Colonial Revival Interior Design

Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

Colonial Revival interior design is characterized by sophisticated contrasting between white walls and mahogany wood, as well as stunning art objects. In this lesson, we will look at the features of Colonial Revival interior design.


Colonial Revival interior design took place between the 1870s and 1930s, and has continued to inspire the stylings of contemporary homes. Filled with rich and airy aesthetic features such as the iconic Windsor chair, high wainscoting, and rich mahogany furniture, a home with an interior design inspired by the Colonial Revival is remarkably elegant. In this lesson, we will take a look at the distinguishing features of Colonial Revival to fully understand the richness of this interior design style.

A Touch of Grandeur

A key characteristic of a Colonial Revival interior design plan is the element of grandeur. Since Colonial Revival homes eschewed anything commonplace, the interior is loaded with features only the rich could afford, even if that meant they were reproductions. For example, the rugs covering the hardwood floors boast reproductions of old world oriental designs.

The grandeur extended throughout the home, but is most often seen in the entryway. When you open the front door and step inside a Colonial Revival home, you are immersed in a large, open space filled with warm lighting. The elegant staircase that leads to the second story of the home is finished with off-white banisters and handrail stained in deep mahogany. Even though a Colonial Revival space feels extravagant, many of the space are well organized and built with everyday life in mind. Tables are often set up to be used, as opposed to the traditional dining room table that was only to be used for eating.

Light and Airy

A Colonial Revival home is not short of beautiful chandeliers to light the home, but that isn't the only feature lending to the open, warm, and airy feel of the space. Colonial Revival homes make good use of light colors such as 'colonial ivory', grey, and beige to dress the walls. Many rooms are a combination of painted walls and light pinstriped wallpaper that instantly bring up the sophistication factor.


High wainscoting, wood paneling, and simple moldings around windows and doors complete the interior design of a Colonial Revival space. The high wainscoting is painted white, while the panels are traditionally finished in mahogany to serve as a contrasting feature in the rooms.

Must-Have Accessories and Furniture

In the same way that an Art Deco space wouldn't be complete without pop art hanging on the walls, a Colonial Revival space isn't complete without art objects that speak to American history. For example, many Colonial Revival rooms feature Windsor chairs, spinning wheels, grandfather clocks, and gold-leaf mirrors.

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