Matt Deighton, managing director of Sofas by Saxon, a Chesterfield sofa specialist based in Lancashire, shares his tips about how you can create a traditional living room decor in your home.
Traditional living room decor:
English houses are renowned for their effortless charm. Whether you live in a country cottage or a city flat, there still are plenty of ways to bring that coveted manor house style into your home. Here, I’ve shared five of my tops tips to help you recreate a traditional English look.
Make a statement with wallpaper
English style is quaint without being boring, so create a feature wall using an intricate and eye-catching design. For a traditional country-home feel, try a pastoral toile de jouy wallpaper, like this design from Select Wallpaper, which is inspired by the English countryside. Complement your feature wall with simple, traditional paint colours — stick to creamy magnolias and yellows, or duck-egg blues and pale greens.
No English country home is complete without a selection of unusual antique finds. An English home should look as though it was put together over generations, so look out for antique clocks, silverware and pewter jugs. A bookshelf full of second-hand books will look at home in a traditional living room, as will old artwork and photographs. Try finding old paintings at car boot sales, and display them in gilt frames.
If you really want to showcase that British eccentricity, then you could even incorporate old-fashioned typewriters, telephones and globes into your décor — they make great conversation pieces. Remember, when it comes to English accessories, the quirkier, the better.
Show off period features
English décor is traditionally warm, welcoming and informal, and few things are more inviting than an open fire roaring in a period chimneypiece. If you haven’t got an original fireplace in your home, then consider having an imitation version fitted. There are many available which look just as convincing as the real thing, and it allows you to tailor the details to suit your room. You can read up on what to consider when buying a fireplace here.
If you’re lucky enough to have original floorboards in your living room, then don’t hide them away under a carpet. Get them in top condition using this guide to renovating your own floorboards on DIY Basics. Don’t forget to accessorise with a cosy wool rug in a traditional design.
A traditional English home will usually boast a mix of dark hardwood furniture, antique pieces, and timeless sofas. Mahogany, walnut and oak are all classic finishes for living-room furniture, but if antique hardwood pieces will break your budget, then you can still create the worn, aged look yourself. Just read this guide from DIY Network on how to fake a vintage effect for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
When it comes to sofas, I’d recommend picking a classic shape. A Chesterfield sofa is a traditional design, and will pull the room together. Leather is traditional choice for an English sofa, but if that’s not your style, then choose a heritage fabric — a checked tweed would be perfect. Consider choosing sofas and armchairs in different finishes, rather than co-ordinating fabrics, to maintain an eclectic feel.
Pick traditional soft furnishings
Soft furnishings will be the finishing touch, so choose carefully. Try not to be too co-ordinated: the traditional English living room looks thrown together and effortless. When picking cushions and pillows, look for chintz, floral prints, damask and heavy embroidery.
A true English home will always feature curtains instead of venetian blinds, but if you’d like a little more privacy, then fit roller blinds in addition to traditional curtains. Again, don’t fear a few mismatching pieces or prints — it’s all part of the look.