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colonial style decor

10 ideas for incorporating colonial style into decor

When we talk about colonial style decor, what is the first image that comes to mind? It’s impossible not to think of traditional mansions and farms, with robust wooden furniture, cathedral-like ceiling and exposed beams, a combination of rustic and classic. This is the portrait of a property from the colonization times, which are often portrayed in books, novels and movies

Today, architects and interior designers use many of these elements as a reference for decorating colonial-style homes or apartments. Want to know how you can do this? Check out the details!

What is colonial decor?

The colonial style concerns all the aesthetics established by Europeans in the countries they colonized. Over time, the mixture of the customs of native peoples with the traditions of the colonizers gave rise to this style that is rich in personality and details. The best known colonial styles are American and what we see here in Brazil.

The main influence we have on the colonial style is from the Portuguese. Brazilian colonial architecture, typical of 19th century mansions and farms, is today a reference in colonial decoration and is still widely adopted.

Main characteristics of the colonial style

Gone are the days when colonial decoration was limited to country houses. Today, it is very common to find this style in urban homes, both in houses and apartments. The idea of ​​blending the countryside with an elegant and delicate atmosphere, with old and familiar objects with a colonial aesthetic, has become a trend in interior design.

The classic and the rustic mix and guarantee very cozy and pleasant environments. The simplicity and the elements that refer to the countryside are characteristics of the Brazilian colonial style, which prioritizes rescuing the traditional without renouncing sophistication.

A room decorated in colonial style.

Colonial style decor

See the main concepts for incorporating this style into your home decor.


Lighting is an important element in the colonial setting. Spaces should be bright and well lit, either through large windows or light-toned coverings and accessories.

predominant colors

Neutral colors and those reminiscent of the countryside predominate in the structure (floor, ceiling and walls) and in the accessories (curtains, rugs, pillows, among other items). White and beige can be used as the basis for solid tones in the composition – such as green, terracotta, brown and blue (strong influence of Portuguese aesthetics).

colonial chandeliers

The colonial chandelier explores the rustic yet cozy look that immigrants intended to give their homes. Combined with wood, delicate curtains, floral prints and a farm look, it’s a must-have piece in the decor. It’s worth taking a stroll through the antique stores or looking for more modern versions in places specializing in chandeliers.

A colonial style chandelier

colonial furniture

The colonial-style furniture has a rustic and antique look, with lots of carvings and turned shapes, but at the same time, it reflects elegance.

The cabinets, shelves, tables, chairs, beds, bedside table, dressers, dressers, cabinets, stools and sideboards are robust and heavy, with an impeccable finish and well-polished, and may be accompanied by details in glass or iron.

Solid wood is the material that prevails in the manufacture of colonial-style furniture. Colors vary according to quality: dark, such as ebony, walnut, mahogany and peroba, for example; and pale, like cherry wood. Although in the Brazilian colonial style the preference is for the natural color, it is possible to find this type of colored furniture, very common in the American colonial style.

In addition to solid wood, sofas and armchairs are upholstered in dark leather or plain light fabric or with floral prints.

Colonial-style chair and table


An interesting detail is the handles. They are very important within this environment and give a charm to the furniture. In the Brazilian colonial style, for example, the handles can be made of copper or aged. In the American colonial style, it is very common to find handles in the shape of shells.

Indonesian coffee table with colonial handles


Colonial decoration can be recognized by the use of noble materials – such as ceramics, porcelain and lace -, mixed with bucolic raw materials and represented by simple fabrics, wood and rushes.

Straw braided, for example, is a feature of Brazilian culture that was incorporated into the style brought by the Europeans.

a colonial style chair

Doors and windows

Doors and windows are highlights in a colonial-style home. Generally, in contemporary decorations, they are discreet and do not play an important role in the composition with the other elements of the environment.

In colonial aesthetics, on the other hand, they cause a great impact due to their size and, to give more emphasis, they can be colored.

Integration with green

The plants and arrangements are also part of the country atmosphere that one wants to imprint on the colonial decoration.

Here are some ideas for including plants in the decor .

The roof

One of the characteristics of the colonial houses is the cathedral-like ceiling, pointed, with an apparent wooden structure. To bring this concept to current properties, the ceiling can be covered with wood.

The walls can also be searched to bring a sense of continuity.

Style blend

The mix of styles that refer to past times can make the decor even more interesting – such as Victorian style objects (inspired by the English monarchy) with exotic wood-based design, and decorative pieces from other countries, such as India or Africa.


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