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A guide to Elizabethan decor

Retro, vintage and antique: every trend comes back around eventually. Each style is systematically recycled and revamped every few decades; why not take your home decor one step further and opt for an Elizabethan theme? We have devised a simply guide to help you take your home back to the 16th century so you can live like a lord or lady.


To achieve authentic-feel Elizabethan decor you must begin with the walls and floors. As Elizabethan decor is so imposing and iconic, it is important to get the basis right. The most important material for this decoration is dark wood. You must cover at least one wall, or the lower part of the wall, with dark wood, or wood panelling, to create an instant Elizabethan feel. Paint any remaining walls in deep, rich colours, such as burgundy, olive green or navy blue. These rich colours denoted wealth and class in the Elizabethan era and add to the authentic effect. Another way to convey Elizabethan authenticity is to hang tapestries on the walls and lay elaborate rugs on the floors. This conveys a sense of wealth and taste which would have been highly regarded in the 16th century.


Carved, ornamented furniture helps to reflect the decadent Elizabethan style. The most important aspect of Elizabethan inspired furniture is, as with the walls, dark wood and rich colours. The people of the era were not accustomed to the padded, comfortable furniture which we have today; imitate the era, and bring the styles into the 21st century, by covering uncomfortable, wooden furniture with padded tapestry fabric. If you’re feeling really elaborate you could even buy a four-poster bed for your bedroom. Hang the bed with velvet drapes to feel like an Elizabethan person of nobility each time you go to bed.


Elizabethan lighting is, like most things from the era, extremely elaborate. Unlike traditional, medieval chandeliers, Elizabethan lighting is much neater yet much more detailed. Elizabethan replica lighting is available from specialist imitation shops and companies. Or, if you really want to splash out, you could try to source a genuine Elizabethan light fitting but it will set you back a small fortune! Unless you are decorating for historical accuracy and educational purposes, a replica will suffice and will only set you back a little more than a modern day fixture.

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