Colonial Style Interior Design Ideas and Photos of the best interiors for your inspiration

By | November 17, 2022

There are a great many options for the design of premises today, but those that have passed through the centuries deserve special attention and interest. So the colonial style in the interior carried the appeal through several centuries and to our time without losing important features.

Colonial interior.

Style History

Every existing style was formed due to the needs of the people in one period or another. Of course, historical incidents, revolutions and discoveries influenced. For example, the colonial style developed thanks to great geographical travel. The map of the world in those days was not as complete as it is today. Sailors went on long voyages, bringing elements of their culture and trinkets from hot countries.

At the same time, powerful states: Spain, Portugal and England, to which most of the shipping was subject, sought to expand their borders. New colonies were founded in Asia, India, Australia and Africa, bringing the peculiarities of European life.

Living room.

But the hot, stuffy climate and a certain culture of the peoples of other countries did not go unnoticed. The classically decorated interiors of the Spaniards or the British began to be complemented by the flavor of the mysterious East. Simple and strict forms are intertwined with elegant and amazing ornaments, characteristic materials of the continent, decor. So there was a style called colonial.

But the spread of the style in American homes occurred after the Civil War. The heritage of the British was being eradicated and replaced by new fashion trends in interior design. For example, the use of different shades of the palette for finishing different rooms.

Living room.

In general, we can say that the colonial style appeared due to the fusion of already familiar classical features in the arrangement of premises with the features of conquered countries and territories. The customs of the peoples, their culture, the peculiarities of everyday life and the rules of the home environment largely influenced the style, becoming its bright feature.

Interestingly, when returning to Europe, the colonists brought things from another continent to their homes, diluting the atmosphere. And what was brought to the conquered continent was reminiscent of European traditions. Thus, styles mixed among themselves, coming to the same denominator: colonial. Having reached the present day, the colonial style has hardly changed and going into such an interior, a person seems to be transported into the past.

Living room with fireplace.

Colonial interior design

Woven hats, exotic figurines and African masks. Travel guides to distant countries lying on the shelves. The colonial style reminds of distant travels and breathes a foreign flavor.

Important features of the colonial style:

  • Most often, country houses are decorated in the colonial style. It assumes closeness with nature, a view of a blooming garden. Therefore, the windows are made wide and large. And the entrance doors are glass.

Living room with fireplace.

  • Zoning of rooms with columns, curtains or screens is common. Not only functional zones are separated. It is common to create walk-through halls.
  • The interior design in the colonial style is original and combines elements of Old England with ethnic accessories of hot countries.
  • Natural materials. Natural wood is popular in furniture and decoration. Stone, copper and clay parts. Textiles involve cotton and linen.

Colonial-style recreation area.

Interior decoration: materials

It is customary to start finishing from the ceiling. It is popular to use light paint or decorate with beams made of wood of a natural shade. But this option will be more effective in a country house with high ceilings. In cases where the colonial style is planned to be brought into a city apartment, decorating the ceilings with leather or fabrics looks good.

The walls are painted neutrally – in cream, beige tones or refreshing white. The walls are often covered with wallpaper with animal or vegetable prints. Usually, the shade of finishing materials for walls is selected lighter than the shade of furniture. The walls act as a background.

Living room with fireplace.

The most popular floor covering is parquet or ceramic tiles with a traditional ornament of a certain country. Interior doors are usually massive, but in a small room they are replaced by a carved elegant arch. Often it is covered with a thick cloth.

Curtains for windows are chosen depending on the direction of the colonial style. If the interior is dominated by French motifs, curtains are simple and light. If the interior conveys the spirit of colonial Africa, blinds made of natural fiber are recommended instead of curtains. The Moorish-Spanish atmosphere suggests wooden shutters or Roman curtains.

Arch in the interior.


The naturalness of the materials runs smoothly through the entire colonial style. Furniture items are more often made of wood. Bamboo, rattan, red or ebony, but less valuable breeds are also acceptable. The choice should be made in favor of massive and large models, instead of sophisticated options.

But focusing on the dimensions and material, designers recommend remembering about jewelry. Carvings, peculiar ethnic patterns, flat or three-dimensional elements are inherent in colonial-style furniture.

Colonial interior design.

Wicker armchairs and sofas with several bright pillows in an oriental theme perfectly fit into the interior. Upholstered furniture allows for bright large drawings. Animal motifs are also popular.

Colonial style furniture.

Color scheme

The palette of shades is divided into two main options. The first is the use of white in combination with light shades.

The second option, on the contrary, offers to mix bright colors filling the interior with dynamics and life. Azure and cinnabar, yellow and blue will add liveliness to the room.

Interestingly, at the very beginning of the development of the colonial style, such a “flashy” exotic seemed too pretentious and the colors quickly faded to match European views. But today, the boldness and diversity of choice bring the style back to its former brightness, bringing it closer to the traditions of the continents.


The main directions of the colonial style

New lands were conquered by different states. Colonists from different countries brought their own peculiarities and traditions, so the colonial style formed several completely different directions.


The British remain true to themselves and there is a fireplace in the center of everything again. Only now it is customary to decorate it with an arch, as well as mirrors, windows, doorways. The color scheme of the English colonial style allows for juicy shades. As a decoration, paintings with images of African animals and plants act. Textiles painted under animal skins. Objects made of precious wood.

English Colonial style


It may seem that the style combines elements of Mediterranean design trends, but look more closely at the Moorish features. The traditional palette is quite strict: terracotta, deep blue, dark brown, white,. It is diluted with soft shades of sand and pink, and individual details are highlighted in black.

The Spanish style is distinguished by a wealth of ornaments. Painted textiles, stained glass windows, mosaics. Metal rivets on furniture.

Spanish Colonial style.


This direction of the colonial style is close to country. A light palette in decoration and natural materials are considered traditional. But today they are increasingly being replaced with artificial ones, but imitating natural ones: plastic, drywall, pressed wood chips, synthetic fabrics.

The American colonial style is the most pragmatic and practical of all. Even the furnishings suggest symmetry and centralization. And each object in the room has a specific function.

Finishing still requires light shades. Thus, the room visually expands. The effect of airiness and spaciousness is created. Wood shades are used as a contrast. Textiles are popular. Canopies in the bedroom, a variety of bedspreads and pillows, layered curtains and curtains. Blankets and capes for chairs. Carpets or animal skins on the floor.

The interior is completed with live plants in outdoor tubs or small planters. But such accessories require time and effort. If there is no desire to care for them, they can easily be replaced with artificial options or use floral motifs in textile items.

Interior with wicker furniture.

Colonial style in different interiors: photos

The colonial style that has come down to our days has absorbed elements of cozy exoticism and respectability of classics. And thanks to modernity, it becomes real to use any natural materials to create incredible interiors. The colonial style has no clear rules and frameworks. When decorating the interior, it is important to hear yourself, your imagination and observe some features that have passed through the centuries.

Interior of a country house

Living room in beige tones with a bright accent.

The blue color harmoniously fits into the interior.

Spacious living room.

Combination of light and dark shades.

Living room with panoramic windows.

Modern execution of the colonial style in the interior of the living room.

Interesting lighting options.

Living room.

Spanish colonial style in the interior.

Dining area.

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