Colonial style in the interior

Colonial style in the interior

Colonial style refers to a group of classical trends. Its name was received in honor of the colonists, who, settling on foreign lands, not only brought with them their own traditions in the design of interiors, but also borrowed customs from local residents. In the direction was found a balance between sophistication, luxury and laconicism, "native simplicity". In fact, the colonial style in the interior - a collection of eclectic potpourri, consisting of several ethnic offshoots. For each of them, certain features are characteristic, but there are also general principles that unite these subgroups in one stream. Let's talk in an article about how to create with their own hands a colonial interior in a city apartment or house.

The main directions of the style and their distinctive features

Colonial style is an expensive pleasure that only people above average can afford. In interiors only natural materials are used, which now cost very cheaply. The general features of the direction include:

  • Abundance of exotic vegetation. Colonization usually took place in tropical countries, which is due to the use of "local" lianas, ferns, palms. Plants not only looked beautiful in the houses, but also allowed to cool slightly the hot air.
  • The wide windows on the floor look more like doors. In the colonial houses the openings were purposefully increased. To a large extent, this was done in order to create a pleasant draft in the house.
  • The use of natural wood and stone in the finish of the exterior and interior.
Read also: Neoclassicism in the interior: ideas for the design of apartments

Exotic plants - one of the features of the colonial style

Although there are many in the colonial direction, in our time only three of them have gained popularity:

  • French;
  • English;
  • American.

Floor lamps in the living room

The latter deserves special attention, since it is considered a colonial "square", because before it became a metropolis, the country itself has long been under the yoke of Britain. The direction is based on the classical style, which has expanded its borders. This was expressed in spacious (necessarily 2-3 storey) houses, where guests were greeted by a huge hall with a staircase. In the materials prevalent array of wood, and the decor was made of forged metal. The English version of the style is an architectural and interior medley of Great Britain and India, which for a long time was its colony. The strictness, stiffness, aristocratism of the English faced the softness, openness and simplicity of the Indians. Classic interiors are supplemented by "wild" trophies in the form of animal skins and heads on the walls, and Gothic features alternate with smooth, rounded lines and ornate patterns that used to adorn Hindu temples.

The combination of dark floor and light walls

The French colonial style gave us the famous panoramic windows. In this direction, the clearest trace left a confusion with the cultures of Asia. In interiors use silk wallpaper with thematic drawings, expensive porcelain, metal decorative elements (caskets, vases).

A picture above the fireplace Orchid on the table  Grand piano in the interior  Built-in ceiling lights  Ceiling fan  Vases in the locker

Finishing and choice of finishing materials

Among the finishing materials, choose wood, stone and a special clay brick. If the owners prefer imitation (albeit expensive), then the interior will be a version of the colonial style adapted to modern realities. To create a classical interior, in which the traditions of several nations have been assimilated, one can not save. The ceiling is plastered and decorated with wooden beams, the floor is planked or tiled, and the walls can be covered with expensive fabric wallpaper. A variant of exquisite silk will fit the French underlay.

Wood on the ceiling of the interior in colonial style Chess on the table  Table between the sofas  Mirror in the headboard  A figurine of a dog by the fireplace  Fresco in the living room


In the furniture they use contrasting materials: light woven details and massive objects made of natural wood. In the first case, reed, bamboo, palm branches and rattan are used as a basis. Wicker chairs, chairs and couches are covered with a heap of soft pillows. Such furniture is convenient in that it can easily be moved to the garden if necessary. "Static" items (cabinets, beds, chests of drawers) are hand-made from an array of wood. The facades are decorated with laconic carvings or woven inserts.

Furniture в интерьере в колониальном стиле

To get a sample of classical furniture, you have to order its manufacture or go to expensive stores with author's products. The way to save money is going to the so-called "flea market", where you can buy old items. However, their unpretentious appearance will be appreciated only by Provence. To the colonial style, well-preserved specimens fit without visible defects.

