British interior design has stood the test of time with classic furnishings oozing in charm and opulence. Whilst modern interior design favours a minimalistic look, incorporating some traditional design elements into your home can add a sense of character to an otherwise simplistic setting. Here, I’m counting down five key interior design elements that are quintessentially British and definitely worth splashing out on!
- The Ottoman
Often shunned as a mere footstool, the ottoman can actually be a versatile addition to your home. The classic ottoman often features a plush, quilted top expertly crafted from subtly patterned fabric, however, like most of the furnishings on my list, it has been reinvented over the years to embrace a contemporary aesthetic. Modern ottoman’s can create a bold style statement, with unique frame structures, upholstered in glamourous crushed velvet, or smooth leather. Ottoman’s not only help to create a style statement in your living/ dressing area, but they can also provide additional storage space – a must in every home!
- The Welsh dresser
The Welsh Dresser offers optimum storage and display space for kitchen/ dining areas. Unfortunately, this great British furnishing often ends up as a dumping ground for household bric-a-brac. A cluttered Welsh dresser detracts from its charm, so it’s important to get the styling right if you want to embrace this classic item. Dark wood, or pine designs are generally better suited to traditional homes, whereas painted styles, in crisp white, or sage green can look modern, or country-kitsch, depending on the styling. Regardless of your dresser choice, for maximum impact be sure to don it with consistently coloured crockery (you can’t go wrong with white, in my opinion) and bring in pops of colour with fresh fruit, and flowers for an organic vibe.
- The Writing Bureau
Ok, so the writing Bureau is actually of French origin, but its vintage appeal has secured it as an essential in many classically British homes. Unfortunately, whilst timeless in appearance, the bureau has become forgotten in modern interior design, as technology advances mean that it’s now considered less practical than a standard desk. But, the bureau can offer a lot of storage space and some designs are suitable as laptop workstations. When it comes to choosing a bureau, I recommend hitting up charity/ antique shops for worn designs that you can upcycle. It’s amazing what a lick of paint and some new door-knobs can do!
- Chesterfield Sofa
The Chesterfield Sofa is arguably the most classically British item on this list, with its deep buttoned back and oversized rolled arms oozing in gentlemanly charm! The Chesterfield becomes a feature in any room, regardless of whether you choose a traditional leather finish, or a modern upholstered design. Traditional Chesterfields are usually crafted to the highest standard and can be expensive, but you can rest assured that this is a purchase that will last an eternity. Unlike modern sofas, as your Chesterfield ages and the fabric softens, its charm and character grows, with each crease and crinkle telling a unique story.
- The armchair
An armchair was once reserved for the man of the house, but as style has evolved, this classic interior has been re-envisioned. You could opt for a coordinating armchair to match your sofa, for an understated look. Or, choose a patterned fabric, in a contrasting colour, to make a bold design statement in an otherwise neutral space. Whichever option you decide on, the armchair will always ma