British Colonial décor began when British colonists settled in India after the Crown took power in 1857. Generally, the colonists enjoyed living amongst the lush and tropical landscape, but often desired to bring the comforts of their homeland with them. Unfortunately, the humidity warped and cracked the soft woods of their imported furniture, so native craftsmen began to recreate the British designs using local materials such as ebony, teak, and mahogany. These artisans would often add their own flourishes, such as a carved pineapple or palm leaves, and lightened the dark pieces with materials like rattan or wicker. Since dyes were difficult to obtain, especially in high quantity, most homes and furniture used only natural colors, and they brightened spaces with white paint and local flora.
In order to combat the hot and humid weather, people used certain architectural features to keep cool. Wide verandas allowed them to stay out in the breeze without being in the sun, high ceilings kept the warmer air above seating height, and the wicker and rattan details in their seating provided ventilation.
This summer, we’ve featured several items that recall this wonderful blend of English and Indian design.
Our Curule-Style Rattan Stool uses native Indian mango wood, curved British Colonial styling, and rattan details, and the Stacked-Column Rattan Side Table has bamboo-inspired carving and is painted in a light and bright distressed white finish. Can you tell what other items on our website are inspired by this style?