Creating a Georgian Interior Design
For starters, what is a Georgian style interior design?
Georgian style interior design is a classic and elegant design aesthetic that takes its inspiration from the architecture and decor of the Georgian era, which lasted from the early 18th century to the early 19th century in Britain, during the reigns of the four King Georges. This period was characterized by a sense of order, symmetry, and a revival of classical architectural elements. Georgian style interior design is known for its timeless and formal appearance, and it continues to be a popular choice for many homeowners and designers.
Key characteristics of Georgian style interior design include:
- Symmetry: Georgian interiors are all about balance and symmetry. Rooms are often designed with a central axis and mirror-image arrangements of furniture and decor. This creates a sense of order and harmony in the space.
- Architectural Details: Georgian homes typically feature elaborate architectural details, including crown moldings, wainscoting, chair rails, and decorative cornices. Paneled walls and built-in cabinetry are also common.
- Classical Influences: Georgian design draws heavily from classical Greek and Roman architecture. You’ll often find elements like columns, pilasters, and pediments in both the architecture and furnishings.
- Color Palette: Georgian interiors often use a restrained and sophisticated color palette. Neutral tones such as cream, beige, and gray are prevalent, with occasional pops of color in the form of artwork or upholstery.
- Fine Materials: High-quality materials like mahogany, walnut, and cherry wood are frequently used for furniture and cabinetry. Rich fabrics like silk and velvet are popular choices for draperies and upholstery.
- Formal Furnishings: Georgian-style furniture is characterized by its elegance and classic lines. Wingback chairs, Chippendale and Sheraton-style furniture, and Queen Anne-style pieces are common in Georgian interiors.
- Fireplace Mantels: Elaborate fireplace mantels with intricate carvings are often a focal point in Georgian living rooms. They add a touch of grandeur to the space.
- Oriental Rugs: Oriental rugs and specifically Persian rugs with intricate patterns and rich colors are commonly used to anchor rooms and add warmth to the floors.
- Crystal Chandeliers: Georgian interiors often feature crystal chandeliers or other elegant light fixtures that provide both ambient and decorative lighting.
- Art and Decor: Georgian design incorporates classical art, portraits, and landscapes. Gilt-framed mirrors, porcelain, and decorative objects d’art are also used to enhance the overall aesthetic.
While Georgian style interior design remains true to its historical roots, modern interpretations may incorporate some contemporary elements to create a more updated and livable space. However, the emphasis on symmetry, classical details, and timeless elegance is still at the core of Georgian interior design.
How the Georgian Style Came To Be
During the Georgian period, the United Kingdom experienced a huge surge in construction. It also saw a lot of urbanization. This led to a larger use of professional architects (as opposed to builders and craftsmen) to plan and design buildings.
Some Georgian architecture is arguably very much form over function. Homes tended to be more symmetrical and featured orderly elements, such as uniformly cut stonework and columns. Designers also tended to draw on classical rules. Inspiration from Greek and Roman design can be seen strongly in the Georgian style.
In the early days of the Georgian period, the style blended with the earlier Baroque. This was eventually judged to be tasteless. In many ways, the Georgian aesthetic is a reaction to the more dramatic and monumental designs of earlier periods. It was all about elegance and refinement. Proportionality and grace ruled the day.
Advances in manufacturing also allowed greater access to well-made fabrics and rich colors. The industrial revolution, which was happening simultaneously, greatly influenced the aesthetic.
Ultimately, the Georgian style gave way to several revival conventions. However, people still look back to original homes from this period for inspiration. It is an excellent choice if you want to create a refined, harmonious home.
Elements of Georgian Interior Design
Home interiors during this period tended to be very symmetrical, serene and designed with clear purpose. They frequently featured quiet colors and intimate spaces. Many of the decorations and furniture pieces were contemporary and thoughtfully chosen.
Georgian Design Colors
A muted color palette is central to the Georgian aesthetic. Pale colors such as sage, rose, powder blue, cream, brown, and pea-green were very much in vogue. Some earlier examples of the style included rich colors such as burgundy. However, this was not the norm throughout most of the period. The homes of wealthier families also sometimes featured detailed bucolic murals.
The furniture tended to feature carved wood with luxurious upholstery, such as velvet or damask. Cabriole legs and claw feet are common features of furniture from this era.
To recreate a Georgian aesthetic, choose furniture pieces that match well and have a very harmonious feel. If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room, placing furniture symmetrically to capture a faithful Georgian style.
Walls in Georgian Design
Georgian walls tended to be painted and accented with carved woodwork. In some cases, wallpaper and tapestries were used on walls, but these tended to be deviations rather than the norm. Accents on walls should be light and follow classical styles. The tone of the Georgian style is very subdued and balanced, so clutter on the walls should be absolutely avoided.
Décor in Georgian Interior Design
As with the other elements, décor needs to be purposeful, harmonious and minimal. Try placing matching decorations on either side of a surface to create a sense of symmetry. Urns, decorative plates and classical vases work well with this look.
If you want to put a modern spin on this style, look for contemporary pieces that work well symmetrically. For instance, you can use contemporary art but keep the design language of the Georgian period.
Rugs That Complement the Georgian Style
Large area rugs are excellent choices for this style. They should feature antique or vintage designs, especially with floral or other classical patterns. The color palette of your rugs should match a generally subdued tone and harmonize with other elements in the room. Neutral colors tend to work very well. Select symmetrical patterns and avoid overly bold rugs. These will tend to clash with the calmness of the aesthetic.
As you are designing a room, consider choosing the rug and wall colors first. Find something pale and complementary. Since Georgian furniture and décor tend to be very purposeful and harmonious, it is often easier to start with the big visual elements first.
Finding the Right Rug for Your Home
Nazmiyal Collection offers a large selection of antique, vintage and modern rugs. Whether you want to create a Georgian interior design or use another style, we have a piece that can bring your room together. If you are having trouble finding the right one, connect with our experts for help.
Explore our selection today. We can help you find the right rug for everyday use or an investment piece for display as artwork in your home. Whatever you are looking for, we are confident you will find something to love.