Decorating your home to suit its history
Words by Hermione Russell
When decorating a property, it’s a good idea to mix modern convenience with features that suit the building’s history. In the case of RBKC, that history ranges from modern apartment blocks to Victorian and Georgian terraces. In this article, we look at the neighbourhood’s main architectural periods and how they might inspire the interior of your own home.
Georgian (1714 – 1830)
Georgian houses were inspired by classical proportions. This meant symmetrical rooms with high ceilings and open layouts. Sash windows brought in as much light as possible, while modest ornamentation increased the sense of brightness and space.
For a Georgian-inspired interior, consider soft colours for the walls: white, cream and pastel. Plaster mouldings were popular, as well as shutters, panelling and floorboards of pale wood. Georgian furniture is typically smaller and more restrained – mahogany was a favourite material – and pushed up against the walls. The effect is both practical and elegant, without being excessive.
Victorian (1837 – 1901)
In London, Victorian houses typically borrowed Georgian proportions, but with more rooms and more levels. With the increasing prosperity of the middle and upper classes, these rooms were decorated with an abundance of items: lamps and screens, cabinets and display cases, pictures clustering on the walls and carpets covering the floors.
To give your interior a Victorian feel, consider mixing different materials. Walls might be decorated with patterned paper or painted dark shades of red, green and blue. The curtains can use thick fabrics and deep colours, while the fireplaces can be larger and more ornate. Finally, try side lamps, chandeliers or even stained glass to create rich, cosy lighting effects.
Modern (1920 – present day)
In the early 1900s, designers turned their back on the excessive ornament of the previous century. Now there was an emphasis on clean lines and practical design, with an increasingly minimal approach to decoration, creating the streamlined interiors we associate with Art Deco and much contemporary design.
To achieve that style, consider using more modern materials: glass, chrome, aluminium and stainless steel. Combine with geometric patterns for the curtains and upholstery – stripes chevrons and zigzags – as well as abstract art for the walls. Parquet flooring, twentieth-century furniture and statement light fittings help create both functional and stylish rooms.
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