An Old World Feel in Your Living Space

Do you watch shows like “Downton Abbey” or travel to Europe and yearn for that Old World feel in your living space? When most people think of the Old World, they hark back to the 17th to 19th Centuries, when parlours and great rooms were quite different from the living rooms of today. Here are six tips for creating an Old World atmosphere in your home, using carefully selected antique furniture and a few key facts about days past.

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Look at getting a wooden floor

If you are opting for an olde world style, that carpet just has to go. Wooden and stone floors are far more in keeping with the style, and these can then be softened with the addition of rugs. The best, and most stylish form of flooring, and one that is highly desirable in even the modernist of homes, is parquet flooring, that stunning tongue and groove style that has an highly stylised, antique look. For an authentic feel go for a walnut oak design, or something that has been brushed and oiled and has those inimitable chevrons.

There Were No Sofas Just chairs

During the same time period discussed above, there were also no sofas like you know them today. The sofa was just being invented in various iterations, and any seating for more than one person was in the form of a love seat or chaise

Instead, groups of chairs were the primary form of seating. In trying to create an Old World style for your home, consider adding antique chairs around your hearth. They’ll add interest and flexibility to your furniture arrangement, as well as a touch of verisimilitude.

Your antique chairs don’t have to match each other (in fact, it’s more authentic if no more than two are the same); they just need to match the overall decor of your home. Whether you go for Spanish-style tooled leather with studs and wooden carved frames or more delicate brocade Louis XV seating, they’ll look more Old World than anything you find on the market today.

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Furniture Was Multifunctional

In all but the grandest of homes, tables in centuries past were not designated for just one purpose. The same table where dinner was served might have been used as a writing desk or place to prepare food, depending on which room it was in and the home’s layout.

Trunks were used for storage, but they also served as side tables, as the occasional table and coffee table as they are known today were, like the sofa, still being invented. Ottomans doubled as footstools and serving spaces for trays of tea or snacks.

When creating an Old World look to your home, try to capture that philosophy of furniture having multiple purposes. It makes it more fun to find alternative uses for your antique pieces, and it will actually help you with some of your storage needs.

There Was No Built-in Storage

Speaking of storage, historic homes had no built-in closets and had few, if any, built-in cabinets or bookshelves. These elements were all freestanding, which made for more interesting and changeable room arrangements.

If you’re looking for an Old World feel, think about using antique armoires, highboys and hutches to take the place of built-in storage or to complement the storage you already have. These pieces are a great way to tuck modern appliances like TVs and stereos out of the way and make for a more old-fashioned look.

Lighting Was Softer

Before the advent of electricity, homes used gas lamps or candlelight. For a truly Old World appearance to your living space, do away with harsh overhead lighting and bright bulbs. Replace them with table and floor lamps with soft incandescent bulbs or sconces and chandeliers that hold real candles. Your lighting will be softer and more flattering and will work better with the antique furniture in the room.

Giving your living space an Old World atmosphere can be fun and exciting as you comb antique shops and auctions for the perfect finds. Once you make over one room in this cozy, charming style, you’ll want to do your entire house!

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Sprucing up the living room

Question. What is your favourite room in your house? I’m guessing that some people will say the kitchen, which in many houses is a hive of activity. Some of you may say the bedroom – the place where you finally get to relax and sleep off the stresses of the day. But I think most of you may well have said the living room – the true heart of a family home. This is the room where you watch TV together, relax in front of the fire together, and generally spend most family time. Yes, the living room is certainly an important place for most families. And, if we’ve agreed that the living room is the most important room in the house, then maybe we can also agree that the sofa is the most important piece of furniture in that room.

Because, even in the most minimalistic living rooms, a sofa will take pride of place. It is an iconic item of furniture – think of Gogglebox without those settees to lounge on, or The Royle Family without that slightly threadbare sofa they seemed to spend their whole lives sitting on. But, in terms of sofa that is both classic and classy, there can only be one choice – The Chesterfield.

