The wildly successful series Bridgerton offers plenty to swoon over: dashing leading men in impeccably tailored trousers, lovely ladies with daring décolletage, sumptuous costumes. And let’s not forget those breathtaking Regency interiors.
A luxe olio of patterns, colors, and textiles, and taking inspiration from a world of influences only just becoming accessible to many, Regency style mastered the mix long before mashups and style fusions became a thing.
Looking to bring a bit of Bridgerton chic into your home? Consider introducing the elements below.
• Chinoiserie and other types of “exoticism.” The British, and Western Europeans in general, were enamored with what they considered new art forms from China, India, Egypt, Japan, and other faraway lands. Ginger jars adorned with lotus blossoms, paisley curtains, tabletop obelisks, and Imari bowls are no longer considered novel, but they remain touchstones of timeless elegance. Feel free to mix patterns and provenances!
• Transferware and jasperware. Innovations such as transfer printing meant tableware could flaunt elaborate motifs without having to be hand-painted. Some of those patterns, such as Spode’s chinoiserie-by-way-of-Italy Blue Italian, are still produced today. So is Wedgwood’s matte-finish jasperware. Treat these pieces as the artworks they are by displaying them in plate stands on a mantel or hanging them on a wall.
(Fun fact: In real life, Bridgerton breakout character Queen Charlotte loved a particular type of glazed cream stoneware by Wedgwood so much, she allowed it to be called Queen’s Ware.)
• Stripes. Along with lavish floral and pastoral patterns, British tastemakers of the time loved their stripes. Regency stripes usually refer to alternating dark and light stripes of the same width, but you don’t have to limit yourself to those to channel your inner aristocrat.
• Elaborately adorned wood furniture. Carved rosettes and wreaths, brass inlays, gilding, curvaceous legs, feet that resemble paws or claws: Regency style incorporates them all. The aesthetic also favors darker woods such as mahogany and rosewood over the maple, pine, and teak more commonly seen today. All it takes is one ornate dark table, sideboard, or armoire to imbue a room with the era’s majesty without making the space feel like a museum exhibit.
• A palette heavy on the pastels. Pale hues have long helped keep rooms rich with dark furniture, heavy fabrics, and multiple prints and patterns from feeling claustrophobic. Rose, lavender, eau de Nil, and straw yellow are a few options to consider.
• Crystal chandeliers. Only the wealthiest Georgians could afford such extravagant illumination (not only was crystal costly, but so were candles). If a chandelier dripping with prisms and pendalogues isn’t for you, consider simpler sconces or a table lamp with a sleek crystal body.
• A chaise longue (or two).
• Gold picture and mirror frames. The larger and the more baroque, the better.
• Symmetry. In terms of patterns, colors, textures, and sheer number of items (less is definitely not more here), there’s a lot going on in a Regency chic room. Symmetry helps instill a sense of order while referencing the principles of classical design that were popular in the early 19th century. The symmetry needn’t be exact, but it should make its presence felt.