New England Interior Design Trends Through the Ages
A renovation project isn’t just a great way to expand the possibilities of your kitchen or upgrade your bathroom; it’s also a prime time to add some of your own personality and taste to your home. At JM Construction, we’ve integrated a range of interior design styles to our clients’ homes, from timeless and traditional to sleek and contemporary. To create something new, we often look to the past. Here’s a brief history of some of the most popular design trends we’ve seen in New England throughout the ages.
Queen Victoria was known for her elaborate taste, and that exuberance extended itself to the eponymous home aesthetic. The Victorian design era officially spans from the 1830s to the early 1900s, but having become a classic, it’s still a pervasive style. While the architecture of a Victorian house may look like a hodgepodge of forms, the interiors stick to a formula of deep colors, ornate mouldings, wrought-iron chandeliers and sconces, and elaborate wallpapers. Furniture is similarly extravagant. Think plush velvet seating and warm, wooden furnishings. And one of the most popular elements? The clawfoot bathtub.
Tudor homes – mostly built from the 1920s to the ‘40s – stand out for their white stucco facades and exposed wooden framing, called half-timbering. That framing carries over to the interiors as well. If you don’t own a Tudor home, you can still approximate this style with plenty of woodworking details like faux beams, built-ins, broad window frames, and dark wooden bookshelves. Walls can be outfitted with stained oak paneling, contrasted with washes of white ceiling paint. If you’re keeping track, Tudor homes lean into the wooden aesthetic hard, and the furniture choices – four poster beds, trestle tables, and high-back chairs – are no exception. Accessories, however, are: Pewter serving trays, tankards, and wrought-iron chandeliers are perfect throwbacks to compliment the Tudor style.
When British colonists arrived in New England, they borrowed the architecture from their homeland and built houses that would keep them warm throughout the freezing winters. These became known as Cape Cod houses, and the style enjoyed a renaissance from the 1930s to the ‘50s. While there are plenty of Cape Cod homes throughout New England, and especially in the Boston area, you can easily bring some of those design cues into your own house. Cape Cods have exposed beams running above and hardwood floors below. They’re often covered from head to toe in brilliant white paint, but pastels can be a great option for focal points. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to decorating. The sight of bright and cozy furniture should teleport you right to the Cape, complete with sea breeze and salty air. Decorations can include white-washed wooden accessories, sheer white curtains, and a few nautically-themed items.
Eschewing the ornate details of the past, modern interior design focuses on clean lines, minimalist color schemes, and materials like glass, metal, and even plastic. You’ll be seeing lots of squares and rectangles – angular couches, sleek credenzas and chests with little adornment, and sparse kitchen islands. The look works best in open concept layouts with little clutter and a lack of mouldings around doors and windows. Granite, marble, and stainless steel often adorn kitchens, which usually incorporate a bold yet sparse island. Modern can be flexible, though. You can use exposed structural elements and materials like glass and concrete to create a more industrial look. Or you can leverage dark wood, warm color palettes, and iconic design pieces from the 1950s and ‘60s for Mid Century Modern throwback.
These are just a few of the popular interior design styles we’ve seen over the ages, so there are plenty more to draw inspiration from. If you have ideas brewing and want to develop them into a home reno project, book a complimentary project consultation with our design experts today.