The Chesterfield is the oldest form of sofa, dating back to the 18th century, and supposedly named for Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield. With this in mind, it makes sense that many of the designs of Chesterfield that prove popular are distinctly vintage in their look, in deep maroons and brown and tan leather – giving a real feeling of opulence and wealth to them.  These look fabulous if your style is retro elegance, add a few chosen antiques into the mix (and I don’t mean the husband!) and you get a warm and homely look.

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

It would be wrong to dismiss the Chesterfield as just an antique style throwback however. Remove the trademark leather buttons and leather finish and you get an utterly modern piece, totally fresh and most definitely 21st Century. You also need to look at the other elements of your living room in order to keep the look modern. A solid wood floor in a lighter shade keeps the look minimal, giving it a more Scandinavian feel rather than an antique look. You can make the look of the flooring much softer by adding a scatter rug in a neutral shade, or one that matches the sofa.

Other accessories that will make the room look fresh and modern include using scatter cushions on the sofa that add to the comfort, adding soft lighting that will give the room a subtle glow, or using candles for both scent and atmosphere.

Make your sofa the centre of your room design, and then build around it in order to create your own personal, cosy space. Opt for classic pieces, and your style will stay in style long after fashion pieces have faded.

 

Add Film Star Glamour To Your Bedroom With These Ideas

You know those gorgeous bedrooms that you see posted all over Instagram by celebrities? Well, they’re not as hard to achieve as you would think. So if your room is in need to an update, why not go for a design that’s inspired by a celebrity home? If you have always dreamt of having a beautiful bedroom that combines luxury and glamour, you’re in the right place. Want to make your bedroom as glamorous and elegant as a celebrity’s? It’s not as difficult as you would think, here’s what you need to do: bedroom-design-huelsta-manit-2 Get inspiration If you’re not sure what design style you like, take some time to get inspiration. You’ll find it much easier to create a beautiful space that you love if you have an idea of the types of designs you like. Use Instagram and Pinterest to get inspiration for your room. Look at the different colour schemes, layouts and themes, and choose one that you like the most. Look at websites like Furniturebox, which offer bedroom furniture and accessories in a wide range of styles and tastes to give you some room inspiration (I’m obsessed with their Venetian glass bedside tables and units). Once you’ve picked out a design to focus on, look at the elements of it. Look at the decor, the style of the furniture, and the accessories that have been used. These are all important parts of the room, and things that you need to get spot on, if you want to recreate the look.

Keep the walls neutral The key to adding glamour to your room is decorating the walls in neutrals. Whether you prefer paint or wallpaper, using neutrals is a must if you want to create an elegant space. If you’re a fan of bright, bold colours and patterns, these can be added later on. (The best way to add colour to a space is through accessories, not through the walls themselves.)

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A statement bed frame You’ll find that in most elegant bedrooms that the bed acts as the statement piece. Ask any interior designer and they’ll tell you that in any sleeping space, the bed should always be the focal point. If you want your bed to act as a focal point, it needs to be a design that’s strong. This means picking a bed frame that doesn’t sink into the background, but standouts and makes a statement. One of the best ways to achieve this is by selecting a bed that’s got a headboard that stands out. Look for a design that fits with the theme of the room, is stylish and, most importantly, eye-catching.

Use accessories to add style and elegance For a room with neutral walls, accessories are crucial for adding style and elegance. There are so many ways that you can use accessories to add personality and glamour; it’s just a case of getting creative. For a room with a sophisticated vibe, it’s best to opt for designer home accessories. If you want a space that feels like it should belong to a celebrity, you need to be willing to invest.

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From patterned bedding and rugs that make a bold statement to light fixtures that add glamour, there are so many accessories to choose from. It’s just a case of selecting the right ones. Be choosy about your accessories, and ensure that they fit the style of your room, and you can create a beautiful space.

Even if you’re not a celebrity, with these ideas you can make your bedroom feel like it should belong to one. Happy decorating!