Georgian interior design dates from 1714 to 1837. It is one of the most popular and enduring styles being simple and elegant, uncluttered and well proportioned. It fits well into modern households and Georgian influences add a touch of elegance to any home. The Georgian age was a very long period from King George I to King George IV. The style did evolve quite considerably over this time becoming more fancy and decorative. This article is a taster of essential Georgian elements you may wish to try in your own home.
Georgian style is also known as Neo Classical and the very early period is known as “Queen Anne”. The Georgian interior was strongly influenced by classical Greek and Roman art and architecture, French Aristocratic Style, Rococo, Gothic Revival, and Oriental.
Walls in Georgian homes were divided into three sections. The bottom section was from the floor to a dado rail about 75cm from the floor, the central section was the main part where wallpaper and art was hung and the upper section varied in height but had a frieze, picture rail and cornice. Georgian interior design relies on lots of highly decorative, architectural detail. Adding plaster mouldings and a ceiling rose to a room is an easy way to achieve a Georgian feature in your own home.
Moulding decorations were extravagant and ornate featuring fantastic beasts and birds, mythological and classical subjects, lion’s heads and scrolls. One of the most common patterns was Acanthus leaves.
Fireplaces were obviously important for heating but also as a focal point in the room. These were white marble or white painted wood. The marble effect can be achieved by using a faux marble paint effect if you paint your own fireplace.
Georgian period colours are toned down and muted and many paint manufacturers have reproduced this colour palette so authentic colour is achieved. Woodwork was stained or painted in shades of olive, white, stone, or brown and chocolate brown was very popular. Wall shades were wonderful and muted tones such as grey, brown, buff, off-whites, olive, pea-green, eau-de-nil or pale blue were used to great effect. The latter part of the Georgian age brought more vibrancy and richness within a muted palette still with shades of red, gold, yellow, deep blue, indigo, turquoise and pink. These colours were used on ceilings too, which would be unusual these days but they had great room sizes and ceiling height, which most modern homes do not have.
Accents of gold and gilding were commonplace and in finer rooms and living spaces, the Georgians used wallpaper or fabric panels on the middle section of the wall.
For Georgian inspired wallpaper look for “Toile de Jouy”, stripes, classical urns and column designs and Oriental designs.
Furniture was arranged around the walls, with the middle of the room left empty. Pieces were dainty and refined in style, with typical ball and claw feet. Upholstery was velvet and damask and quite regal looking dark woods, such as walnut, mahogany, and maple, were used. Fancier furniture used wood inlays, lacquer work, marquetry, and gilding. The sought after great furniture designers of the period were Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite.
Floors were waxed wood, or parquet. Some inlaid patterns were used or stencils around the edges gave some interest. Carpet was quite common and were plain neutrals or with a delicate pattern. Oriental and Persian rugs were statement pieces used on the wooden floors.
Interior designing was popular in Georgian times due to the availability of printed books showing architectural features and design providing an insight into what design was all about. For your authentic Georgian Interior, give us a call today and we will be happy to advise you on your look.
Why not try our distance-learning course and design your own Georgian scheme?