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Anne Hepfer Designs

Out of Africa: exploring British Colonial home decor

British Colonial decor is a timeless style inspired by an era when the United Kingdom was expanding the empire into warm tropical countries from India to the West Indies and many other places in between . Remember “Jewel In The Crown”, “Out of Africa” and “The Thorn Birds”? British expatriates often spent many years abroad and returned heavily influenced by the decor of their travels.

Interiors in the tropics are typically light and airy utilizing mosquito netting, khaki and white cotton or linen slip covers, rattan, sisal and sea grass. This casual and comfortable neutral back drop is punctuated with campaign-style furnishings such as folding desks, chairs, and trunks, built using mahogany, rich and dense with a beautiful grain that adds warmth, depth and contrast and gives it that certain luxe feeling. It’s also a very hard wood which will withstand the test of time and change in weather and moisture. The style is a compilation of exotic influences melding new world adventure and old world romance with British practicality. Think zebra or leopard printed fabrics against tarnished brass, worn wood and caned furniture accented with black and white photos from another era or your own family captured among tall beach grasses. Current incarnations of this classic style, described as “safari chic”, can still inspire you to set up camp to relax and contemplate your own afternoon adventures while a wicker fan spins lazily overhead.

~Anne

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