Return to romance with Tudor style
It’s rich and refined, elegant yet rustic and harkens to older times in England. The Tudor style of home often boasts a mixture of styles, such as half-timbering on the exterior, inlaid brickwork, tall windows, parapets and strong architectural details. Far from being old-fashioned, the Tudor style is timeless and is enjoying a Renaissance.
It’s always the details that set the Tudor style apart from just another brick-and-wood house. Tudor is most singularly known for the half-timber accents on stucco reminiscent of medieval towns in Europe. This style was very popular after the turn of the 20th century and is marked by its distinct architectural features such as large chimneys, deeply pitched rooflines and, very frequently, diamond patterned windows. Though not as common in the U.S., in Europe and England many Tudor-style homes also featured thatched roofs.
There is something both uniquely romantic and historical about a Tudor-style home. To capitalize on the love of this unique look, artist David Winter captured this style of house in his highly collectible Tudor home figurines, which is often how many people become familiar with Tudor style. Though discontinued in 2002, these figurines typify the range and style of homes in the Tudor style.
If you're a fan of Tudor, you can emulate the design by incorporating some of the design elements most commonly found in Tudor-style homes and decorating. When it comes to color, brown is the most frequently used shade. Whether in the heavy wood furniture, painted timbers or upholstery, a dark brown shade is most at home in a Tudor interior. Cream and antique white are also expected shades with rich greens, crimson and gold thrown in as accents. When designing your Tudor interiors, think of the rich shades of an old university library but use them sparingly so the house doesn't close in on you.
For upholstery, the trend is toward heavy fabrics and rich embellishments (fringe and trim) that balance out the heavy wood elements in the house (floors, beams and walls). To give your room more authenticity, look for tufted sofas and chairs, and accent walls with heavy sconces and tapestries. Wood floors are a must, so think about pulling up wall to wall carpet and use rich oriental rugs on the floor instead. Place these under the bed, under a dining table and in living areas.
To keep the rooms from becoming too wood heavy, opt for light-colored furniture to offset the wood floors or heavy paneling. Or, split the difference by keeping the walls or floors in a dark wood and paint the ceiling beams or paneling to lift and lighten the room. Lighter colored carpets also help brighten rooms and dark floors.
Incorporate other details around the house, such as diamond patterning outside in brick walkways and metal fencing or inside on wallpaper or in upholstery to echo the diamond pattern so commonly found in windows on Tudor homes. Or, try diamond-patterned grill inserts for glass-fronted cabinets for more Tudor style in the kitchen.