By Katie Laughridge
From Tribune News Service
Dearest gentle readers,
It is often said that those who binge delightfully decorated period dramas on Netflix must then obsess over the regency style of design for quite some time. This sentiment is clearly one I hold dear to my heart as I have been searching for not one, not two, but three weeks for the perfect touches to add old world elegance to my spaces. As the end of my season viewing draws near, I believe it is my responsibility to keep you informed so we might bring a bit of “Bridgerton” into the ton before polite society makes their pilgrimage to the country.
The Regency era is a period of British history defined by wealth and sophistication and known for its elegance and opulence. Amid an artistic renaissance occurring in the upper echelons, color and detail were coveted in the most distinguished of interiors. The aesthetic is a bit reminiscent of the current grandmillennial trend, if not a bit more refined. This design style requires varying degrees of prestige, pattern and glamour to get the recipe just right.
Regency style has many of my favorite things: windows dressed to the nines, luxurious, petite upholstery and delicate, finely carved wooden furniture. It is over-the-top elegance that speaks to the grandmillenial in all of us. This is a perfect style to slowly introduce into a traditional or transitional home aesthetic, as it too is a mix of old and new elements and creates a blend that fits quite nicely with those styles.
This style is also known for its mixing of light and dark furnishings. Try adding light furniture to your dark walls and flooring, or vice versa, for a regal contrast that makes your room pop.
This era in British history was all about designing to entertain visitors; therefore many Regency living spaces observe the design principle of symmetry. Mirrored seating in your room encourages conversation and quite frankly, it’s a beautiful way to arrange a room while offering lots of seating options. One fantastic way to replicate this in your own home is to position two sofas (or four chairs) facing each other with a coffee table or ottoman in between. I have done this in my own home and never looked back!
If you have lots of space to fill, consider creating a number of seating and conversation areas within a single space — it’s an art, but it can be done. Or, if you don’t have much space for furniture, another option is to carve out a separate sitting area just off your main living room to serve as an intimate spot for conversation.
More is more when it comes to Regency style. That means ornate patterns, daring draperies and fancy framing are all encouraged. Pillows, side tables, stools, chandeliers and mirrors add glamour and range to your rooms, especially when they are accessorized with carved details, metallic finishes and other classic motifs.
Add in textiles that look and feel expensive, such as velvet, silk or combed cotton, when it comes to your furniture, window treatments and other upholstered elements. Don’t skimp on the trims, tassels or any other small details.
Adapted from nellhills.com. Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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