How to get the Georgian look in your home

Take a look around any modern home at the moment and you will probably be greeted by a barrage of chrome finish and wood flooring, but that isn’t necessarily what everyone is after. There is still a great deal of love out there for interior design that draws on the classic, harnessing the functionality and ease of the current day, while sporting a look that is timeless.

One period that has really stood the test of time when it comes to design in the home is Georgian style. The 18th and 19th centuries played host to a somewhat transitional state of affairs when it came to decorating properties, going from a look that might now be seen as something a little garish right through to a style that was viewed as being a lot more subtle.

But how do we go about giving our home a Georgian makeover in 2014? Here are a few tips on how to give the ideal impression to those who visit your home.

A cultured approach

The 18th century was when many of Britain’s aristocracy began to accept the vibrant influence that could be utilised from the rest of the world. This went for European nations like Spain, Greece, France and Italy, but also countries from further afield. The beauty of Chinese and Far Eastern culture got the recognition it deserved and all this led to great things for design during the Georgian period.

One of the reasons for this shift – just as is the case with many advances nowadays – was improvement in technology and transport networks. This meant that young men were now able to explore the world and take in a wealth of new and more profound cultural influences (unfortunately gender equality hadn’t come quite so far).

A look of sophisticated simplicity

These influences brought something to our homes that was considered to be assured, simple and relatively easy to replicate. Roman columns focused on defined lines and clean corners – a style that came to be noticeable in fixtures like fireplaces, walls, dining tables and skirting.

The overall aim was to try to emulate the admirable looks of temples in mainland Europe and the Venetian approach taken by Italian designer Andreas Palladio.

A shift in colour schemes

Much of the opinion that the Georgian period played host to change was because of the gradual mellowing of colour schemes over time. The early part of the era took much its influence from the Baroque period, when striking and bold colours were seen as a way of standing out from the crowd.

With a lot of modern day homes also sporting this ‘in your face’ vibe – albeit with chrome finish rather than bright green and reds – it is not surprising that those who want to distance themselves from the current day are going for the shades that became more prominent as the Georgian period headed into the 18th century.

As a result, what most designers would now describe as the Georgian look involves whites and creams. This offers definition without going over the top.

This isn’t to say there were not areas of intricate detail in the home though. A popular feature was to include wall and ceiling mouldings, which would be eye-catching on arrival without overpowering the general ambience of the room.

Nowadays, some do like to go the extra mile and have these patterns installed as a permanent fixture, whereas others like to build upon a more subtle base scheme by adding accessories like lamps, rugs and pictures presenting additional glimpses of detail.

Those who really go out to get the Georgian look, however, even go as far as bringing in a contractor to put in their own Roman-style column and Greek-style pillars, creating a feel similar to the iconic Hercules Temple or the Parthenon.

So however far you want to go with your Georgian makeover, make sure you follow these simple pointers and the look you desire could well be yours.