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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In Honor of the Olympics - English Decorating Styles

Elements of English Decorating Style
I would like to honor the great London Olympics by taking a look at English Decorating Style(s).   I googled that phrase which resulted in a LOT of articles and images.  The most common description of the English style is English Country but an overall description was offered in this article with a strong emphasis on the use of wood-tones, particularly mahogany, in the upholstered and case-good pieces in the decor:
The opulence and character of the traditional English style are made for those who love classicism.  The basic and essential idea of the English style is achieving classic elegance.  

Mahogany is one of the crucial features of English style decor.  All the furniture should be made of mahogany.  This fine and elegant wood is a symbol of the distinction of this style. Chester sofas and armchairs are essential elements.  They have curved arms and a very low back.  They are wide leather armchairs adorned with decorative studs.  source
English Style - Classic Styled Furniture in Wood Tones - Oriental Rug source 
I even found a "recipe-like" set of instructions on a popular website - eHow Read More
1.  Select furniture that represents many styles and eras, from Chippendale to Queen Anne and Sheraton to Victorian. Traditional should dominate. Oriental influences may exert themselves strongly, either in the style - as with turned-bamboo wood spindles - or with lacquered Oriental finishes. Also consider painted landscapes, a Queen Anne table or a Chippendale highboy.
2.  Use primarily wood furniture in the living room - a traditional-style secretary, sideboard, lowboy, bookcase and sofa table. Oak, pine, mahogany and walnut are all popular choices.
3.  Choose soft and cushy sofas, love seats and chairs so that you sink down into the seating - down cushions are ideal. Pillows, rolled arms and slipcovers fit right in, as does floral upholstery in subdued colors.
English Style - Soft and Cushy Chairs source 
English Style - Traditional Shapes and Woodtones source

Traditional Chesterfield Sofa - VERY English!  source
4.  Consider a butler's table or a tea table with pull-out trays for your coffee table. For a more casual look, an old trunk or Chinese chest (carved or lacquered) with a glass top also fits the bill.
5.  Pick end tables from a simple Sheraton, curvaceous Queen Anne or block-front Chippendale style. The tables can be mismatched. A drop-leaf table can be pushed against the wall as a console or look great in a bay window.
6.  Cover windows with floor-length drapes that are loaded with gathers and match some of the upholstery in the room.
English Style - More Casual - source
7.  Anchor the room scheme with a graceful faded and worn Oriental or Aubusson area rug.
8.  Choose knickknacks from Asia, Africa or other parts of the former British Empire. Achieve a look that is pleasantly cluttered. Traditional English collectibles include old china (Oriental-influenced Blue Willow designs are typical), lead crystal, silver and an abundance of framed pictures.
9.  Embellish the mantel with candlesticks, china figurines (possibly Staffordshire dogs), a picture or framed mirror, dried or fresh flowers, and a clock.
English Style - Mantle with Mirror and Clock - source
10.  Light the room with traditional china or metal base lamps
English Style Sofa and Traditional Wallpaper - source
 There is a lot more I could say about English Style Decorating, particularly English Country Style which seems to be its most common, popular example, but these images and ideas are a good start.  I did note in reviewing articles and photos that more and more painted furniture is being added - replacing some of the heavy-looking wooden pieces.  There is also a movement toward more whimsy in the decor and a less serious approach.  I know much of my decorating sense derives from the classic and elegant styles I see here!

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