How to Get the Colonial Look

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Most modern apartments follow a pretty standard formula these days, with minimalism and restraint often a feature, especially among young professionals. Some however, will yearn for something a little different, and there are few styles more unique and individual than the colonial office look. Think of the Oval Office and the captain’s quarters of a merchant ship, and you’ve got the right idea. It’s not for everyone, but it looks great when done well – it’s very classy and particularly hip at the moment.

Firstly, if you want this look then you’re going to need to spend a fair amount of time in antique shops. While some places such as do stock this style of furniture, it’s not always possible to get everything that you want. Reclamation yards are another good option – this kind of luxury doesn’t have to cost a huge amount of money. Online auction sites can prove useful, but always make sure you know the value of what you’re bidding for, especially if you can’t see it beforehand. There’s no actual need to get the real thing – imitations will do just fine.

Wood is one of the major components in your interior design arsenal. Stick with the same tone around the room if possible, and remember not to go overboard. Many contemporary rooms had wood panelling on the walls, but you want to be inspired by this rather than actually doing it – you don’t want to live in a movie set. Don’t go for cheap veneers anywhere – they’ll stick out in contrast with solid antiques, and also remember that dark woods will darken a room, so be sparing. If you’re at a loose end, you can always stain woods to get them the same colour.

Leather is another big component, with it often featuring on both chairs and tables. You’ll find that red and green are very common colours, so again it’s probably best to pick one rather than mixing and matching. You can also go with a brown for sofas, footstools and things like that. A lot of modern faux-leather is a very good imitation, which is useful if you need to make any repairs, as is common with older desks.

Remember that we’re being inspired by colonial design here, not necessarily replicating it, so you don’t have to be 100% authentic everywhere. It can look best if you have a few select pieces of colonial furniture as highlights to your room or apartment. Plan out what you’re going to do before you go stuffing your home with antiques, and you’ll have a beautiful and unique look to your interior design. Check out this board to get your creative juices going.

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