How To Decorate Your House Like A Jane Austen Movie

Jane Austen lived and worked at the turn of the 19th century, yet over 200 years later, her novels about the love lives of the British landed gentry are still wildly popular. According to The Conversation, Austen's enduring popularity can be attributed to the realism of her characters. You might find yourself in headstrong Elizabeth Bennet, the lead of "Pride and Prejudice," or maybe in her soft-spoken sister Jane. Some readers identify the most with the meek and suggestible heroine who finally stands up to her family: Fanny Price from "Persuasion." Whatever your personality, whatever your struggles in life, readers often find there is something in Austen that speaks to them.

In addition to chronicling love, loss, and coming of age so beautifully, many readers find themselves drawn to Austen's novels because of the fairytale world of the Regency era. A world filled with lords and ladies, carriage rides, debutante balls, and even a secret rendezvous or two. It's a fun form of escapism to see how the rich lived in this period, if only for an afternoon. When we see these beloved stories translated onto the screen, it's normal to want to recreate a little bit of the movie magic at home. Here's how to bring the world of Jane Austen to life.

Every Jane Austen mansion has ivy on the outside

If you want your home to look like a quaint cottage in the English countryside or a grand Regency-era estate, you need to start cultivating ivy outside of your home. It's a classic English look that will make your house look like it's come straight out of a Jane Austen movie. According to Plant Care for Beginners, English ivy is a fairly indestructible plant that can easily take over your garden if it's not managed properly.

Like most plants, it must be watered regularly to maintain its health. If you live in a climate with less rain, you'll want to make sure that its roots are perpetually moist, but not wet. You'll be able to tell if there is too much water if the base of the ivy has puddles present. If you go through a longer period with no rain (more than a week or so), then be sure to water your ivy. In addition, be sure to keep pets away from the ivy, as ingesting it can cause harm to them. On occasion, the sap from this plant can also cause a rash on human skin.

What's a heroine without her pianoforte?

In the world of Jane Austen, being accomplished on the pianoforte is a symbol of high status for any young lady hoping to secure a match. According to Art and Artifact in Austen, Jane Austen owned a piano herself and would play it each morning to start her day. It seems as though Austen genuinely loved playing the piano and disagreed with her contemporaries' idea that women only learn how to play to attract a husband and then drop the artform altogether.

Purchasing a piano for use at home does not have to be an expensive venture. Typically, music stores tend to sell second-hand instruments. If you are lucky, you can also pick up a used piano on peer-to-peer sales sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. If you purchase a used piano, be aware that you might need to budget for getting it professionally tuned, as the sounds might be off from years of disuse.

Play with pinks, just like Emma

Pink is a fun and feminine color. The set designers for 2020's "Emma" fully embraced this when decorating the Woodhouse estate. According to At Home with Ashley, women who love pink often struggle with getting their male partners on board with using the color in excess in their homes. If you live with someone who doesn't prefer pink, the key is to begin introducing the color in subtle ways. You can do this by bringing in a fresh bouquet of pink flowers once a week or purchasing a new pink throw blanket to drape over the back of the couch.

If that goes over well and you are not satisfied with the amount of color in the space, you can start ramping things up. Think about bringing pink accents into areas of the house that solely belong to you. This could be purchasing a pink desk chair for your home office, painting your current nightstand pink, or even buying a pink rug for the hallway bathroom only you use. Ramping up to using a certain color in your home is a good idea, even if you don't live with someone who doesn't prefer it. It allows you to enjoy a shade without going overboard since you've added it little by little.

Always be ready for high tea

Every Jane Austen fan needs a tea set at home, as each film adaption of the beloved author's works features at least one shot of the characters spilling hot tea about each other's lives while enjoying an herbal beverage. According to NPR, tea was so popular in Austen's day that it was served at the society balls that were so delicious to watch on screen. If a young gentleman caller offered to walk a young lady to the tea room, it was the same as a modern man offering to buy you a drink while out at a bar.

If you want a high tea set at home, you can purchase everything you need at your local grocery store, as most stores even have a section for the dishes needed, too. These would be things like a teapot, teacups, teaspoons, and of course, a cake stand for the delicious sandwiches and scones. If you really want to go all out on your tea table, sites like Etsy often have full Jane Austen tea sets available for purchase.

Purchase fine art prints

If you want to decorate your home like a Jane Austen movie, something you should think about is purchasing fine art prints to display in your home. Most country estates in the Regency era would have large collections of art to show off to visitors, just like Mr. Darcy does at Pemberley. According to Prism Specialties, it's easy to grow a collection of art at home on any budget. While some might enjoy piecing together their gallery over time, experts suggest that everything comes together better if you enter the endeavor with at least an outline of a plan.

Think about the rooms in your home and the energy of each. Consider what types of art might fit the feeling of the space, depending on what it is used for, as well as the amount of light available in the space, its color palette, etc. With these ideas in mind, you will finish with a more polished product instead of something with an eclectic feel.

Use wallpaper to create whimsical settings

During the Regency era, most people called wallpaper paper hangings instead. However, using modern wallpaper can create a very classic look in the right context. According to historian David W. Wilkin, the idea of wallpaper started when richer families began stretching expensive fabrics like silk and velvet across their walls. The fabrics were not permanently attached, but looked nice and were an easy way to show off their wealth. By the 1770s, these hangings had become paper and were able to be stuck more permanently on the walls.

Around this time, many archeological digs were occurring in Greece and Italy, so the gentry favored themes from this time period. From here, wallpapering trends involved, embracing designs from China and Japan as trade with those regions grew. If you are interested in making your home look like a Jane Austen film, take heart in knowing that wallpaper is not outdated or old-fashioned, but a classic look that is always in style.

