Kirsty Badenhorst Interiors KZN Interior Designer Blog

Now for a little history lesson on how this gorgeous style came to be… As the British moved from country to country colonising the world, their subjects, still true to their grassroots were influenced by these new tropical surroundings and new materials.

What I love about this style is that even though the British were influenced by the new environment, they still found the need to bring pieces from home. So what came to be, was actually an amalgamation of many different styles.

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Plants indoors:

Being captivated by these new lush surroundings, the British found themselves wanting more of the outside, inside. So then came potted plants and trees inside, giving homes more of that tropical feel. As you can see, this was a great move!

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How to get the look:

Find some beautiful woven baskets to put potted plants in, because remember, in British Colonial style, texture is key! Pop down to your local nursery, be sure that you are purchasing indoor plants, and get a little tropical! Find some stunning palms and ferns and give your home a fresh new feel. Mix and match with some tall potted tress and tabletop ferns. Slips of palm leaves in glass votives are a great way to create drama using plants!

 Furniture:

As the British were forever on the go and finding new places on their journeys, travel needed to be done smartly. In this, the pieces of furniture were collapsible and beautiful trunks were used for easy storage. These furniture items were called ‘campaign’ furniture. Once settled, all these items were incorporated into the space.

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How to get the look:

Using items that have the illusion of campaign furniture such as trestle legs, even using stacked antique trunks paired with a coffee table are ways to bring the look together. Place together a natural combination of textures such as rattan, teak, mahogany and sisal. Sisal or hemp rugs are an easy way to incorporate this style into your space.

 Patterns:

The British seemed to forget about their soft and simple patterns, but instead, welcomed the busy and vibrant patterns of their colonies. So, botanical prints, paisleys, ikats, animal prints and other exotic patterns were used.

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How to get the look:

There are so many different ways of incorporating patterns into your space. Rugs, throws, scatter cushions, vases and other textiles are just a few I could mention. The list goes on and on! The British were not afraid to use animal prints, so neither should you. Animal prints will add interest and fun to your space. Another great way to include animal prints is by bringing in animal hides. You can layer these on top of sisal or jute rugs to create texture.

 Accessories:

A fun way to accessorise was to show off items from one’s travels. Exotic pieces were featured in British Colonial homes in order to seem opulent, well travelled and educated. Accessories were put on display from countries such as China, the West Indies, the South Americas and from countries all over Africa. Another great way to show that one had travelled was by using travel tools as accessories. These included binoculars, maps, compasses, globes and books.

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How to get the look:

There are many stores that sell original antiques and collectables. However, these may cost one a small fortune. Many furniture and decor stores sell all sorts of items that are replicates of antique pieces. A great place to shop for these items is at Weylandts South Africa. Many charity stores also sell beautiful antique pieces for incredible prices.

Would you love to incorporate this beautiful style into your space?

Contact us today for an enquiry and all your interior needs.

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Yours in design,

Kirsty Badenhorst Interiors

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( images sourced from Pinterest )