Decorating an Old World Style Home Office

When redecorating your office, consider influences from the Old World. If you love color, texture and history why not update your bland workspace by taking cues from classic and time-honored European decor?

Much of Old World design is based on a palette of rich colors, substantial furniture and textural layers. There are many materials and furnishings available to help you achieve the look without breaking the bank. Capture the essence of the old country by adding a few simple touches or tackling a complete home office redesign.

Saturated Colors and Textures
Choose textured stucco, wood paneling or a simple wash of paint and glaze on the walls to achieve the look of an ancient castle or weathered villa. Acceptable wall colors are umbers, grays, browns, creams and golds.

Add a striking architectural element to your office with rustic ceiling beams of wood or molded foam (at a fraction of the cost of actual wood.) Flooring options include dark, rough-hewn wood plank, wood laminate and tumbled stone tiles. Lay a random tile pattern of large scale tiles in various sizes for an old world look.

Opulent Fabrics
Use textural fabrics in rich colors and patterns for upholstery, drapes and pillows. Chenilles, antiqued silks and damasks will be right at home in your Old World study. Leather upholstery for desk, guest and occasional chairs is the perfect contrast to the rich textures of the textiles. Persian rugs are an authentic choice for this decor and coordinate well with brocade wall tapestries. Or use understated jute or seagrass area rugs to add a modern twist to your Old World vision.

Significant Furniture Pieces
The furniture of old Europe is commonly constructed of iron, rustic woods or fine hardwoods with accents of leather, stone or iron. Select office furniture pieces with character and appear as if they were collected over time, rather than purchased as a matching set. Choose dark, rich wood furniture finishes that coordinate with your architectural elements.

Romantic Accessories and Lighting
A large ceramic urn in the warm colors of a Tuscan sunset add visual interest as a floor accent. Coordinate smaller accessories in shades of red, cobalt, olive green and sunflower yellow--colors found in the hand painted pottery of the region. Opt for leather desk accessories to keep your office design true to it's Old World roots.

Wrought iron chandeliers, sconces and task lighting in rubbed bronze or rust finishes are the best choices to enhance natural light and add warmth to your office. Consider adorning the walls of your office with iron wall grilles, an ornate tapestry, landscape prints, a large antique-look clock and an oversized cork board with a ornate frame.

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