The Ultimate Guide To Tudor Decor

When you hear Tudor style, the first thing you probably think about is England during the 15th or 16th centuries. Or maybe Henry VIII and his many wives. However, according to SFGate, this unique architectural style is popular in homes today. Gabled roofs with cream and brown exteriors paired with architectural interiors inspired by nature are staples in contemporary Tudor homes.

Characterized by dark woods, warm colors, and extravagantly patterned fabrics, the emphasis in a Tudor home is on comfort. The primary elements of this style include box beams, carved mantels, wood wall panelings, wallpaper, and jewel tones (via Love to Know). Bay windows feature sumptuous velvet and toile fabrics. While Tudor homes are warm and welcoming, a little of this design style goes a long way (via Elle Decor). You may want to balance dark wood and rich paint with lighter fabrics. Or combine other style elements with Tudor flair so that your home doesn't feel too dated. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve royal Tudor decor in your home.

Incorporate warm, rich colors

Tudor decor invites you in with warm walls. The best way to accent these dark wood tones is with light, warm colors. According to Martha Stewart, creamy white tones are a must. Mustard yellow also makes for a warm but not overpowering option. Rich red can work wonders in a living room, but may be too much with your dark wood. Rich colors make things pop and work excellently as accents or furniture choices. Use accent pieces, like pillows or a throw with other Tudor-inspired pieces to create a design that makes you feel at home (via HGTV). 

Cool colors are less appropriate when decorating with Tudor decor and should be used sparingly. Mossy-colored cabinets are a great and homey addition to your kitchen (via Veranda). A similar green with earthy, neutral undertones from Farrow & Ball manages to be both cool and rich. This color makes for an excellent choice when giving your Tudor-style home fresh color.

Install wide plank flooring

Wide plank floors give your home an instant old-world feel that perfectly complements Tudor-style decor. According to Carpet Direct, this type of flooring works best in large and open spaces. Exclusively using wide planks in a room might make it appear smaller. Alternating between wide and narrow planks will make a room feel proportional and prevent unintentionally downsizing your space.

Other things to consider when selecting your planks are the finishes. You could opt for something rustic or choose aged and distressed pieces to make the home feel more lived-in and welcoming. Choose wide plank flooring with a character you love (via The Inspired Room). For example, hickory wide plank flooring is elegant, visually appealing, and capable of making a dramatic statement by itself. Something that speaks for itself and contributes to your existing decor will go a long way in creating your dream Tudor-inspired design.

Select dark wood with ornate patterns

Rich timber and sumptuous fabric will make a regal statement in any home. For best results, choose wooden furniture that is a different style or finish from the trim in your home. According to The Spruce, layering different colors, textures, and patterns in your wood decorations gives your house character and Tudor charm. Combine neutral colors with hickory flooring, oak chairs, and a walnut storage chest. Keep in mind that your wood does not have to be authentic. You can always use faux wood porcelain tiles on a fireplace to vary your room's texture, color, and style. Or combine smooth wood bowls and vases with rough wood tables and cabinets.

You can also frame parts of your room or the ceiling to give your room an old-world, cozy feel (via Central Virginia Home Magazine). Avoid using heavy beams on anything other than cathedral ceilings. Framing entryways and choosing ornately designed mirrors will help keep the room from closing in on itself or appearing small.

Hang elaborate drapes

There are a couple of reasons why rich and elaborate drapes complement Tudor-style design. First and foremost, their natural weight adds depth and texture to the room. According to SFGate, combining velvet sofas and silk drapes will create a luxurious look. Floor-length curtains also contribute to a dramatic look. For something softer and more romantic, choose long curtains and let them pool on the floor to create a Bridgerton vibe in your home.

You can always use drapes for more than your windows (via Lushome). Silk, velvet, and taffeta drapes make excellent room dividers since they provide depth, texture, and color. However, choose your colors carefully. Drapes can make or break your color palette by calling attention to other colors in the room, like stripes in your cushions or couches (via Houzz). Or they can complement the tone of a corresponding accent wall and make a space feel complete.

