Thursday, August 28

home envy: colonial interiors

Last month, when we got back from our vacation in Williamsburg, I shared some of my favorite features of Colonial homes' exteriors.  Today, I've rounded up a few features I noticed inside Williamsburg's homes, government buildings, and shops that look just as beautiful in modern home interiors.

I was so impressed by the beautiful black and white marble flooring in the entry of the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.  Classic black and white patterns look great in stately homes as well as in smaller doses in urban spaces.  

House Beautiful via Attic Mag

Butler's pantry from Southern Living

Another Governor's Palace feature I loved was the butler's pantry just off the entry.  The open shelves inside held an assortment of antique bottles and pitchers.  I love open shelving in modern kitchens, and though it's a touch often associated with farmhouse decor, it's just as appropriate in a Colonial home.


Columbia Cabinet Works | Sara Gilbane via Attic Mag

Throughout the Governor's Palace, Delft tile and pottery were integrated into the decor. These classic Dutch earthenware designs are charming, and Delft pottery is still manufactured today.

Margot Austin via Decor Happy | Country Living

Windsor chairs were introduced in America in the 1720's, and the classic style is easy to find.

Chinoiserie reading nook by Simplified Bee | Annsley Interiors via Decor Pad

A style known as "Chinese Chippendale" became popular in America in the late 18th century, and I fell in love with two emerald-green chairs I spotted upstairs in the Governor's Palace. I love the idea of painting this style in a bright neon color for a fun, modern look in an office or on a patio.

The Governor's Palace also boasted some beautiful wall paneling.  This is an interior feature that looks very luxe but can be DIYed as well to match any decor.

Todhunter Earle Design via Boxwood Cottage

Let's talk plaid... done with too heavy a hand, a solid-color plaid or checked fabric can look like a bad 80's flashback.  Done in small doses on a few coordinating pieces, the design is so cozy and welcoming.

David Mitchell via Alicia B. Designs

Yvonne McFadden LLC via Houzz

No Colonial home tour is complete without a master canopy bed.  Like plaid furniture, canopies can sometimes cause '80's deja vu, but today's versions are much less frilly princess and much more modern escape.

Cynthia Palampore duvet cover from Pottery Barn

Finally, palampore prints are a simple and easy way to bring some Colonial style into your home.  In the 1700s these designs were exported from India and were very expensive.  The most popular designs represent plants and flowers.  Today, palampore patterns are a staple at some of my favorite home goods stores, from Pottery Barn to Pier1, on everything from throw pillows to shower curtains.

Do you have any Colonial or historical touches in your home?  What is your favorite decorating style?

Thanks to Wikipedia for helping me learn about Colonial designs!


  1. I love Georgian styles houses and Colonial era decorating. I would live in Colonial Williamsburg if I could, haha.

    1. Same here! I think I got brainwashed into loving Georgian buildings when I lived in Charlottesville :)