Bright sofas in the living room  Room tree in the corner  Panel on the wall  The fawn on the floor  Lamps on the fireplace

Color spectrum

No classic, colonial style tolerates any screaming, vivid accents. Since most houses were in a ruthlessly hot climate, the basis of the color palette is white (black attracts light and heats up faster). In apartment variants allowances in the form of a pastel scale are allowed. The accent surfaces are painted in natural colors: brown, beige, burgundy, red, mustard, olive and dark blue. It is not recommended to combine more than three shades in one interior. The concept of the direction is that the brightness of the composition will give green spots to houseplants.

See also: Art Deco style in the interior - 30 photos of design ideas

Interior in colonial style in light colors Columns in the living room  Chest of drawers  Lamps in the headboard  Map on the living room wall  TV on the wall in the dining room


Traditional lighting is complemented by devices with ethnic coloring. To the classic chandelier, the original sconces and floor-standing, table lamps will suit. They are made of metal (bronze, iron, brass, copper), glass, leather and special rice paper. In this way, it will be possible to organically combine European traditions with elements of the "natives' culture" and provide the necessary volume of light.

Lighting интерьера в колониальном стиле Stairs in the living room  Arch in the interior  Work desk by the window  Furniture из дерева в кабинете  Living room combined with dining room

Accessories and decor

In the decoration there are accessories from the animal world, as it occupied a special place in the cultures of the Aztecs, Indians, African tribes and islanders. Although paganism is considered a primitive religion, instead of a hierarchical pantheon of classical deities, it had its own laconic, natural "honor board", which was worshiped. If we are talking about elements from Africa, clay pots and plates, masks, figurines, textiles with an ethnic pattern, paintings with a "sandy" landscape of the vast desert will suit. To create an "American" color, dream catchers, roaches, theme photos on the walls are used. In the upholstery you can use rough-processed skins, braided chests, suitcases, baskets. In order to convey a special interior mood, you can put a bundle of brushwood near the fireplace, which used to be kept warm on cold nights, and hang an ancient map of the world on the wall.

Decor in the interior in a colonial style

Do not forget about houseplants. The usual dracaena, the horsecloth, the shrine or ferns davaliya, pteris will emphasize the identity of the situation and will become an element that smooths the contrast between the two cultures.

Bright living room with dark beams on the ceiling  Locker against the wall  Pillows on the couch  A figurine on the floor  Transparent table near the sofa

Bedroom interior

The bedroom in the colonial style has one characteristic feature - a canopy above the bed. In tropical countries, it is not set for beauty, but for the protection of importunate insects. The bed itself is chosen either from solid wood with carved legs and "columns" under the canopy, or with graceful, forged elements. The walls are painted in a neutral shade of brown or in tone from the pastel scale. The floor is planks, and the top is carpeted. The ceiling is simply plastered. On both sides of the double bed symmetrically installed bedside tables. Their surface is decorated with the same lamps. The "boudoir" zone is replaced with a light table and a wicker chair. A box, a suitcase or a closed basket will become a colorful place for storing things.

Bedroom interior в колониальном стиле

By the way, the textiles used for the canopy must correspond with the fabric for curtains. You can even sew both of these elements from the same material.

TV in front of the bed  Furniture из дерева в спальне  Wallpaper of newspapers on the wall  Carpet by the bed  Pot with flower in the bedroom

Interior of living room

The central decoration of the colonial living room will be a classic fireplace. It is made of dark stone, which advantageously emphasizes the light-nut finish of the walls. By the way, this surface is simply plastered or painted, as in the interior composition accents will be accessories and textiles. On the walls hang classic paintings in frames from the baguette and luxurious mirrors. The joint between them and the ceiling is decorated with a trim fillet with elements of stucco molding. In a set for the central chandelier of crystal along the perimeter of the room on the mantelpiece and countertops set candlesticks. If the dimensions of the room allow, then it has at once two zones for rest. The first is a composition from a massive sofa and a pair of chairs around the coffee table. The best intellectual activity on this site will be a game of chess. The second furniture group consists of a pair of wicker chairs or chairs. They put them around the second coffee table by the window. The place is ideal for reading or drinking tea after a measured conversation. Windows are curtained with thick curtains with an ethnic pattern. The floors are carpeted with a short pile. We should not forget about houseplants, pots with which are evenly distributed throughout the room.

