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How to Decorate a Georgian Home: Timeless Elegance and Modern Style

CEO Khai Intela
Named after the reigns of England's first four King Georges from 1714 to 1830, Georgian architecture exudes classic elegance and understated detailing. With its symmetrical designs, proportionate layouts, and timeless charm, decorating a Georgian home...

Named after the reigns of England's first four King Georges from 1714 to 1830, Georgian architecture exudes classic elegance and understated detailing. With its symmetrical designs, proportionate layouts, and timeless charm, decorating a Georgian home requires a delicate balance between preserving its historical character and infusing it with modern style.

Recognizing Georgian Architecture

Georgian homes, often built according to the golden ratio, create a sense of balance and proportion. Plentiful windows, adorned with wrought-iron balconies, allow natural light to flood the interiors. While some windows may have been bricked in over time, the subtle grandeur of these homes remains.

Georgian living room Image: Nicola Harding

Renowned architects like Sir John Soane and John Nash elevated Georgian architecture with their considered and pared-back designs. Cornices, architraves, and skirting can be restored and replaced using modern technology like 3D moulding, bringing these historical elements back to life.

Updates for Modern Living

Georgian homes have an intuitive layout that lends itself to modern updates. The symmetrical design, often with a central staircase, makes them a joy to work with. Preserving and enhancing period features such as coving, fireplaces, and original tiling helps to maintain the unique character of these homes.

Georgian kitchen Image: VSP Interiors

When renovating a Georgian home, careful consideration is needed for dormer windows, pitched ceilings, and ceiling heights. Extending outwards is usually a better option, and orangery-inspired extensions can seamlessly blend with the original style. Kitchens and bathrooms are often prime areas for reconfiguration, with the goal of creating functional and spacious areas.

Decorating a Georgian Home

The refined architecture of Georgian homes calls for simple and unfussy interior design schemes that let the original detailing shine. Start by examining the features and consider how they can be championed or incorporated into your design. Antique furnishings, contemporary furniture, and natural textiles can create a modern twist while respecting the historical context.

Georgian living room Image: Sims Hilditch

Symmetry is a key characteristic of Georgian architecture, and furniture layout and decorative elements can be used to echo this symmetry. Selecting the appropriate color palette for the space is crucial, with pastels and rich, bold colors offering different effects. An element of decorative restraint, akin to the Georgians' approach, keeps the interiors elegant and clutter-free.

Georgian dining room Image: VSP Interiors

Mixing old and new elements can breathe new life into a Georgian home. By retaining original features and introducing contemporary touches, you can create a layered and welcoming space. Consider what to keep and make changes that honor the house's history, while allowing it to evolve for the future.

Georgian bedroom Image: Sims Hilditch. Photography: Brent Darby

Choosing colors that maximize natural light and using plain, striped, or checked fabrics can contemporize Georgian architecture. Unfussy fixtures, burnished metals, pops of color, and relaxed textiles add a touch of modernity while preserving the timeless elegance of these buildings.

Georgian homes offer a unique canvas for creating a harmonious blend of historical charm and modern style. By understanding their architectural merits and paying attention to the details, you can transform your Georgian home into a sanctuary of elegance and comfort.

Words by Emma J Page, feature originally published in September 2022 UK issue.

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