Embracing American Colonial Design Style: Timeless Elegance for Modern Living

Pet-Friendly Interior Design

There is something undeniably charming and elegant about the American colonial design style. Rooted in the rich history of the American colonies, this design period encompasses a diverse array of influences, incorporating elements from various European countries, as well as local materials and craftsmanship. This blog post will delve into the history and characteristics of this enduring style, and offer some tips for incorporating American colonial design elements into your own home.

A Brief History

American colonial design emerged as European settlers established new colonies in North America during the 16th and 17th centuries. Drawing on diverse influences from their home countries - including England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands - settlers adapted familiar styles to the resources and climate of their new surroundings.

Characteristics of American Colonial Design


Characterized by symmetry and simplicity, colonial architecture often features steep, gabled roofs, large central chimneys, and rectangular or square floor plans. Multi-paned, double-hung windows, symmetrical facades, and columned entryways also frequently make an appearance.

Color Palette

The colonial color palette was heavily influenced by the natural materials available at the time. Earthy neutrals, subdued blues, and warm reds are dominant, while brighter accents in yellows and greens were utilized sparingly.


Craftsmanship and durability were highly prized during this period, so American colonial furniture is often made from local hardwoods like maple, oak, and pine. Popular styles include Chippendale, Queen Anne, and Federalist, marked by intricate carvings, clean lines, and simple curves.


Decorative accessories were often minimal and practical during this period. Steeped in tradition, colonial décor often features brass and pewter accents, hand-painted ceramics, area rugs, and embroidered textiles that showcase fine needlework skills.

Incorporating American Colonial Style Into Your Home

Balance Old and New

To create a modern, fresh take on colonial design, mix traditional pieces with contemporary furnishings and accessories. This approach creates a perfect balance between elegance and comfort.

Add Period Accents

Incorporate colonial-inspired accents such as brass candlesticks, pewter tableware, or hand-stitched tapestries to add character and historical context to your home.

Embrace Symmetry

Symmetry and balance are key elements of colonial design. Arrange furnishings and décor in pairs or groups to create a sense of order and harmony in your living space.

Draw Inspiration from Nature

Bring the outdoors in by incorporating natural materials like wood, stone, and wool into your décor, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Choose Timeless, Durable Furnishings

Opt for sturdy, well-crafted pieces that will withstand the test of time, just as the original American colonial settlers did. Quality hardwood furniture and heirloom accessories will last for generations to come.

In conclusion, the American colonial design style encompasses a rich history and timeless elegance that can be easily adapted to suit modern tastes. Keep an open mind, prioritize quality craftsmanship, and blend old and new elements to create a harmonious and welcoming living space that honors America's storied past.