Monday, May 11, 2009

Give A Modern Look To A Tudor Style Interior

The half timber of Tudor architecture is a common sight in London.

Tudor style originated in England and was in effect from the late 15th to the late 16th century. It's a highly decorative style that creates an atmosphere of imposing grandeur. Tudor style features Medieval-style elements, ornate dark wood furniture, dark wood paneling, deep, bold colors and heavy, richly-patterned fabrics. Modernizing a Tudor-style interior creates a lighter, fresher atmosphere while still maintaining the distinct Tudor design elements for a traditional finished effect with a modern twist. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Paint dark wood paneling with light colors such as rich cream, light mocha or soft pale blue to instantly lighten the atmosphere of the interior. Use a satin or eggshell-finish paint to encourage light to reflect off the low sheen of the surface.

2. Use a light-color wallpaper that complements the color of the newly-painted wall paneling to cover areas of the walls without wood paneling. Choosing an heraldic pattern or a fleur-de-lys print gives an authentic Tudor vibe, but one that is modernized with the light, airy colors.

3. Paint ceiling beams in a light, neutral color to visually lift the ceiling. Maintain the highly decorative aspect of Tudor interiors by applying a light-colored patterned wallpaper to the ceiling in between the beams.

4. Lay antique and traditional-style rugs on the floor, but choose light colors rather than the dark, bold hues of traditional Tudor interiors.

5. Add light colored furniture pieces such as sofas and chairs and accent with traditional Tudor-style dark wood furniture such as solid-looking dressers and dining tables and chairs.

6. Swap the heavy fabrics such as brocade used for window dressings for lighter materials in soft colors that complement the color of the walls.

7. Search antique stores for chandeliers and wall sconces but opt for slightly simpler designs than the highly ornate light fixtures used in traditional Tudor design.

8. Combine traditional accessories such as wrought iron candlesticks, pewter bowls and tankards with more modern accessories such as fresh-cut flowers in glass vases, simple modern photo frames and colored glass bowl centerpieces filled with scented candles and potpourri.

9. Place cushions on sofas and chairs in a range of traditional and modern fabrics and patterns. For example, combine richly-patterned brocade cushions with plain cotton and slightly more modern patterns.

Tags: dark wood, wood paneling, accessories such, dark wood furniture, dark wood paneling, highly decorative, light colors