British-themed, budget-friendly interior design

The British have an almost exportable eccentricity that permeates the interiors of their homes. They specialise in living areas that look as if people use them; a lived-in look but with comfort at the fore.

The best thing is that the British look can be achieved without breaking the bank, with a few homely touches to bring it about. It almost wouldn’t look right if it were all bought brand new and foreign-made. If the additional items can’t be tracked down in the loft, or in a grandmother’s cupboard, they can easily be purchased for a nominal sum from a charity shop. Even certain auction sites on the Internet can be a great source of interesting plates, soft furnishings, and furniture.

Gilt-framed glory on the wall

For a striking wall display, show off some traditional gilt-framed pictures, all hung together. They can be picked up at those thrift warehouses around the country or in local bric-a-brac shops or car boot sales.

A wall of plates

Another unusual way to decorate a single wall for maximum effect is to hang a large number of traditional blue willow patterned plates in a grid formation. Twenty beautiful vintage plates hung on a pastel blue or ultra-vogue turquoise will really make a difference to your home, and it’s far more modern than the old sideboard or dresser on which they used to stand. As for the cost, it’s likely that the plate hanging hooks will cost more than the plates themselves.

Chesterfield or just plain leather

The traditional Chesterfield, a British sofa design that was so popular that some other parts of the English-speaking world still call all couches and settees by this name, is a leather sofa with deep buttoning, quilted detail, and a low seat base. In particular, the arms and back of this settee are at the same height. Leather sofas are still all the rage in Britain and it’s very easy to pick up a low cost Chesterfield from an auction site, a thrift site, or local charity warehouse.

Mismatch for glorious British royalty

One of the most telling photos of 2013 was the image taken in the Queen’s sitting room. A mismatch of tartan, flock, family photos, various lamps, and comfy seating was a homely insight into the figurehead of the country. Royalty has a special place in style and fashion circles. There is the saying, ‘those who have it don’t need to flaunt it’, and it would appear that the Queen is of that ilk. The mismatched patterns, fabrics, textures and shapes throughout create a well-worn, comfy, and highly individual look that can complement a modern sofa or dining room set, dressing it down and making the whole room appear more relaxed and friendly.

Ultimately, being British is all about being individual. Whether it’s matching floral patterns layered on top of tartan tablecloths or wrought iron candlesticks in a still-life feature on a mantlepiece, eccentricity can be amplified or muted, as long as it’s present.

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