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12 Old World Interior Design Tips: Creating Timeless Elegance

Are you tired of chasing after fleeting design trends that leave your home feeling outdated? Look no further than Old World interior design, a timeless aesthetic that exudes charm and sophistication. In this article, we...

Are you tired of chasing after fleeting design trends that leave your home feeling outdated? Look no further than Old World interior design, a timeless aesthetic that exudes charm and sophistication. In this article, we will explore 12 tips to help you achieve the cozy, layered European look that will stand the test of time.

table in a kitchen with wooden chairs
A cozy kitchen with a rustic wooden table and chairs

What is Old World interior design?

Old World interior design encompasses a collection of classic design elements that have remained steadfast throughout the centuries. Inspired by the homes of the French countryside and English cottages, this style features neutral tones, timeless patterns, and a commitment to enduring beauty.

By incorporating Old World design into your home, you can create a foundation that will effortlessly blend with other interior design trends, ensuring that your space never goes out of style.

gallery wall on white dining room wall
A stunning gallery wall in a charming dining room

How to incorporate Old World Design elements

The beauty of Old World design lies in its flexibility. By combining classic elements with modern trends, you can create a space that feels fresh and inviting while still maintaining its timeless appeal.

This design style embraces lush textiles, mixtures of patterns, and the opportunity to infuse your own personal touch. From layered rugs to wall sconces, there are many European design elements that pay homage to the old world aesthetic.

living room with piano and velvet sofas
An elegant living room with a grand piano and luxurious velvet sofas

Layered Rugs in European Design

Transport yourself back to a time when homes were not equipped with central heating. In those days, layered rugs served not only as a fashionable choice but also provided warmth and comfort in old world homes.

To achieve this look, opt for authentic wool rugs or hand-knotted rugs. Place a larger, timeless rug as the base for your room, and layer a smaller, trendier rug on top. This allows for easy customization while maintaining the classic foundation.

antique photo hanging under and sconce
An antique photo displayed under a vintage wall sconce

Wall Sconces for Old World Interiors

No Old World interior is complete without a touch of history adorning the walls. Wall sconces, reminiscent of a time when candles illuminated small cottages and grand estates alike, are a staple in European design.

Whether you opt for a hard-wired sconce with mixed metals and clear glass or a plug-in option, these fixtures add a touch of old-world flair to any room. If all else fails, you can even use battery-operated lights to achieve the same effect.

blue velvet sofa in a living room with a piano
A luxurious blue velvet sofa paired with a grand piano

Velvet Sofas and Pillows

Nothing says elegance quite like velvet. This lush fabric adds a cozy and inviting feel to any space while elevating the room's overall aesthetic. Velvet sofas and pillows can transform a simple room into a sophisticated haven.

If a velvet sofa is not within your budget, consider incorporating classic velvet pillow covers to achieve a similar effect. The richness and texture provided by these pieces will undoubtedly enhance your old world design.

plaid blanket on a white chair
A cozy plaid blanket draped over a white chair

Textiles and Patterns in Old World Design

In addition to velvet, other classic textiles such as plaid and paisley are perfect for achieving an old world aesthetic. These timeless patterns add a touch of refinement and create a cozy minimalism that brings style to your space without overwhelming it.

Embrace the strong masculinity of plaid and the refined elegance of paisley to strike the perfect balance in your room. These textiles will infuse your space with charm and authenticity.

Open Kitchen Shelving

Open shelving has a long history and remains a practical and beautiful solution for storage. Unlike traditional cabinetry, open shelving is a more cost-effective option that allows for greater flexibility in your kitchen design.

By displaying simple dishes, clear glassware, and tasteful decor, open shelving becomes functional and adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen. Embrace this timeless solution and enjoy the versatility it offers.

white cat on a wicker basket by a black fireplace
A charming white cat nestled in a wicker basket next to a cozy black fireplace

Wicker Baskets and Furniture

Wicker baskets have long been a staple in European homes. Whether hung from kitchen ceilings or tucked into corners, they bring warmth and texture to any space. Embrace the natural beauty of wicker and incorporate it into your old world design for a touch of authenticity.

antique artwork on dining room wall
An exquisite antique artwork adorning a dining room wall

Artwork and Old World Design

Infuse your space with historical charm by incorporating antique artwork. Scour local antique stores or find digital downloads online to create your own vintage art gallery. These statement pieces add depth and character to your walls, instantly transforming your space into an old world haven.

concrete bust and thyme tree on a piano
An elegant concrete bust accompanied by a fragrant thyme tree on a piano

Old World Rustic Elements

Pairing rustic elements with soft, luxurious furnishings creates a captivating juxtaposition in your home. Plaster busts, wrought iron, limestone, copper, and brass are all quintessential old world materials that add a charming patina to your space.

Embrace these rustic elements and allow them to tell the story of centuries past, adding depth and character to each room.

long narrow living room with a white antique buffet and black fireplace
A long and narrow living room featuring a white antique buffet and a captivating black fireplace

Adding in Antiques for Interiors

Antiques not only offer a sense of history and craftsmanship, but they also add a unique element to your home. Solidly built and often superior in quality to modern pieces, antiques provide ample storage and a touch of old-world charm.

If you're new to antiques, start small with a side table or an antique mirror to test the waters. Once you experience the timeless allure they bring to your space, you'll be hooked!

bedroom nightstand with a white swan and flowers on it
A charming bedroom nightstand adorned with a white swan and delicate flowers

Natural Wood Tones

While whitewashed designs have dominated recent trends, natural wood tones remain a classic choice that never goes out of style. Incorporate natural wood elements into your space to add warmth and timeless beauty.

By layering painted wood with natural wood, you can maintain a balance between classic and contemporary aesthetics, creating a harmonious and inviting environment.

concrete bust and thyme tree on a piano
A charming concrete bust accompanied by a fragrant thyme tree on a piano

Layering in Plants

No room is complete without a touch of nature. Whether you opt for real plants or realistic faux arrangements, adding greenery breathes life into your space. Choose airy and realistic arrangements, focusing on muted colors that reflect your personal taste.

If you prefer greenery, opt for realistic herbs and ferns. These timeless additions will effortlessly blend with your old world design.

gas range in a white kitchen
A stylish gas range in a pristine white kitchen

European Design in the Kitchen

An old world kitchen often features an "unfitted" design, where countertops and cabinetry are not attached to the walls. This freedom allows for easy customization and a unique design aesthetic.

Bring old world charm to your kitchen with vintage-inspired appliances and elements such as shiplap backsplash. By investing in these statement pieces, you can transform your kitchen into the heart of your home.

With these 12 Old World interior design tips, you can infuse your space with timeless elegance and create a home that feels both comfortable and luxurious. Remember, a classic design foundation allows you to incorporate modern trends while maintaining the enduring beauty of old world style. So embrace the charm of yesteryear and create a space that stands the test of time.