7 Traditional Home Interior Ideas to Transport You Back in Time


It’s perhaps the oldest modern interior design style in the world, but it’s become the most difficult to implement. The traditional style only comes second to the classical style of home design in terms of age, but it’s head and shoulders above many other types of styles. If you have tried Scandanavian, industrial, minimalist, modern, and or contemporary but, you haven’t been able to feel comfortable in your own home, try the traditional style.

It’s a little bit of a challenge but once you understand a few of its concepts, all shall be made clear to you. The first thing you have to remember is that traditional style came to fruition between 1840 and 1914. It crosses both the Victorian and the Edwardian Eras.

This means you have two schools of thought, so there is a lot of choices.

Earth is the tone of the day

So many people like to pour salt on the traditional style because they say that it was too wasteful in some of its material choices. However, now that we have our eco-friendly specs on, we can see that it was actually far ahead of its time. Earth tones are the most prevalent color scheme throughout the traditional home.

Consider having a mahogany coffee table that is rich in brown and orange.

This amazing wood is strong, sleek, and is very resistant to scratches and knicks. It won’t dent easily and it can stand the test of time. The wood grain is so fine and strong, that you can shave or sand off the top layer after 10 years, and it will look brand new underneath. However, if you use wood oils and varnishes, your coffee table will continue to look amazing. It’s also very heat resistant so you don’t have to worry about putting your coffee table in a warm room, such as, during winter.

The design of the table has to be rectangular but it must have hand-carved designs on the edges. The skirt of the table must decrease in size as it goes down and the legs should have amazing detail such as oak leaves, birds, vines, leaves, and flowers; to name a few.

Displaying your wealth

The display cabinet is Edwardian. It’s stylish, subtle, and can be used to display your wealth. It doesn’t have to be wealthy in terms of crystal wine glasses or silverware, it can be a wealth of culture, travel, experience or just artistic tastes.

But what kind of display cabinet should you have? Well, the obvious is to have a mahogany cabinet that has tempered glass, and of course, it’s handmade. However, there are numerous styles to choose from. The Victorian Era style is very blocky, tall, wide, and uses dark varnishes.

It uses bits of neo-classical design, such as pillars, columns, and strong features such as handles, drawers, and shelves. The key difference is, the Edwardian style uses glass shelves while the Victorian uses wooden. However, both use crystallized glass, which is extremely clear and dances with the light.

You can also make candle holders for the cabinet inside, right next to the handles. This way, the inside of your cabinet can be lit up and display your family photos, figurines, travel souvenirs, and much more, at night and the evening.

Edwardian mahogany 3 leaf extending dining table

A formidable yet inviting area

The dining area is an extremely important part of the traditional home.

It’s where the family gathers to eat, has vital conversations but most alluring, is when it’s used for dinner parties. However, there are countless different approaches to the dining table. Consider going with a Dining Rooms Outlet which has experience in this.

This company sells the Hooker Furniture Corsica which is lighter in shade than the Victorian Era sets. However, it would be perfect for an Edwardian home, which is a little more regal and shapely. The espresso tones are calming and classy, but the dark wood grain brings a level of boldness and power to it that it rightly deserves. The chairs can be curved or they can be more square, with armrests.

If you would prefer to go with a Victorian-style dining table, then consider the table to be made from walnut, cherry, or mahogany.

The upholstery would be from British sheep. Highland wool is very thick and comforting but it doesn’t breathe much the same as wool from the south of England. The style of the table can be rounded but generally speaking, you want a large rectangular table, with hand-carved designs for the table.

Vines are the most popular design for dining table legs in this period. It’s a symbolic design that connects the garden and the forests, with the table. 

Ornamentation and power

The Victorian Era brought home a new layer of style, that gave the home incredible depth. We see it as completely normal now, but back in the 1830s, this was rare and very abnormal. How do you implement Victorian Era ornamentation?

You should look for symbols of power and expansion. A brass lion in your living room would be very fetching. It can also be made out of cast iron. The most important thing is the detail. It should have been made by a great craftsman so that the lion’s muscles can be seen.

If you need inspiration, consider the Lion of Maiwand in Berkshire, England. The main, the body, and the snarl should be clearly visible. 

Another symbol of power that can be placed in your home in the form of statues, sculptures, or figurines is birds of prey. Golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and harriers are classic examples that were seen all over the world wherever there was a Victorian home. However, you can also have classical figures such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Greek gods like Zeus in your garden in the form of limestone busts.

How to make a Victorian Lampshade - the easy way

Lamps and candles

Side table lamps were a staple in the Victorian home. Consider a cotton lampshade that has tassels for true authenticity. The color scheme should be earth tone and or late spring.

This can be brown, beige, cream, rose gold pink or regal navy, and royal blue. The stem should be made out of polished brass, which has a natural sheen to it. You can also have a stem that is made out of silver, which became very popular in the Edwardian period

However, the presence of candles and what they bring to your home cannot be understated.

The shimmer of a real flame and the calming nature of its light would bring such a depth of style to your home, that no other modern equivalent could match it.

The candle holders you choose would again have natural symbols carved or made into them. The brass or varnished wood that the holders would be made from would also have birds, flowers, sunshine, and angles in their design. 

A lounge room?

Did you know that before what we now call the living room existed, there was only the lounge? A lounge room is not the same as a living room! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is, because it will greatly affect the style you choose.

The most prominent style items are the chaise lounge chair, the bookcase, the bar cabinet, candle holders, figurines and statues. Let’s start off from the top.

  1. The Chaise Lounge chair can also be supplemented by the Chesterfield winged reading chair. Both seating items need to be made from the most exquisite leather on the market. If you want them in their traditional appearances, then the Chaise chair needs to be in British green or royal blue. The Chesterfield comes in both chair and soda, so you can have somewhere to host guests.
Bust Of Queen Victoria Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow Scotland

2. Statues in the lounge are very common in both eras, but what kinds would you have? For the Victorian Era, you would have a bust of Her Majesty Queen Victoria as the most common piece. In the Edwardian Era, you would have British icons of all kinds, such as generals, artists, philosophers, and coat of arms of the region you are from. For example, if you are from the Warwickshire county, you would have a castle, bear and staff statue in the corner or on the wall.

3. As a lounge room doesn’t have a television, you would do something that draws attention to itself. A tapestry or large wall painting is the vortex that pulls people into the room. 

Victorian Mahogany Tall Case Clock | M.S. Rau

Keepers of time

Both eras were the headers of the traditional period of interior design.

They both had amazing grandfather clocks which you should have in your home too. The designs vary, but you should focus on clocks that have been made from mahogany and have a silver chime. The tone that the chime gives off in this material, is unlike any other. It’s light enough to be high-pitched but solid enough to spread the gongs around the home adequately.

The traditional home is dominated by the Victorian and Edwardian styles.

They are easy to understand once you grasp the concepts. Try implementing a large traditional dining table in your home and see how the mood and atmosphere of your interior suddenly changes.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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