When we talk about traditional British interiors, we could really be talking about a number of styles from a range of different design eras. ‘Traditional’ could inspire a stately-home style drawing room, furnished with chesterfields, tapestries and chinoiserie. Or at the other end of the spectrum, it could evoke an oak-beamed rural retreat with agricultural artefacts hung on the walls. You might be thinking of anything from a Georgian townhouse to a heritage, cosy cottage.

Whatever your idea of traditional is, it’s likely you have a certain style in mind for your home. Defining exactly what this style includes is an integral part of creating a beautiful home interior; it helps to inform your choice of features and furnishings. But while sticking to silhouettes and patterns from a particular era can make a space feel authentically traditional, at Chesneys we know first hand how mixing traditional styles with contemporary designs can sometimes make for the most beautiful results.


Designing a traditional living space is a balancing act. On the one hand, there’s authenticity to consider: staying true to the style you’re replicating. On the other, you’ll also want to leave room for individual expression. Opportunities to address both of these design perspectives will lay in the finer details of the space: its colour schemes, patterns and finishes.

It’s these features that should be reminiscent of the traditional style you wish to recreate. For example, hand-painted wallpapers, smooth edges, and vibrant hues of reds and blues all suit the stately home look, while, cream walls, exposed beams and tweed take pride of place in a rustic interior.

Adding a touch of your own personality can come in picking out your preferred colour scheme and patterns, and being inspired from the variations in style set within a specific traditional aesthetic.


While style is most naturally associated with a space’s aesthetics, the best interior designers take all of the senses into consideration when putting together a living space; it’s acoustics, for example. Smooth-edged objects like mirrors and polished surfaces reflect sound, opening up the space, whereas rougher-edged materials like fabrics and canvases are sound-absorbers — ideal for creating close, cosy acoustics.

What will it feel like? Should the upholstery on the seating be soft, or fairly coarse? Or will you create a mix of textures using throws and cushions? Will you be walking on floorboards or carpet?

These sensory considerations play an important role in crea