How to give your home a traditional feel

Lucy Searle 21/01/2015 15:42:34 DIY and How-to Guides

Dress the window

Whichever room you’re looking for window treatments for – from the living room to the bedroom – the key is to choose something that flatters the proportions of the room and the window itself. The large windows of Georgian and Victorian houses in particular suit shutters, as do small ones in country cottages, with slatted and solid shutters both practical and good-looking options for all rooms.

If you do go for slatted shutters, bear in mind that the smaller the slat, the more authentic the look. As for finish, dark colours or wooden shutters, such as those in our premium elm range, with its luxurious deep grain, will really up the style-factor in a traditional room scheme (and don’t forget that ‘premium’ doesn’t mean ‘pricey’ with us). And last, but not least, don’t forget that shutters help insulate your house – perfect for big, draughty windows!

Curtains, too? Unlike contemporary room schemes, traditional rooms love layers, so you can team slatted shutters and curtains without committing a style faux pas. That said, ensure the curtains can be pulled right back to the window frame – that way, the shutters can be shown off in their full glory, the windows will look bigger, more daylight will get into the room and, importantly, you’ll have no trouble opening the shutters when you need to.

Pick the furniture

What you don’t want: streamlined, low-slung furniture and high gloss finishes (unless it’s waxed wood). What you do want: squashy sofas, covered in cushions and throws, inviting armchairs, ironwork beds, anything with lots of warm, knotty wood on show, and plenty of surfaces on which to display knick knacks. In other words, the aim is to conjure up a comfortable, welcoming, lived-in feel that’s the opposite of minimal.

No surprises so far. So what else? Books on display in open shelves, storage that’s for show rather than practicality, and more side tables bedecked with lamps and picture frames than you can shake a stick at. 

Here’s another tip to help your living room feel traditional and cosy – pull furniture, such as sofas and armchairs, away from the walls a little (or a lot in very big rooms), and group it around a central focal point in the room, perhaps a rug and/or coffee table. Coffee table got a shelf beneath for books and a big enough top to display a nice vase of flowers? All the better.

Picture: House of Fraser

Get the colour scheme right

Your rooms needn’t be painted in traditionally dark colours to get the look right (classic creams can work, honest) – but these shades are bang on trend for the year ahead and will endow a room with a certain sense of drama. If you do go for dark shades, choose them carefully to flatter the kind of daylight your room gets. Dark blues or greens are perfect for a south- or west-facing room but warmer colours, such as deep reds or browns, will suit a cooler, north- or east-facing room better.

Whichever you choose, add warmth with wood in flooring and furniture, and be sure to include touches of gold or bronze, too, to bring in a hint of glamour. Also, don’t forget to include pattern in your scheme. If the room’s a busy one, you can keep the pattern minimal (can’t believe we used that word here!), introducing it in cushions and throws alone; otherwise, a feature wallpaper wouldn’t go amiss.

Picture: www.alisonathome.com

Add the finishing touches

Going traditional means going for comfort, so add rugs underfoot, and layer beds and sofas with cushions and throws. You needn’t spend a fortune on these – but if you can find faux fur throws, bedspreads that look like traditional eiderdowns and cushions with period-style motifs on them, you’ll be going in the right, comfort-is-king direction.

Hunt down bargain accessories online or at boot sales, too. They needn’t be original antiques to fit in – but they should look substantial or have lots of detailing. Found some taxidermy? Include it. Stuffed animals not your thing? Accessories depicting animals, like this owl candlestick, are a big trend this year, too, so knock yourself out.

If contemporary style is more up your street, check out our style tips here.

Like our help when it comes to choosing shutters? Contact us or call 0800 012 6009.

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