I have been a passionate renovator and decorator for more than half of my life – definitely for my entire adult life. Even before owning property, I was mad about making the space around me as beautiful as it could be. Needless to say, I had the most glam dormitory on-campus at university. Even back then, working with the worst of backdrops (beige on brown on beige) and almost zero cash, it was important to me that when I walked into that room, I felt calm and happy with my surrounds. That desire has never left me and as I have aged, and the desire to shut out the world has increased, my need for that feeling has intensified.

I have been reflecting on what my “style” really was over those years and I am intrigued at how it evolved to where it is now. The 80’s was all about Shabby Chic, I refer to my 90’s decorating attempts as the “Freedom” decade, obviously it was Provincial in the early noughties and today I find myself a hard core British Colonial lover! I use the term “evolved” rather than “changed” simply because when I look around my home, that’s exactly what I see. Throughout all of those trends and styles that I was a slave to, core pieces out of each of them are still with me. The reason why? Because they are timeless! Each had their place in their days of being fashionable, and some are still fashionable today. They are just accompanied by other timeless pieces from a different era.
So, what is my take on why British Colonial is timeless? My tips below:

  • Wicker and rattan furniture and trunks;
  • Indoor greenery – make sure to include an orchid;
  • A cocktail trolley is essential – as is the very best of gin sitting on it – ‘Teddy and the Fox’ comes to mind….;
  • Exotic textiles – an animal print or two is a must;
  • Well-travelled leather trunks – Louis Vuitton if you can;
  • Blue and white china – think oversized ginger jars;
  • Shells and coral go without saying.

Maybe my love of British Colonial style comes from its exotic roots when the British Empire spanned the globe and was influenced by the romantic trading posts and coffee and tea plantations of India, Africa, the Caribbean and the Far East. Maybe it takes me back to Gin and Tonics at Raffles in Singapore on steamy nights from days gone by. I don’t know, all I know is that I love it!
For more inspiration, India Hicks has two sensational coffee table books on the subject. Look for ‘Island Life’ and ‘Island Style’ in a good bookshop near you. It will be one you will pick up and get lost in frequently, as well as being a classy addition to your bookshelf or coffee table.
Have a sneaky look into my take on British Colonial in my cosy Ballarat home. This is what greets me when I arrive home every day. It instantaneously makes me happy!

Mode Property Styling Ballarat will continue to bring regular and relevant blogs on information around design, interiors and current trends.