What is a Stately Home and 8 Decor Ideas

Saffron Marigold - Updated: March 29, 2024

Stately decor is characterized by ornate furnishings, lush fabrics, and grand architectural features in the home. Vintage decor is also prominent: portraits, metal wall sconces, Oriental fabrics, and chandeliers. In its modern form, stately design is an eclectic mix of English aristocrat design elements (think Victorian, Edwardian, and Tudor eras) and modern touches.

We will review the makings of a stately home here so you can build our decor around a few key elements.

What is a stately home/stately decor

A stately home or stately home decor is defined by grandeur, elegance, and traditional design elements reminiscent of aristocratic residences.

Below are some ideas on large items to incorporate or themes to follow in when decorating stately home:

  • Paintings, often portraits
  • Vintage or vintage style furniture
  • Crowned moulding and ornate details
  • Large fireplaces and antique decor
  • Classic chandeliers
  • Medley of rich prints and colors
  • Sumptuous, luxury fabrics

History of stately decor

Stately decor is a symbol grandeur, and was often an expression of wealth and power throughout history. Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, stately decor is characterized by the use of precious materials, ornate style, a focus on architectural elements (often intricate), gilded furnishings, dramatic lighting, and symmetric and luxurious materials.

Stately homes are often referred to as homes with a storied past—palaces, manors, castles, mansions, and other large homes where noblemen often resided.

1. Traditional decor ideas

Traditional stately home decor includes antique art pieces, vintage (or vintage style) furniture, and rich textiles. While your furnishings and accents are dominated by pale gold, brass, walnut browns, or white, a rich, heavy hue accent like royal blue exudes that stately home grandeur.

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2. Contemporary stately home decor ideas

Clean, simple lines with a neutral color palette will give you a stately home with a contemporary style. Choose modern light fixtures in materials like mercury glass and metals. See how billowy white curtains create drama, yet soften harsh features such as the geometric chandelier?

Photo: Julie Soefer
Pottery Barn

OPEN BOX Chantry Hand-Blown Glass Lamp

Reflective materials that act as a contrast against the organic and wooden elements of a stately home.

Jujuhat Vintage

Golden Mirror Round Brass

A round mirror with a metallic frame evokes a contemporary feel.

3. Mixing traditional with contemporary stately decor accents

In mixing traditional and contemporary styles, you can also think about blending color and texture. Use art and decor as a bridge between traditional “hardware” in a room (architectural features) and “software” (home decor).

In this home, the Moroccan puffs and minimalist decor on the shelves connect the wooden beams and traditional layout, which would otherwise feel too conservative and imposing.

Photo: Home World Design
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White Filigree ~ Hand Painted Candles

Pillar candles in classic white demonstrate the wonderful effect of mixing traditional elements (white candles) with contemporary design (an artistic candle holder).

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Royal Mansour ~ Moroccan Sheer White Medallion Curtain

White-on-white sheer curtains in a cultural lattice pattern is another shining example of contemporary-traditional fusion.

4. Creating a statement room

A statement room allows you to put all your creative energy into a specific space in your home. This is a fantastic home improvement project you can take on any time of year.

Consider upgrading your bedroom into a luxurious master bedroom, or your office into a grand library or study. Here, the dark academia aesthetic can provide you with some pointers on how to make your study feel like a library from a prestigious school. Very stately, indeed!

Photo: Durston Saylor and David Burroughs
Quilted white vintage sari bedspread
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Urmila Meena ~ Vintage Kantha Quilt

Quilts and chunky knit throws create a sense of luxury and timeless elegance.

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Moonlit Taj ~ Floral Indian Throw Pillow

A pop of color can break up neutral rooms. Try incorporating pops of color through linens, furniture, and shelf decor in your statement room.

5. Featuring the garden and grounds

Expansive gardens are rare in a modern home, but you can still impress with your backyard or patio. Feature one special zone in your backyard, whether it’s a landscaped garden with eye-catching sculptures and garden art or a curated outdoor living space decked out in plush pillows, throws, and lights.

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Stately garden party decor ideas

Vintage-inspired floral prints are perfect for English garden parties.

6. Luxury amenities and decor

While the grand fireplace is a classic feature in stately homes, they are not a guarantee in modern homes. Instead, infuse luxury into unexpected areas like your bathroom.

Use high-quality linens, gilded decor, and reflective accents. Choose spa soaps and scents to embody a stately ambiance.

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7. Organic materials and classic furnishings

Though lightweight, cotton linens in rich prints add a touch of stately aesthetic to a room. In the example below, Orange Blossom tablecloths are used as bed curtains for this grand four-post bed. While the fabric is ornate and vintage-inspired, the tropical palette is fresh and bright.

In the sitting room, choose upholstered furnishings in classic silhouettes. Chairs are often chunky with wooden frames or decorative with scrolling arms and legs.

Photo: Gananathamritananda, Saffron Marigold customer
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Orange Blossom Mediterranean Tablecloth Rectangular

Persian prints evoke a sense of regal opulence and sophistication, such as this Mediterranean-inspired print.

orange flower pattern Indian bedspread
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Orange Blossom Vintage Persian Duvet Cover

Orange and cream bedding will harmonize with the wooden furnishings of a stately bedroom.

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8. Add your own personal touches

The English aristocracy was obsessed with treasures found from exotic destinations. They filled their homes with handcrafted, well-made decor such as chandeliers, china collections, portraits, and metallic accessories.

This living room embodies the stately character with its sparkling chandelier and cabinet full of dishware topped with vases and dolls in displays cases. Classic dining chairs and the crisp blue and white tablecloth complete the look.

Photo: Keiko, Saffron Marigold customer

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The Nine Schools

Interlocking Lotus Branch Ginger Jar

This blue and white porecelain jar features delicate lotus branches, echoing the vintage floral print featured on the tablecloth.

Pavilion Broadway

Whelford Mirrored Round Tray

Reimagine your dining room with touches of modern style, such as a mirrored round tray and a potted plant centerpiece.

How to maintain a historic home

If you are in charge of (or interested in) maintaining a historic stately home, here is what you need to do for proper maintenance:

  1. Create a maintenance plan for every part of the home.
  2. Clean the home regularly. Ensure there is proper ventilation to prevent mold and moisture buildup.
  3. Maintain the exterior features. Check the roof, gutters, and downspouts regularly. Maintain the garden or any landscaping features.
  4. Preserve important historic features such as original moldings, fixtures, and woodwork. You may need to hire a specialist to restore damaged areas.
  5. Prevent irreparable damage by addressing problems promptly. Regularly check for cracks, leaks, and other issues.
  6. When in doubt, hire a professional. There are people who are experts at maintaining historic homes such as builders, architects, and historic preservation specialist. They may be able to advise you on home maintenance.

Whether you’re living in a refurbished stately home or you enjoy the stately home style, we hope you’ve found a few ways to incorporate this design into your home decor. One of the most important aspects of stately home decor is weaving your personal style and treasures into your space.

Stately home decor is all about feelings of luxury and timeless elegance, which means classic design elements, luxurious fabrics and finishes, and antique (or vintage-inspired) furniture. With these tips, you can create a space that embodies the refinement of the stately homes of yesteryear while still feeling warm and inviting for modern living!

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