From Colonial Williamsburg to modern subdivisions, one of the most iconic home styles is undoubtedly American Colonial. The style was brought over from England by American colonists in the early 1700’s, reflecting the Roman and Greek revival architecture that was popular in England at the time. Whether you own a historic colonial home or a newer-construction home influenced by the style, read on to learn how to bring out the timeless elegance and simplicity of colonial design.

American Colonial home design

by Jim Bowen via Flickr CC 2.0

American colonial interior design

via Houzz

What is American Colonial style?

Defining characteristics of historic colonial homes include:

  • White clapboard siding
  • Symmetrical or square front elevation with a door in the middle
  • Paired chimneys
  • Central stairway leading up from the foyer to a central hallway that bisects the house
  • Entrance portico with a pediment (the triangular roof area that is a hallmark of classical Greco-Roman temple architecture)
  • Dentil moulding- Both exterior (on the pediment and cornice) and interior
contemporary colonial American living room design

via Pinterest

Colonial interior design tips

The best interior design for contemporary owners of historical homes usually relates to the architecture of the home without being constrained by historical accuracy. If you would like to accentuate the colonial heritage of your home while still embracing contemporary design, consider these interior design tips.

  • Colors- Neutrals, earth tones, and pale blue-gray are all versatile color choices that are in character for colonial homes but still lend themselves to current design trends.
  • Honest, all-American materials- Warm wood, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, and wrought iron all evoke that early-American era of artisan crafting and can easily be updated for modern homes.
  • Formal yet comfortable style- Colonial architecture has a certain formality to it, yet it is not stuffy. Touches like braided rugs, stoneware pottery, and willow baskets accentuate the humble Americana aesthetic.

No matter what architectural style your home is, we can help you update it while staying true to its historic character. Contact MJN & Associates Interiors today to discuss your project and our design services, including custom upholstery and soft goods, furniture and color selection, space planning, digital rendering, custom rugs, remodeling, and more.