Home Design Tips

Decorate Your Living Room in Old World Style

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How to Decorate Your Living Room in Cosy Old World Style: Have a warm and inviting atmosphere waiting for you and your guests

1. Choose your sofa for comfort: Modern pieces can hint at Old World styling through the use of tapestry-type upholstery; antique settees might have cane seats, plus carved frames and cushions, or rush seats and a simple, rustic frame.

2. Choose end tables that are elaborately carved, or simple with turned legs, and round or square feet; because Old World styling is an eclectic look, these tables need not match.

3. Pair the tables with lamps that have a stone look, or possibly combine with bronze-finished metal. These lamps should remind you of something rescued from an archaeological dig, or perhaps purchased in a museum gift shop. Parchment shades; possibly lined or edged with gold; complement Old World styling.

4. Use a low chest; such as an Italian-style chest with a touch of gold or silver leafing, as a coffee table.

5. Select a flooring that imitates stone: For an area rug, go with a tapestry look; perhaps in needlepoint for a formal, ornate room, or perhaps sisal in a more primitive room.

6. Place a couple of Gothic-style chairs (the backs of the chairs will be pointed), in the room for extra seating.

7. Give the walls a rough plaster or stucco look, or paint them red; a favourite colour during the Renaissance. Decorate the walls with a tapestry, stained glass, (religious themes are excellent) or pictures that suggest Renaissance-era art (Raphael, DaVinci, Michelangelo).

8. Cover windows with a heavy tapestry-like fabric, possibly with bullion fringe in an ornate, formal living room, or use simple tab tops made of a homespun, nubby fabric on basic iron or metallic gold rods.

Note that Old World furniture is usually large in scale; individual pieces can be elaborate, with lots of carving, or very plain if they originated in a humble environment.

Think Shakespeare, castles, and the Italian Renaissance, when you think of Old World styling. However keep in mind that Old World-influenced furnishings have been popular in recent years, so there are plenty of comfortable modern-made pieces that will fit your living room, at much more affordable prices than the antiques.