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Interior of living room в колониальном стиле Chocolate color in the interior  Table in the form of a chest in the living room  Light floor in the interior  Chandelier on the beam  Table and chairs in the bay window

Kitchen interier

To decorate the kitchen use a classic massive set of brown or unusual olive color. Its facades are decorated with metal handles. The ceiling is plastered and decorated along the joints with the walls of the stucco. In rare cases, the surface is covered with a board and decorated with roughly processed beams. The original element of the decor will be a chandelier, which is equipped with special hooks along the radius of the whole plafond. They are then hung with scoops and pans. Ethnic color in the kitchen is manifested in small things. The apron is decorated with a stone. Clay pots, jugs, vases, plates and other "native" utensils are hidden on open shelves and behind the glass doors of the classic headset. Also, the interior is complemented by wicker baskets, which in general can create a single storage system, where traditional drawers are replaced with a "light" version of cane or rattan. A must-have element in even the smallest kitchens is an island layout with a table for cooking and fast food in the middle of the room. Of course, the colonial houses had spacious dining rooms, but the servants used to eat separately from the owners. It can be decorated with forged elements, covered with a tablecloth and decorated with a bowl of fruit.

Kitchen interier в колониальном стиле Window wash  Hood above the stove  Lamps above the table  Light kitchen with black furniture  Table-island in the interior


Bathroom в колониальном стиле декорируется кафельной плиткой. Если речь идет об английском направлении, то органично будет смотреться «шахматка» из кафеля терракотового цвета и оттенка мокрого асфальта на стенах. Пол отделывают светлой керамической плиткой, уложенной елочкой с прикрепом. Furniture для ванной выбирают из дерева (специально обработанного) светло-коричневых оттенков. Стену над раковиной украшают прямоугольным зеркалом в простой оправе. По обе его стороны размещают простые светильники. Традиционная ванна декорируется латунью и стоит на изящных ножках, как во всех классических интерьерах. На столешницу возле раковины ставят глиняные сосуды, посуду, миниатюрных слонов, инкрустированных камнями.

Bathroom в колониальном стиле A banquet against the wall  Shower behind the partition  Bath on the legs in the interior  Niches in the wall  Mirror over the sink

Interior of studio apartment

For the decoration of the studio, the colonial style fits perfectly. If you use the French direction, you can zonirovat large room with a classic interior with mobile screens typical of Asian interiors. The accent wall is pasted with fabric wallpaper, and the rest of the surface is plastered. By the way, it is better to keep textiles away from the "kitchen" zone. The bedroom can be closed with curtains and add a couple of pots with plants that are symmetrically placed on the floor. Alternatively, one wall can be decorated with a series of paintings by naturalists or Indian paintings, African ritual elements.

Interior of studio apartment in colonial style Guitar at the wall  Bookcase in the office  Bright carpet in the living room  Clock on the wall  Chest next to the closet


Colonial style - stands apart from many classical trends. After centuries, it has not lost its relevance. The conditions for the emergence of the style were so unique that it strikingly differs from other directions, reflecting the bloody era of conquests and the great time of geographical discoveries. Any traveler or sailor wanted to take with him a piece of the homeland, which was most clearly manifested in the interiors of dwellings, but it was impossible to avoid a clash of one's own culture with the uncharted local, and did not want to. The inquisitive minds, whose curiosity pushed literally thousands of miles from home, absorbed new information with greed. The combination of national motives of developed metropolises and developing colonies has resulted in a unique style, the beauty of which affects minds to this day.