Choose lavish rugs in oriental patterns

Rugs of all shapes, sizes and styles will complement your Tudor-style home. As reported by The Savvy Heart, Persian and Turkish options contribute to the lush feeling of a Tudor home. Once you find your dream rug, you can even use it to inspire your room's color choices. Ultimately, you are looking for elaborate designs and rich, robust colors for your rug.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a living room rug is selecting the wrong size (via Mansour). To avoid making this mistake, measure the room where you want to put the rug, then subtract 2 to 3 feet from each dimension. For patterns, florals tend to work best with the Tudor style. Ensure you select a design that pairs with your room's mood and color scheme. Like so many things, oriental rugs serve different functions. Don't forget to consider runners for small spaces or decorative pieces (via Paradise Oriental Rugs).

Create cozy seating areas

Nothing is cozier than gathering around a warm fire with friends and family. A fireplace place is one of the best places to design a seating area in your Tudor home. Think about the style you hope to inspire when decorating around a fireplace. Tudor is British style, so creating a relaxed pub vibe would go a long way in making this tip work in your home.

According to Love to Know, you can make a space feel cozier with walkways since they make a room easy to navigate. People can change positions, locations, and conversation partners this way. This setup inspires people to mingle, along with moveable seating. You could also add a sitting area to your bedroom if you're looking for something more intimate (via Mancini's Sleep World). A couple of chairs, a table for jigsaw puzzles or board games, and some brushed bronzed lamps will create an excellent environment for relaxing and unwinding.

Choose wrought iron hardware

Wrought iron is a timeless and versatile material, making it the perfect addition to your Tudor-style home. This metal is beautiful hardware for your kitchen cabinets, lamps, tables, and many other items. It is also durable, high-end, and old-school. Wrought iron in kitchens has been popular for years. It is an attractive and practical choice. The material is durable, low maintenance, stylish, and pairs well with nearly everything. It works for cabinetry hardware, lighting, accent pieces, ornamentation, and furniture.

If you don't want to go overboard with wrought iron in your home, decorate with accents like wall sconces or torches (via SFGate). The material and lighting style are both appropriate to Tudor decor. Door handles, hinges, and locks are a subtle way to incorporate wrought iron. The best thing about small touches like these is that they feel organic and natural in your home.

Use Tudor Rose or floral wallpaper

Not surprisingly, the most common wallpaper in Tudor decor features patterns with the Tudor Rose. The good news is that this emblem of England comes in different styles and colors. For example, you can find navy blue, white, cream, and red wallpaper designs on Spoonflower. The flowers themselves in these designs vary from traditional to eclectic.

If the Tudor rose is not your style, choose other floral wallpapers. According to Homes & Gardens, dark floral designs add a romantic atmosphere to a room, and they are currently on-trend. This feeling of romance flows throughout Tudor-style decor. Lighter florals are also a great way to make a statement (via Real Homes). Pink florals or muted pastels create a calming and serene environment. Classic prints also make a statement and complement the Tudor style. Classic stripes or florals, stenciled designs, and dramatic patterns all create a room with the depth characteristic of Tudor homes.

Add exposed beams, box beams, or coffered ceiling tiles

Exposed beams are a typical design feature in Tudor homes. If your house doesn't have this rustic architectural detail, you can add them yourself. Fortunately, you don't have to invest in full beams or rebuild your home to get this look. According to Plank and Pillow, you will need three pieces of wood nailed together to craft a box beam. These pieces are lightweight and easier to work with than traditional beams. Decide how far apart you want them spaced, then determine how many you need to fill the space.

These hollow beams come with many benefits (via OE Custom). They can hide wires, making them ideal for mounting sconces or other wired items on your wall or ceiling. Plus, artificial beams cost a fraction of their counterparts. Once you've installed your beams, add coffered ceiling tiles to complete the look.

