How to get the traditional British look in your living room

Matt Deighton from British bespoke sofa specialist Timeless Chesterfields shares his top tips for adding a touch of traditional English charm to your living room

Cosy yet elegant, and classic without ever being boring, British homes are admired around the world for their effortless charm. But, that casually sophisticated look can be difficult to replicate. Here, I'll discuss the key pieces and themes that make up that sought-after British style, including what furniture, decoration, and accessories you'll need. Just read on the learn everything you'll need to know to get the traditional look in your home.

Invest in some heritage furniture

When choosing furniture, opt for coffee tables and sideboards in dark hardwoods like oak, mahogany, and walnut. Furniture made from these materials can be expensive, so if a genuine hardwood is out of your budget, try staining a more affordable wood, like pine, to a darker shade. Just check out this guide from Salvaged Inspirations to learn more.

Your sofa will likely be the focal point of your living room, so you'll want to choose one that exudes classic British elegance. A Chesterfield sofa is timeless with a typically English feel: opt for one in cream chintz or a floral print for a country house look. Alternatively, try a luxurious tufted leather design for a heritage hunting lodge effect.

Pick out some soft furnishings in traditional textiles

A British living room wouldn’t be complete without some soft furnishings, as they bring warmth and cosiness to a room. When shopping for textiles, look for classic heritage fabrics such as tweed, chintz, and tartan. You can incorporate these into your décor using throw cushions, or you could even choose a sofa or armchair in traditional upholstery. Don't be afraid to mix and match: it’s all part of the British style.

Bear in mind that an old-fashioned home will always have curtains instead of modern blinds, so be sure to opt for a set of full length curtains in a traditional fabric — vertical stripes or floral patterns are both popular choices in old English homes.

Add a dash of British eccentricity

A true English home will have no qualms about mixing traditional décor with a few modern pieces —after all, British style is renowned for its eccentricity. So, for maximum impact, accessorise your living room with some quirky decorative accents.

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, you can even try adding some unusual vintage objects as decorative art pieces: think antique telephones, or old-fashioned street signage. Visit boot sales and reclamation yards to try and find some unique items. You can find your nearest boot sale using Car Boot Junction's handy search tool. Remember, the more unusual the object the better, so let your imagination run wild.

There are plenty of easy ways to bring that coveted English charm into your living room. With these simple tips, you’re sure to create a traditional living room that exudes warmth, elegance, and British personality.

Find out more about Timeless Chesterfields furniture at  

Words and pictures supplied by author