When it comes to comfortable living spaces, there are few environments more inviting than the traditional English living room. Indeed, the combination of overstuffed armchairs, antique rugs, and grand fireplaces call to mind cosy afternoons spent in the company of family or a good book.
As nation of people regularly dodging the rain, it’s no surprise that the English have spent centuries developing a warm interior space that forms the centre of their home life.
It’s also become something of a cornerstone of English culture, appearing in everything from Pride and Prejudice to modern day soap operas.
The traditional English living room needn’t be the preserve of novels and television, however, and it’s perfectly possible to style a version of your own.
In this article, we’ll take you through five steps that will help you to create an English style living room, no matter where in the world your home is.
1: Get Yourself a Bookcase. A Nice Big One.
As an interior space that features highly in the history of English literature, it’s fitting that the traditional English living room is often framed by a large bookcase.
Best lined with classic hardbacks and large volumes of poetry, you’ll want to go for a wooden floor-to-ceiling unit in either Oak or Walnut.
Perfect for those days when you want to shut away the wind and the outside, the bookcase offers a functional as well as an aesthetic benefit to your living room.
2: Embrace floral prints.
A pleasing reminder of how this communal space began its live out in countryside manors, floral prints are an integral part of any English style living room.
If you’re already a confirmed lover of floral prints, feel free to indulge in some suitably colourful curtains or perhaps an armchair decorated with water lily illustrations.
If you take a more reserved approach to floral patterns, a few cushions or a throw will be more than enough to bless your living room with a decidedly English character.
3: Let the walls talk.
Like many other elements of a traditional English living room, the wallpaper needs to be loud and full of life.
By far the most popular choice of English living room wallpapers are those which are made up of geometric patterns. With shapes descending down the walls, such an effect ultimately creates a vibrant background to the space.
If you’ve still got a taste for the wild, dark floral wallpapers are also a great way of creating a calming and cosy ambience in your living room.
4: Go Bold with Your Sofa. Really Bold.
If the bookcase is what frames your living room, then it’s the sofa which serves as its centrepiece. Of course, as you’ll be spending the majority of your time here, you’ll want to find one that’s totally irresistible.
Thankfully, the traditional living room is characterised by large and colourful sofas. With this in mind, you can prioritise comfort above all else and set yourself up with the perfect spot to snuggle up with a book plucked from your bookcase.
5: Get Eclectic with Your Decoration.
Whilst modern interior design is all about consistency, the traditional English living room is all about sharp contrasts. Think gold framed portraits on blue walls and dark mahogany panels offset by bronze candle holders.
There’s a very good reason for such charming chaos. English living rooms were historically shaped over many years and by the hands of many generations. In other words, owners of traditional living rooms didn’t shop for their furniture and decorations over a single weekend, they inherited them over time.
This process naturally creates something of a patchwork, with each family member imparting a small part of their tastes to the living room.
To recreate this effect, you’ll need to take a playful approach to your decoration shopping and bravely combine antiques with more modern flourishes. Think old grandfather clocks with modern vases and coffee tables surrounding them.
Should you discover that you’re interested in finding an entirely traditional English home, it’s well worth taking a look at the properties available with Pymm & Co. As an established of estate agents in Norwich, they’re perfectly positioned to introduce you to beautiful houses in the rural county of Norfolk.
Naturally, having an entire English home provides you with the opportunity to enjoy much more than just the living room. Indeed, you can begin to explore the possibilities of other interior spaces as well as the much coveted English garden.