Dearest gentle readers,
It is often said that those who binge-watch delightfully decorated period dramas on Netflix must then obsess over the regency style of design for quite some time. This sentiment is clearly one that I hold dear to my heart as I have been searching for not one, not two, but three weeks for the perfect touches to add old world elegance to my spaces. As the end of my season viewing draws near, I believe it is my responsibility to keep you informed so we might bring a bit of Bridgerton into the ton before polite society makes their pilgrimage to the country. – Yours truly, Lady Laughridge
The Regency era is a period of British history defined by wealth and sophistication and known for its elegance and opulence. Amid an artistic renaissance occurring in the upper echelons, color and detail where coveted in the most distinguished of interiors. This aesthetic is a bit reminiscent of the more current Grandmillinial trend, if not a bit more refined. This design style requires varying degrees of prestige, pattern and glamour to get the recipe just right,
Regency style has many of my favorite things – windows dressed to the nines, luxurious, petite upholstery, and delicate, finely carved wooden furniture. It is over the top elegance that speaks to the Grandmillenial in all of us. This is a perfect style to slowly introduce into a traditional or transitional home aesthetic as it too is a mix of old and new elements that creates a unique blend which fits quite nicely with those styles. This style is also known for its mixing of light and dark furnishings. Try adding light furniture to your dark walls and flooring, or vice versa, for a regal contrast that makes your room pop.
This era in British history was all about designing to entertain visitors, therefore many Regency living spaces observe the design principal of symmetry. While traditionally a formal setting, mirrored seating in your room encourages conversation and quite frankly, is also just a beautiful way to arrange a room while offering lots of seating options. One fantastic way to replicate this in your own home is to position two sofas (or four chairs) facing each other with a coffee table or ottoman in between. I have done this in my own home and never looked back! If you have lots of space to fill, consider creating a number of seating and conversation areas within a single space – there is an art to it but it can be done! Or, if you don’t have much space for furniture, another option is to carve out a separate sitting area just off your main living room to serve as an intimate spot for conversation.
More is more when it comes to Regency style. That means ornate patterns, daring draperies and fancy framing are all acceptable and encouraged. Pillows, side tables, stools, chandeliers and mirrors add glamor and range to your rooms, especially when they are accessorized with carved details, metallic finishes and other classic motifs. Add in textiles that look and feel expensive, such as velvet, silk or combed cotton when it comes to your furniture, window treatments and other upholstered elements. Don’t skimp on the trims and tassels any other small details – there is no such thing as “over the top” with this aesthetic.
Of course, as this is Bridgerton, we must sneak in at least one bee element as well! 😉 Have you seen the show and become as obsessed as I? It is worth watching for the sets and costumes alone – although it does often make me crave throwing my own tea party…maybe that’s something I should bring to the shop this year! Until next time gentle readers – happy decorating!