One of the most majestic and impressive interior design styles can undeniably be found in the colonial revival school of interior design. Colonial revival, also known as Neocolonial style, is the quintessential, traditional American interior design style that celebrates genuinely homegrown American heritage and architecture as defined by the first brave men and women who colonized the land.
The history behind Neocolonial style
To truly grasp the depth of colonial revival style and be able to encompass it in our interior design plans we must understand the interesting history behind its existence. It is a little-known fact that colonial revival is one of the oldest interior design schools as interior design is known today. It was established in late 19th century by wealthy Americans who at the time thought proper to revive elements of Georgian architecture as part of the broader Colonial Revival movement. Georgian architecture and interior design were what defined colonial lifestyle centuries ago and in a sense marks colonial revival as one of the most established design styles with rich background.
In the American south west, colonial revival strives for a Spanish style rather than adhering to the principles of Georgian arts and architecture. Californian and Texan (among others) colonial revival techniques can vary from their north American counterparts as much as traditional English architecture varies from Spanish chic.
Colonial revival architecture
Many interior designers will argue that to achieve a true colonial revival feeling you must do so in a house or mansion that has been constructed a century ago under the influence of the colonial revival style of architecture. Wide stairs, grand chandeliers, Dutch gambrel roofing and oversailing upper stories are virtually impossible to recreate without building a house from the ground up and many consider them essential to a genuine colonial revival themed house. As it is not feasible to build such houses nowadays (and indeed the art is almost lost) many people who seek a colonial revival style in their houses opt for clever architectural tricks and modern day solutions to give their houses the splendor of colonial revival without having to buy a 1910s mansion.
Colonial revival interior design
Whether you have that 1910s mansion we mentioned above or a modern house in need of a proper colonial revival facelift the techniques used for interior design are essentially the same.
Pristinely maintained vintage furniture is arguably one of the most integral elements of colonial revival style. Handcrafted furnishings are always preferred (if you can afford them) and in case you cannot help it but add modern day furniture it must at least adhere to the color patterns and materials of the vintage furniture around it. Modern day appliances of all kinds, including lighting, electronic equipment, kitchen appliances, TVs and more, must not take the spotlight and instead should blend nicely with the furniture that defines your colonial revival style. Cupboards and other modern surfaces should be dressed in wooden colors or even better, be made of wood just like the antique furniture. Marble and wooden floors are strongly preferred over more modern materials too and all ceilings can do well with some exquisite molding if not some classic chandeliers (obviously upgraded for electricity). You can even get your wall art made of marble with these beautiful marble wall fountains!
A Grandfather clock can instantly add a definite tone of colonial revival in your house. These can be expensive and hard to find, but the sound of an eight foot tall grandfather clock ringing twelve o’ clock can be life-changing. A cheaper alternative is cuckoo clocks, but many interior designers consider them too rustic for colonial revival.
Rich textiles and two-layered curtains are another must for proper colonial revival design. Even better, genuinely old textiles add an unmistakable air of authenticity in any colonial revival décor. Silverware should be proudly displayed as it was customary in original colonial revival houses and family relics and heirlooms also take the spotlight in colonial revival.
To top off your colonial revival interior design, look for a well-maintained antique musket and other civil war paraphernalia. Many interior designers go to great lengths to procure such décor in their quest for the ultimate colonial revival interior design.