18th Century Interiors of Georgian Homes
Coming on the heels of the Colonial era, the Georgian period which covered the years from 1714 to 1830 saw the American people showing their love for the beautiful things of life and expressing it through their way of life and the way they lived.
The rich, well-travelled, and affluent 18th century American loved and adopted the European style of interiors. Even the wealthier farmers and small land owners joined the trend of introducing classical forms and styles typically found in Europe into their home designs.
Georgian interiors were known for their elegance and lightness of touch, with the most enduring styles being the Neo-classical which was based on Greek and Roman styles and forms.
Though the local craftsmen and furniture makers were not as experienced as their European counterparts and therefore had their own limitations, yet in many instances they produced designs of extraordinary merit.
Granted, their works were copies of European styles, yet they seemed to make great imitations as was evident in the styles of their architraves, pilasters, trims, cornices, and panelled walls.
21 Features of Georgian Interiors
- Roman style columns (Corinthian, Ionic and Doric)
- High ceilings
- Sash windows
- Carved sculptures of Roman gods and goddesses
- Vases and urns
- Swags, ribbons, and garland motifs
- Shield and urn motifs
- Classical figures
- Pastel (subtle) colour scheme – often soft greys, pea greens and whites
- Stone work
- Wallpaper with simple Oriental designs
- Wrought iron works
- White plasterworks
- Animal figures – satyrs, dolphins, griffins and sphinxes used as bases or handles
- Intricate mouldings - but not grandiose
- Elegant furniture with soft fabrics
- Mural decorations
- Wall panelling
The Georgian Farmhouse Interior
The smaller Georgian farmhouse interior, unlike the more affluent homes, was generally devoid of wood panelling.
Farmers and small landowners preferred the plastered and whitewashed walls, painted finishes, and wallpaper. Wall and floor decorations consisted of a lot of stencilling with a fair number of old traditional Georgian stencilled patterns, some still intact today.
Mural decorations were used for interior enrichment and usually depicted beautiful picturesque landscape themes. These scenic themes were also painted on furniture, framed artwork, and other items of interior décor.