Decorate walls with tapestries and art

Wall hangings are an excellent way to spruce up your home and add visual appeal. According to Visual Arts Encyclopedia, these elegant pieces work well in a Tudor home because tapestries were an art feature in England during the 16th century. Just like Persian or Turkish rugs for your floors, these pieces serve as minor accents or statement pieces on your walls.

When it comes to tapestries, you have a few options. Style them in decorative frames and hang them on your walls. Or hang pieces from rods on the wall or in the stairwell for a more traditional look. Tapestry hangers often feature wrought iron material, which complements Tudor decor. According to House & Garden, tapestries make excellent wall hangings over bed headboards. These rooms are usually designed for comfort, making Tudor decor an ideal fit here. Your best options for art in Tudor style are English works in ornate frames.

Look for heavy oak furniture

Heavy oak furniture is a staple of the Tudor style, including the classic four-poster bed. According to Architectural Digest, four-poster beds are charming furniture pieces that make a dramatic statement in any space. While four-poster beds come in many styles and materials, oak is the wood type best suited to a Tudor-style bedroom. To make a Tudor-style statement, look for a four-poster bed with fleur-de-lis and rose carvings. For a final touch, incorporate damask and brocade fabrics as bedspreads, runners, drapes, and wall hangings.

You can choose other furniture pieces in this wood to complement the rest of your home. Trestles and side tables make excellent options in the dining room or kitchen. They are eye-catching, heavy, and bring out dark colors in a room, establishing an old-world style. Trestle tables are an original element in classic Tudor homes (via National Trust UK). Check out online shops and local antique stores to discover unique furnishings for your home.

Accentuate your fireplace

Many homes still feature fireplaces, although they are less common than they used to be. Apart from being a source of heating, fireplaces are welcoming gathering points that enhance the ambiance of your home. According to Foter Magazine, decorative fireplaces are natural focal points in a room. If you don't already have one, get a little creative and DIY or purchase a faux fireplace for your home.

While fireplaces work best in living rooms and bedrooms, you can also add one to your home office space. Hang a fake fireplace on the wall for an instant cozy feeling and a spectacular backdrop for your next Zoom call or Teams meeting. Set up some chairs around the fireplace to create a great seating area for meeting clients. A crackling fireplace makes a perfect focal point for any room, whether used in a living room, bedroom, or dining area.

Opt for striking colors and intricate patterns

Mixing and matching colors and patterns can be tricky. This technique becomes even more challenging if pairing patterns with dense fabrics and dark-toned woods. According to The Spruce, one of the best ways to decorate with different designs is to layer different styles and scales. Accent the dominant pattern with secondary patterns. Be aware of which colors and patterns work best and complement one another.

Consider what is already in the room before going wild with patterns (via Homes & Gardens). Statement pieces, like fireplaces, are natural focal points. Base your remaining color choices on the tone of these central elements to build a cohesive color family. Another option is to limit the number and shades of colors in each room by choosing one or two colors and allowing the eyes to relax. You can complement these with a second similar color or a contrasting one. Add warm hues to your environment to complement Tudor decor.

Bring in plenty of decorative accents

Another fantastic way to decorate your Tudor home is to get creative with accent pieces. Select elements carefully and layer them together by theme, color, shape, or design. According to Stone Gable Blog, decorative accents are a home's jewelry. Items like trays and lamps are great since you can layer accents on top of these pieces. Arrange groups of potted plants, knickknacks, or travel souvenirs on these trays.

The size of items relative to one another will make a big difference in the display (via Acme How To). You can arrange them by size or type of accessory. Using frames in different shapes or sizes makes a lovely display. Other winning ideas in a Tudor home include candles and candlesticks, baskets, books, and clocks. If you're looking for inspiration, Etsy has a good variety of Tudor-inspired decor. Let your creativity run free and experiment with different decor arrangements to express your personality.