Never have a shortage of seats

You'll always need a place for your gentleman callers to sit. So if you want to make your home worthy of a Jane Austen movie, then be sure to have enough seats in your living room. According to Home Decor Bliss, the total number of available spaces in your main entertaining room depends on the number of people in the house. However, for the sake of example, let's say you have two people living in your home. If that's the case, you should have four to five seats in your living room. This includes the couch.

So, depending on the size of your couch, you might need two, or even three accent chairs available for potential guests. The fun part of accent chairs is that you can easily use them to create more visual interest in your space. If your couch is a more neutral color or pattern, consider adding some spice with your accent chairs.

Reduce clutter in favor of decorations with purpose

You can have plenty of knick knacks without creating clutter. You might notice that it doesn't matter if it's a quaint cottage or a grand estate, the homes in Jane Austen movies are never bare, but they don't need to be crowded with just stuff either. According to The Organized Mama, one of the best ways to ensure your decor doesn't become cluttered is to decorate with purpose. Before purchasing a new item for your home, think of what you already have on hand that might do the job.

This also applies to spur-of-the-moment purchases. Try to only purchase items you've long thought about and know will fit well into your space, rather than items you purchased spur of the moment. As you see here in "Sense and Sensibility," each figurine, bowl, and flower has a place and purpose within the drawing room.

Incorporate Greek and Roman accents

The Regency era drew heavily on classic themes because of the emergence of archaeology during the period. So, if you want to make your home seem like it's straight out of Jane Austen, you might have to look farther back in time for inspiration than you first thought. According to Universal Class, Romans tended to use a very neutral color palette in their decorations, and we can see this in their Regency counterparts. So, consider using earthy colors like reds, browns, and even greens when selecting items for your home.

However, you'll likely want to take things just a bit further than just using the same color palette. Consider adding a mock marble bust of Athena on the table in your foyer, incorporate wallpaper with small Roman laurels as a pattern, or even use Grecian ladies as wall art, as Charles Bingley has done.

Always have fresh flowers on hand

Flowers always look great in your home and have plenty of health benefits, too. According to Get Green Be Well, the presence of flowers has been shown to slightly reduce overall depression, increase happiness, and strengthen the emotional connection between you and the person who gave them to you. Flowers tend to stand out from the other mundane clutter in our homes as a fresh spot of life and color.

Knowing how to choose the correct flowers for your home might seem overwhelming initially, as there are endless possibilities. However, the best way to get started is to select what is most visually appealing to you. Do you prefer the classic bold look of a red rose, or are you a fan of the sunshine that a bright yellow tulip brings into a space? If you still can't decide, take your cue from the room where you will display the flowers. What colors are already prominent? Start simple by trying to highlight those (via Serenata Flowers).

Use golden accents like Mr. Darcy

Using golden accents throughout your home is not as expensive as you might think. The most important thing to remember is that in the modern age, just because something is golden in color doesn't mean it's gold, so you won't have to pay the premium price. According to Treehouse, you should start small when you want to incorporate gold into your home. Look around the room and think about what could easily be swapped out for a pop of color. These could be things like candleholders or even flowerpots.

From there, you can work your way up to more permanent changes. Can you change the pulls on your drawers for a golden option? What about swapping your light switch covers into something a little more "Mr. Darcy approved." Another great way to bring gold into your home is through your light fixtures themselves. Lights with golden elements do very well as they complement almost any existing decor themes.

Have a desk just for writing love letters

Most Jane Austen heroines have a writing desk at their disposal, so if you want your home to look like one of the movies, you'll probably need one, too. It's never too late to set up a desk or improve your penmanship to write love letters to any gentleman callers that might come your way.

According to Home Office Approved, having a desk in your bedroom has pros and cons. In the modern age, it can be tricky to have our working space in the same place we rest because it makes it even harder for us to switch off from work mode at the end of the day. However, if you have minimal shared space in the house, having a desk is better than just working from your bed, which only makes the problem worse. If you've got it in your mind that you might prefer to begin writing letters like an Austen leading lady, improving your handwriting only takes a little practice, as well as plenty of extra paper (via Lettering League).

Make plenty of room for your books

As a Jane Austen lover, it makes sense that you would have plenty of books on hand. However, even if you don't have an in-home library like the Dashwoods, you can still creatively display your books. According to The Everygirl, if you run out of shelf space, don't panic. There are still plenty of other places to display your collection. The first place to think about leaving books is stacked neatly on your bar cart. This location works especially well for any recipe books, books on bartending, or novels that you really want others to see as they reach for a drink.

Next, you could consider mixing books with photos on your walls of shelving space. This should be reserved for your very favorite books. You can also use a decorative ladder to add more shelving space without taking up too much room. If all else fails, books in vertical stacks with their spines facing out can make great table legs in a pinch — just as an FYI.

Use drapes to set the scene

If you want your home to have a dramatic flair that would make even Emma Woodhouse proud, you'll want to consider using drapery to set the scene. According to EKDuncan, curtains in the Regency era were used as lavish displays of wealth. They played a very important role in the overall feel of a room.

If you are trying to recreate this look at home without breaking the bank, consider hanging your curtains up as close to the ceiling as possible. Giving them more height immediately makes things look more elegant. In addition, you can add interest with small details, like ornamental curtain rods. Finally, while billowing curtains might seem romantic, those are a bit too Jane Eyre and not Jane Austen. You'll want your curtains to appear heavier and more stately. To do this, simply purchase curtain weights and pop them onto the bottom of each panel so that it hangs flat (via Joss & Main).