The British Colonial style is well-loved and has been since its arrival in the late 19th century – when the British Empire had poked its way into all other continents. In Asia, Africa and India, the locals began to make the British feel at home by replicating the current British furniture designs. The only difference was that the woods had to be suited to the climate; therefore mahogany, teak, ebony, rattan, wicker and animal hide were used. All the while, the new British style had touches of the land in which they were made (think of exotic carved pineapples as an example). British Colonial style was born!
· A sun lounge is a great place to start using this style as it is probably the closest we have to tropical climates! Just make sure that you increase that feeling with the right garden plants to look out onto – lots of rich greens and colourful exotic blooms. There is both a warmth and coolness about this design; you have the warmth of dark woods and cream upholstery and the coolness of touches of white and an accent blue in textiles. The room will be minimal on décor too – generally the style of furniture and the textiles are all you need in the way of beauty. A gigantic brown pot with a glaze showcasing a tropical indoor palm or dragon tree adds a touch of those faraway lands.
· There is no reason why you can’t have Rattan furniture in your lounge; mix a light rattan sofa and lounger with dark wood sitting chairs. Stay in theme with a light and calming colour palette – white or cream upholstery and cream wall paint. A glass coffee table helps to enhance the feeling of space in a smaller lounge and could act as a focal point with a tropical indoor plant. Little decorative accents with an oriental theme will help to define the style you are trying to achieve – a dark wood armoire for storage, elephant sculptures or oriental lampshades.
· Get the British Colonial look in the bedroom with a canopy bed, using white voile curtains ready made to imitate the look of mosquito netting. Again, dark woods will look gorgeous alongside the white bed linen, canopy and simple white ready made blinds for the windows. Alternatively, choose wooden Venetian blinds or bamboo blinds at the windows. It was quite a rich style, so it wasn’t uncommon to have decorative club chairs in the bedroom or window seating – you could try an Ottoman by the window for both functional storage as well as a pleasant place to relax on hot days! A Persian rug would also add a finishing touch to this interior design style.