With the recent marriage of Kate and William, American interest in the culture of British royalty has surged to levels not seen since Princess Diana’s day. While the wedding may be over, there are plenty of people who want to add a touch of royal elegance to their homes and apartments. If you want to emulate the style of British royalty, a inspirational jumping-off point is the decor of Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace has nearly 800 rooms, as well as its own chapel, post office, swimming pool, staff cafeteria, doctor’s office, and movie theater. It’s an iconic building with iconic decor, but most families can’t live up to the sheer glamour of Buckingham on a commoner’s salary. But with these simple tips, you can find four main ways to give your abode the royal touch.
If you’ve seen photos of the rooms at Buckingham, you’re bound to notice that there are clocks in every room. There are over 350 antique clocks and watches on display there, so try displaying your own collection of timepieces on mantels or glass cases in your home.
Another decorative accent that speaks to the royal aesthetic are area rugs, with needlepoint rugs and oriental woven rugs being classic British choices. Use them to cover bare wood floors, or to extend the life of your wall-to-wall carpets.
And if you have an exterior you can decorate or a fireplace in need of refurbishing, consider using white Portland stone, the same mineral used for the exterior facade of Buckingham Palace. Nothing says royalty like gleaming white stone.
Pets, Doggone It
The current monarch’s love of Corgis is well known, but Queen Elizabeth II is far from the first monarch to have a love of furry friends. Queen Victoria, too, adored her pets. Over the course of her reign, she kept many breeds, including Dash the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Marco the Pomeranian, and Sharp the Collie. Give your pets the run of the house, or feature prints of these breeds on your walls in fine wood frames.
Royalty is all about pomp and circumstance, and some part of your home should speak to those formal royal occasions. In Buckingham, the monarchs have a Throne Room decorated in scarlet and gold, which is mostly used today for formal photographs. The room also contained a pillars with gold capitals, as well as a proscenium arch supported by a pair of winged figures of Victory holding garlands. You probably won’t have a throne, but use family heirloom and distinctive furniture to create alcoves or rooms dedicated to the formal events in your life.
Chinese, If You Please
It might surprise you to learn that quite a few rooms at Buckingham Palace have a Chinese theme. The furniture and decor were originally placed in the Prince Regent's oriental-style Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Of particular interest is the Chinese Dining Room which is occasionally used for entertainment, dinners, and luncheons. Transform your own dining room into an eatery fit for a queen by using scarlet and gold paint, wall scrolls with Chinese art, Ming-inspired vases, and heavy red curtains.