Go continental - in the living room

A continental living room will play with period styles and bring forward a traditional and elegant look that is reminiscent of old time Europe. A touch of class is achieved by choosing the right colour palettes, furniture and fabrics - not to mention the finishing touches.

Continental can also have a contemporary twist for those who have a love of both old and new. Don't know where to begin? We have done the homework for you so that all you have to do is read through the advice and our interior design ideas given below to start your decorating adventures!

  • You are at an advantage if you have some period features in your room such as an original fireplace, bay window or decorative mouldings. We recommend working together with these features and making the most of them by highlighting their existence. It will be easier too if you wanted to mix some contemporary styles into the room - the bay window or moulding creating the old/new balance. Using neutrals throughout the room such as white, cream and a grey-blue will be contemporary along with simple forms in furniture and décor pieces.
  • Some colours you can think about are warm yellows - not too bright or zesty that can be used on walls or upholstery. Gold detailing can be used throughout the living room too such as an ornate gold framed mirror above the fireplace or a little gold detail in cheap cushion covers.
  • You will want an understated elegance in your living room so take that into account when using patterned fabrics or prints. What you don't want is bright coloured polka dots or anything that you couldn't imagine being used more than half a century ago. The floral trend will work in this style and can be used in curtain fabrics, wallpaper, sofa furnishings and floor rugs. It can even be used as a print on décor pieces such as vases. Go with delicate and sophisticated as opposed to bright and brash.
  • Spend your free weekends browsing antique shops for some interesting finds. Look for furniture with ornate carving or start collecting china or porcelain items to put as a display. Ornate candlesticks and vases will also bring this look together. Some furniture items which would look good include a Regency style chaise lounge, sofas with scrolled arms, buttoned backs and polished wood legs or arms.
  • Voile curtain fabric works with both continental and contemporary styles and because your continental living room calls for a lot of light to keep it from looking heavy and dull - this type of fabric is perfect. For an interesting look, mix voile curtains in white or cream with a floral patterned curtain - gorgeous!

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