Those who’ve been experiencing Bridgerton withdrawals for the past year can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The Netflix franchise’s highly anticipated prequel Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is here to indulge your need for a period drama. And while the latest installment (starring newcomers India Ria Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest) certainly meets expectations in delivering steamy romance and wild plot twists, there’s another component to the 19th-century story that will catch viewers’ eyes. Yes, the elaborate Regency-era decor serves as an unofficial character in the plot, adding drama and interest … not to mention inspiration for your next home refresh.
Now, to be clear, Regencycore has been having a moment in fashion and home for the past year, thanks to the success of Bridgerton’s first two seasons and other turn-of-the-century series like HBO Max’s The Gilded Age (which debuted in early 2022). In fact, following the release of the latter, vintage reseller 1stDibs reported a 130% increase in “gilded age” searches. And while the quiet luxury trend has taken design by storm in recent months, with the debut of Queen Charlotte, it’s safe to assume a fresh interest in the ornate textured designs of 19th century England will re-emerge.
Which begs the question: How does one make such a maximalist trend like this work in 2023? “While the Regency era style is undeniably beautiful, it can be challenging to seamlessly incorporate its elements into a modern home without sacrificing practicality and functionality,” says Zakhar Ivanisov, founder of Soul & Lane, a platform for home tips and advice. That said, like other over-the-top aesthetics, the key to embracing the Queen Charlotte look is “mixing [these] design elements with more contemporary pieces for a balanced and timeless look,” says Brad Smith, interior designer, and CEO of Omni Home Ideas.
Ahead, interior designers and decor experts outline these components to Regency decor so you can channel your own royal palace in a modern way this spring and summer. Queen Charlotte would be proud.
Rich, Regal Colors
The first and possibly easiest step you can take with this throwback aesthetic is by adding some color to your living space. “Rich and vibrant palettes were popular during the Regency Era,” says Smith. “Consider using jewel tones like emerald green, deep sapphire blue, and burgundy, or opt for soft pastels like dusty rose and powder blue for a more subdued look.”
Another quick fix could be simply swapping in a few accents and accessories. “Regency Era design features intricate detailing in furniture and decorative accents,” says Smith. “Look for pieces with carved woodwork, gilded finishes, and elaborate patterns to add visual interest to your space.” Door or cabinet knobs, mirrors, and picture frames can easily add a touch of regal opulence.
Amber Dunford, design psychologist, and style director at Overstock.com seconds this tip, adding, “an opulent chandelier with elements like crystal, glass, or detailed filigree can bring an instantly elegant feel to a dining room or entryway space.”
Dunford explains that many English homes in the Regency era featured decorated walls with large-scale tapestries. “Try a tapestry-inspired wallpaper or wall hanging,” she recommends. “You may want to consider wallpaper with floral damask prints or opt for eye-catching patterns on a larger scale with scenes that depict nature or animals. There is also formality in symmetry that aligns nicely with this trend, so you can play that up with symmetrical artwork or wall panels or break the rules and go asymmetrical.”
Intricately carved and rounded furniture was key in the Regency era. “Adding chairs with tufting or caning is another easy way to get that royal vibe in your home,” says Dunford. “Rounded shapes on sofas and chair backs also have a more regal feel and help spaces feel more comfortable, as curved shapes induce a more soothing energy for humans. “
Luxe Textures & Materials
Never underestimate the power of a throw pillow or fresh drapes. “Opt for rich materials like silk, velvet, or brocade for your draperies, upholstery, or throw pillows,” says Ivanisov. “These textiles not only add a touch of opulence to your space but also contribute to a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Consider choosing fabrics with intricate patterns or bold colors that reflect the grandeur of the Regency era, ensuring they complement your existing decor.”