American Colonial Interior Design
Interior design trends are always changing and evolving. New fashions emerge, then subside. One of the most curious aspects of this flow of trends, though, is how often old styles reemerge. The number of “revival” styles throughout history is a testament to how often we look to the past for inspiration. In the USA, the American Colonial interior design style has exerted its influence almost continuously throughout history.
What Is American Colonial Design?
American Colonial is a home design aesthetic based on the architectural and interior design practices of colonial settlers in America. It is especially influenced by the homes of 18th-century settlers. These houses often borrowed significantly from the country homes of Europe but were simpler and more practical.
Due to the influence of European homes, there are subsets of American Colonial based on the country of origin of the settlers. For example, Dutch settlers had a different style from their English counterparts. The style tends to be distinguished by its simplicity and honesty. Many of these homes had a relatively rustic and casual feel compared to the lavish and formal European homes that served as inspiration.
The History of American Colonial Design
The style evolved throughout the colonial period of American history. Early elements began in the 16th and 17th centuries. These homes were even more bare-bones and practicality-oriented than their later counterparts. Basic plank construction of both the structure and furniture were very common.
Homes in America evolved and became a little more comfortably furnished in the 18th century, especially among the wealthiest settlers. However, the aesthetic continued the tradition of simplicity and practicality, just a little less severe.
As the style developed, the simple furniture became more advanced, moving towards the American Craftsman style. Features such as dovetail joints, mortise and tenon, turned shapes and cyma recta shapes started to emerge. Nonetheless, a lot of furniture continued to have a simple, honest and sturdy look and feel.
Creating an American Colonial Look Today
Many people still love the American Colonial style and its influences are notable today. It tends to be blended with the Early American style, which followed the American Revolutionary war. This blending is most notable in the use of patriotic design motifs such as the Betsy Ross flag, the bald eagle and similar items. Strictly speaking, these designs do not belong in American Colonial (although most people wouldn’t begrudge them).
Creating an American Colonial aesthetic should involve a color palette made up of white, natural wood and a few basic colors. The most common colors were barn red, indigo blue and tallow ochre. Certain other options such as optical green were introduced a little later.
Another central element of American Colonial was quilting. It was common for early settlers to use quilts on beds and walls to make rooms cozier and livelier. You can incorporate this with a quilted pillow or comforter. For the walls, whitewashed colors paired with crown molding and wood paneling are common parts of this aesthetic. Dark woods such as mahogany and walnut also help to add to the style. Furniture is typically heavy and traditional. Items such as trestle tables and trunks can really add to this look, especially if they are handmade.
Using Rugs With American Colonial Design
To find the right rug to fit your American Colonial style, focus on handmade, vintage rugs or antique rugs. Consider the colors that were available back in the day. They tended to be relatively earthy. For example, look for an antique rug with a combination of beige and ochre colors. Alternatively, you could opt for a deeper red color palette.
Many of the patterns during the colonial period were floral and included elements such as the pineapple, heart and anchor. Other patterns were simpler and more geometric. Typically, wealthier homeowners chose patterns from the former category whereas less well-to-do settlers opted for simple, homemade geometric designs. Rugs and carpets for this style should be flat-woven or with a short pile. Shag rugs weren’t popular yet in America during the 18th century.
Think about some of the other major elements of your room. If you expect to have dark woodwork, consider a lighter even cream colored rug that can add brightness to the room. Alternatively, you can create a cozy space with a richly colored piece. The American Colonial aesthetic is quite flexible. The key is to focus on simplicity and practicality with your rugs as with all other elements of décor.
Find the Perfect Rug for Your American / Colonial Home
Find the right rugs for your American Colonial interior design at Nazmiyal. We have a diverse selection of antique and vintage rugs that work well with this aesthetic. We have also collected an array of beautiful rugs, such as antique American hook rugs, that match the design language of American Colonial well. If you are struggling to find the right rug for your space, connect with our experts. We are always happy to help.