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Georgian Style Home Decor | Real Estate News & Insights

Georgian home decorThe Georgian style of 18th-century England revived classical Grecian and Roman principles of proportion and symmetry. Traces of other flamboyant styles surface in the details, including French Rococo ornamentation, medieval Gothic motifs and Chinese lacquerwork.

Still, the Georgian look is mostly simple, uncluttered, sophisticated, and elegant. It features urn designs in wall moldings, timeless Wedgwood china and delicate furniture by then world-renowned master designers Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton.

Walls in a Georgian Home

The archetypical Georgian walls look classically aristocratic with three sections.

The cornice and frieze at the top is adorned with molded designs of acanthus leaves, urns, or swags and ribbons. The center “field” can be painted stone or pastel colors, paneled or covered with wallpaper or stretched fabric, damask or toile de Jouy. At bottom is a skirting board, chair rail and wainscoted dado painted white, stone, olive or brown.

Entrance halls

Entrance halls are generally without paper. They usually are painted pea green, turquoise, deep pink or Chinese yellow, then varnished.


Chinese wallpaper was the height of good taste during the period.

Modern Variations

Several reproductions of authentic wallpaper designs are available today in flower spray, urn, columns and striped patterns. Chinese designs of birds, flowers or landscapes are also available in reproductions.

Floors in a Georgian Home

Wood Floors

Wooden planks dominate most of the living spaces in the Georgian style. First choice is oak, bare and polished. Alternative materials fir and pine are varnished, lime washed, painted in one color or marbled.

During the first half of the 18th century, paved and inlaid floors with geometric designs were in style. Stenciling came into vogue at the end of the century, as did parquet borders around the edge of carpets.

Entryways were done in black-and-white marble or pale flagstones.

Modern Variations

For the kitchen, linoleum or vinyl are current replacements for the era’s typical floorcloth. Try geometric designs and trompe-l’oeil patterns.

For a smart look, consider rush matting—an element of the era’s chinoiserie style. The elite of the time, including England’s King George IV and U.S. President George Washington, favored it.

Cover with wall-to-wall or central carpets of neoclassical, Oriental or Turkish designs.

Colors in a Georgian Home

Standby Colors

The standby colors for a Georgian decor are generally subdued: white, stone, gray, buff, chocolate, paired with pea green, olive, eau de nil and pale blue.

During the course of the 18th century, however, more vibrant colors were introduced: red ochre, yellow ochre, raw umber, burnt umber, burnt sienna, Venetian red, Potter’s pink, Naples yellow, Prussian blue, vermilion and indigo.

Wealthy Homes

The wealthy experimented with period colors on ceilings, figurative decorations with segments and panels around a centerpiece, and ornamentations of cameos or medallions with mythological scenes as inserts.

The scenes and centerpieces are often painted pea green with pinks, lilacs and grays—all on a white background.

Colors for Rooms

  • Chocolate brown for internal doors and skirtings
  • Pea green and reds for libraries and dining rooms
  • Red for walls hung with gilt-framed paintings

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Updated from an earlier version by the realtor.com® team.

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