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Décor Tips and Tricks for Colonial Style Furniture

Décor Tips and Tricks for Colonial Style Furniture

Colonial furniture style has its roots deep within British and American Puritan cultures, reflecting many influences from all over the world, especially from the British Empire. At one point, the empire encompassed parts of Africa, India, Asia the South Pacific, and North America, exposing early colonists to a wide range of artistic expression. Elements from these international areas and people ultimately worked their way into what we know as Colonial style.

Colonial style furniture makes a dramatic impression especially in a neutral room with dark furnishings mixed with international motifs and climates.

Colonial style furniture is such a versatile, classic, and timeless look that can be incorporated into virtually any home, from vintage to modern houses. For some wonderful ideas and Colonial-style furniture décor tips and tricks, let us take a look at what some of the industry's top interior designers have to share.


Because Colonial-style often brings a natural, rustic feel, for your kitchen, start with the right color palette. Neutrals such as earth tones and muted shades, or even simple white or creamy shades are perfect if you want to keep your kitchen bright and airy. If you are a fan of more saturated colors, a pale yellow can work as well. For your cabinets and accessories, such as a Colonial sideboard for your dinnerware, deeper shades such as the rich red-brown of mahogany, or an olive-green, soft brick red and even a gray-blue are perfect color stories to add to a Colonial kitchen.

Curtains with natural materials, or with delicate patterns instead of bold, and consider lantern-like, or hanging lights with bronze, brass, or copper accents to work well with the Colonial look of your kitchen.

Living Room or Den

Whether you are going for a more modest, subtle atmosphere or a most comfortable, sumptuous, and luxurious addition to a living room or den, Colonial-style furniture is truly adaptable to any décor ideas you may be envisioning. Colonial furniture and decor feature classic lines where natural materials are not so overloaded as to be overwhelming, yet are one of the vintage styles that is still packed with personality. To create the perfect Colonial living room or den, there are a few key factors and general guidelines to take into account to create the right atmosphere.

The ideal color scheme for a room such as this is warm, natural colors, such as beige, browns, creams, or deep wine red for example. Complementary colors to this scheme that go well are touches of green, either through paintings or plants. Add a splash of the tropical by choosing a tropical plant, a splash of animal print or seashells to recreate the styling of Colonial times featuring artifacts collected from their travels.

Dark wood is an excellent juxtaposition against lighter walls, so don't be afraid to use mahogany or darkly stained Colonial furniture here. For instance, an Antique Empire sofa with matching French Antique Tub accent chairs in a rich, dark brown would contrast wonderfully against a light, creamy wall creating visual harmony.

As Colonial furniture is a strong visual statement, one trick to keep from overwhelming the look you are going for is not to overload the room with too much furniture. As many Colonial styles fuse East and West, you can incorporate many natural fibers into things such as carpets, pillows, and throw blankets. A woven bamboo carpet is a fantastic, comfortable, and cozy pairing to your Colonial-style furniture or a faux fur rug for a sophisticated and opulent touch.

For those that are a fan of more saturated colors, to add further energy and life to a room, consider natural color palettes for accents such as blues, greens, whites, or a touch of leather for a British Colonial-inspired room.


When considering how to incorporate Colonial style into a bathroom the key consideration you may want is to focus on simplicity and elegance. Craftsmanship is also key, as it was an important element to Colonial life and décor. Natural wood is a universal element and theme no matter which room you are decorating. A beautiful alternative for the usual bathroom mirror is to consider using wood framed mirrors, such as a gorgeous mahogany circular mirror, or a mahogany range mirror.

The addition of furniture items such as accent chairs and even benches and beautiful cabinets can add some visual interest with an emphasis on intricate carving for the chairs and benches such as the delicacy found in many Chippendale styles.


The statement piece of any Colonial bedroom will be the bed. A beautiful mahogany four-poster bed or a king-sized Colonial with delicate carvings or tapered posts capped with finials will help set the entire mood and ambiance of your bedroom as a place to rest and slow down. The bed can be left as-is or add a canopy to bring a bit of lovely drama to the room that can match with accessories such as bedding or curtains. Checks were a mainstay pattern during the Colonial era, as well as florals. Like a Colonial living room, natural fiber rugs will blend best with this theme and will offset the gorgeous dark wood of your Colonial bedroom furniture, oriental rugs or rag, and braided rugs might be the right rustic touch to warm up the room and give it a homely feel.

A sitting area in the bedroom is not unusual either for the Colonial style. A Windsor chair with a small mahogany nut shaped end table near the foot of the bed with a love seat and some personal home-made items will add vintage comfort and charm. Of course, you can never go wrong with a mahogany blanket chest with drawers at the foot of the bed as well.

Lastly, tie the entire Colonial bedroom together with painted folk-art pieces or paintings of historical ancestors or moments which are perfect for the Colonial bedroom.

Essential Tips

The most important factors to keep in mind from this Colonial-style furniture decor guideline:

  • Dark wood or darkly stained furniture with exceptional craftsmanship.
  • Keep colors fresh or neutral, whites, creams, beiges, or light yellow for small rooms or an airy effect. In larger rooms, natural blues or greens can add a splash of life and drama if needed.
  • Natural fibers featured in accessories such as rugs or rattan chairs, baskets, or botanical prints.

We hope this will help spark your next redecoration or your plans for your new home featuring the stately, always classic Colonial-style design.

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