Say "cheerio" to your new favorite decorating style. British design is making its way across the pond, bringing classic elegance and refined comforts to this side of the Atlantic. The aesthetic leans traditional, but modern materials and updated silhouettes make English-inspired interiors feel fresh, not stuffy. Rita Konig, an English interior designer and tastemaker who has clients in America, shares ways to make a room feel English.
Focus on Comfort: "The first thing I think of when it comes to English interiors is comfortขdogs and children and a soft, squishy sofa," Konig says.
Try Brown in Your Color Scheme: Brown furniture, such as a chest of drawers, anchors a room. "You can find something beautifully made and lovely at a thrift shop that will always work somewhere."
Look to Grandma's Collection: "Accumulation is in the British DNA," Konig says. "We're not into buying a look or chucking things out. We're into using what our grandmother left usขa teapot, furniture, a picture."
Layer Items: "Furniture behind furniture, like a desk behind a sofa, creates depth, rather than having everything pinned against a wall."
And now, Anglophiles can finally satisfy their cravings for all things British on American soil. A spate of beloved British companies has crossed the pond, and we can't wait to shop these distinctive collections.
The classic English country house is the driving force behind Oka's catalog offerings like heirloom-inspired furniture (think deep-seated club chairs, whitewashed wood, and rattan) punctuated with block-print cushions and patterned lampshades. Having an American warehouse eliminates overseas shipping costs, and plans are in the works for the company's first stateside brick-and-mortar store.
Since opening an organic farm shop and café in the countryside in 2002, Daylesford has developed a line of fresh farmhouse-style home goods, including striped kitchen linens and candles with garden-inspired scents. Shop owner Daphna Peled stocks the products exclusively at Pillar & Post, her Washington, D.C., store specializing in British furniture and accessories.
This cult-favorite fashion and lifestyle company started with a loungewear line and is known for warming comforts. The range of home goods highlights collaborations with British makers and artisans around the globe who have a similar homey sensibility, as well as classics like striped ticking bedding and enameled tableware. The tradition of celebrating craftspeople continued with the debut of U.S.-based artisans in April to coincide with the launch of Toast products at the Brooklyn boutique Bird.
The White Company
Former fashion magazine editor Chrissie Rucker tapped into her curatorial skills when she launched The White Company more than 25 years ago after she couldn't find quality white bed linens at an affordable price in the U.K. Her line of elevated basics has expanded to bath, tabletop, beauty, fashion, and a children's line, mostly in crisp shades of her favorite namesake neutral. Everything is available at the flagship store in New York City.