Early 1800s Home Decorating

Written by luanne kelchner
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The Colonial style of interior decorating can create an elegant appearance for homes built during the early 1800s. The homes have large airy open rooms with tasteful wood panelling and Corinthian columns decorating the entrance to the house. The front door of the two-story home is an elaborate feature with decorative sidelights and fanlights.

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Colonial Style

Homes in the early 1800s were decorated in the Colonial or Federal style. British Regency and French Empire design styles are the influence for this traditional and elegant interior decor. Homeowners with the financial resources decorated in Federal and Colonial Georgian styles, but the decor of the average home had a country and rustic appearance. The traditional Colonial style of decorating works well with formal homes featuring crown moulding and elegant columns on the exterior of the house.


Dark mahogany, elaborate carvings and inlays are common in traditional Colonial decor. Furniture such as Chippendale, Queen Anne and Sheraton are the elegant period pieces to include in large traditional rooms. The furniture designs feature classic curves and gilt edges for an aristocratic touch.


The interior decor of Colonial homes uses natural and soft shades such as cream, soft blue, rich green and barn red. Neutral colours such as brown and taupe accent the decorating style in Colonial homes. Gold and bright yellow add a splash of vibrancy to rooms. The Colonial style can also feature floral and striped wallpaper to decorate the rooms.


The decorative elements or accessories in a Colonial home accent the large open rooms. Pewter, embroidery, needlepoint and silver pieces add a classic element to the interior design. Upholstery and needlepoint designs use the rich colours and floral designs of the Colonial period. Homes decorated during the period also featured imported items from the Orient to accent the room decor. The fireplace mantel is a centrepiece for a Colonial room. Large mirrors hang over the fireplace with garlands and figurines decorating the mantel surface.

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