The ‘Georgian’ period dates from 1714 to 1837 and is sometimes referred to as ‘Neo Classical’. It’s a classic look that can equally enhance a contemporary building, as a traditional one. The style was strongly influenced by Rococo, Gothic revival, French aristocratic, Oriental art and design.
Highly decorative, luxurious and elegant with ornate plastering and mouldings. Walls were split into three sections – the lower up to a dado rail formed wainscoting/wood panelling; the centre contained wallpaper or fabric panels; the upper section had a picture rail, frieze or cornice. Fireplaces were ideally white marble or failing that, white painted wood – this is a popular trend today.
Toned-down or ‘muted’ colours were favoured, such as ‘grays’, off-white, olive, pea-green, or pale blue. The later Georgian period introduced brighter colours, such as rich (but still muted) reds, golds, and deep blues. The later period also saw these colours used on ceilings, however if you want to replicate that look today, I would save it for large rooms with high ceilings.
If you prefer wallpaper or fabrics, look out for stripes, columns or urns, or Chinese designs of birds, flowers and landscapes. Originating in Versailles and growing in popularity today are ‘Toile de Jouy’– printed fabric/canvases depicting a story. A modern twist on this would be to frame small panels of wallpaper or fabric in gold/gilded decorative frames and hang on plain walls. Wall-to-wall carpets were actually quite common so definitely include one large rug in your design – with a neo-classical, oriental or Turkish design. Wood work (skirting, dado, doors etc) was either stained, or painted in white, stone, olive or brown.
Curtains were quite fine and elaborate, but certainly not too fussy! To get the look today, festoon blinds would be ideal or anything with swags and tails. Choose a small pattern, preferably floral, or striped.
Floors were waxed wood or parquet. It was quite common to have inlaid floors, or create interest by stencilling patterns around the edge.
Furniture and Accessories
Georgian interior design was uncluttered with refined pieces of furniture arranged around the walls the middle of the room was left empty. Ball and claw‘ feet and dark wood were common.