese ginger jars, tropical indoor plants, orchids, animal prints and skins, and seashells.
This classic, timeworn look can look a touch antiquated so, how can you bring the look in your modern, contemporary home? The key is by keeping colours fresh (whites over creams and beige’s); balancing heavy, solid furniture with light, ‘leggy’ chairs and pieces; using tropical indoor plants with oversized foliage, to add life and energy to a room; and using subtle texture to add an earthy charm (via natural jutes, raw timbers, marble, seagrass, and sea-shells.
The natural colour palette of blues, greens, whites, leathers and timber is a good foundation for building a British- Colonial inspired room. Textured, sea-grass baskets and inviting, comfortable seating are a must!
Here, a modern interpretation of British Colonial which utilises the white on dark timber palette, a natural conch shell and LOTS of plants and fronds, Jungalow-style. The teal backdrop is modern and allows the white to look fresh and pop against it.
The harmonious rhythm and flow of this living room is beautiful and has several touches of British Colonial influence- the large, tropical indoor plants, the heavy dark wooden coffee table and the rattan rug, the serene white furniture and walls.
This luxurious bedroom employs pure white linen on dark furniture, botanical prints in the soft furnishings and artwork, a gorgeous tropical orchid and plant for styling, giving it overall a fresh and elegant aesthetic.
This stylish, textured console table with ginger jars and foliage hints at British Colonial style without completely immersing itself in the movement.
The blues, greens, large indoor plants, ginger jars, bamboo furniture and high ceilings, white window treatments and white touches make this room both modern, balanced, luxurious, and elegant. The British Colonial style harks back to a gentler time without technology and relaxed seating arrangements were typical of this time.
This picture encapsulates many characteristics of British Colonial design- a Zebra hide, Chinese ginger jars, white walls and soft furnishings, dark timber furniture and blues and greens throughout.
This modern living room is beautifully balanced with earthy, natural finishes giving it touches of the British Colonial trademarks, while keeping contemporary and classic. The rattan ceiling pendant cover, the jute rug and lush plants add texture to this harmonious living space.
If you would like to discuss British Colonial style (or any other design!) and how to incorporate this charming aesthetic in your next renovation, get in touch today!