Decorating Colonial/Primitive Bedrooms



When you have a desire to get down to the basics before everything became complicated, and bring old fashioned values of home and family into your interior design style, Colonial/Primitive is a design style to be considered. And one of the best places to start is the Master Bedroom. Adding colonial character to the bedroom will give you the sense of simple elegance and a remembrance of a time in which technology hadn’t taken over the world yet. 

The Colonial/Primitive bedroom will create a quite, comfortable haven away from the fast paced present. I know this because I once decorated in this style for myself. In fact I still have many pieces of my colonial furniture including my pencil post bed, now dressed with a French flair and still adored. Even though my taste is more European now, I love this warm, elegant style and am always drawn to it. This blog post features the Colonial/Primitive bedroom and will hopefully help you if you are inspired by this wonderful period style.




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One of the statement pieces of the Colonial/Primitive bedroom is the pencil post bed with it's delicately tapered octagonal posts, capped with finials.  You can use it with or without a canopy. However the canopy brings the drama and there are many lovely styles to choose from. Checks are a mainstay of the Colonial interior so you can never go wrong by choosing them as window treatments, upholstery or canopies, like this one.


Cover your hardwood floors with rag and braided rugs.These rugs give a nostalgic, homey  feel to a bedroom and are usually easy to find at a good price.



Oriental rugs are also a good choice for the Colonial/Primitive bedroom.Opt for neutral walls like white or cream to expose folk art or stenciling. Stencils were used often to take the place of borders and wallpaper on the walls.

Via Brian Vanden Brink



Beds with arched canopies were called field beds and are simply beautiful additions to the Colonial/Primitive bedroom.


When it comes to furnishing your Colonial/Primitive bedroom, don't get matching sets. Instead pick pieces that are different but look good when assembled together. Antiques are a very good place to start for your Colonial style if you want an authentic look. 



Where possible, settlers did bring their own furniture with them – so fine antiques were quite common. The Colonial/Primitive bedroom doesn't have to be completely filled with primitive furnishings.

Thinking About Home

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Remember that accessories in colonial days were practical. For instance here you see a blanket chest, sconces and candle holders, a powder horn and the much needed bed warmer. Also pineapples were considered the symbol of hospitality so they were incorporated in the design of many rooms in the house including the Colonial/Primitive bedroom.


Wall sconces are a great way of getting that old-fashioned colonial decorating look. A few well placed candles in brass or wrought iron candle holders and a few lanterns or oil lamps will complete the Colonial/Primitive bedroom.


You can't go wrong with stacked trunks at the foot of the bed.

Thinking About Home

A sitting area is another good idea for the foot of the bed. Use Windsor chairs and  add some other handmade items preferably in the form of quilts and samplers, but don't go overboard with the handmade items or you will end up more country and less colonial.

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Handmade pencil post canopy beds and other antique pieces were constructed from poplar, pine, cherry, birch, walnut or tiger maple. Many people decorate with oak, but it is actually not considered a colonial wood. Blue, red , mustard yellow and sage green are the usual colors used in decorating a Colonial/Primitive bedroom.


 Install simple lamps made of wrought iron and designed to carry candles instead of light bulbs. 
Pencil post beds were sometimes painted. Also the hand tied canopy (called a fishnet canopy) is a perennial favorite of the Colonial/Primitive bedroom.

Norma Roupe

Old coverlets on beds and fishnet canopies.


 The comb back Windsor chair and the upholstered Wingback chair were staples of Colonial times and were often found in Colonial/Primitive bedrooms.


If possible, convert your floors to hardwood, with wider planks if possible. Nothing sets the stage for a Colonial/Primitive  bedroom quite like them. Pine flooring was pretty much the standard.


Always be on the search for painted folk art pieces like this chest. And primitive painting of "ancestors" are perfection for your Colonial/Primitive bedroom. Aren't these wide plank floors fabulous?

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via pinterest

Not all Colonial bedrooms have four poster beds. There are many wonderful beds that are equally colonial in style. This bedroom features a lively red and white quilt and primitive decorations. Even more quilts in the cupboard and in the nightstand. Most colonial beds are higher off the ground so add some steps!

Another type of bed you would find in Colonial/Primitive bedrooms is the rope bed. American Colonialists wove ropes into a kind of lattice or net on a bed frame. The result is a kind of rectangular hammock that they covered with a mattress and blankets. The wooden instrument on the trunk called a straining wrench would be used to tighten the ropes to keep the lattice from sagging. This is where the phrase "sleep tight" originated.

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via pinterest

Add an antique blanket chest at the foot of the bed and a wooden stand with an old pitcher by the side of the bed and you have a classic Colonial/Primitive style for your bedroom. Some silhouettes and swags and jabots on the windows will complete the look.


You might also enjoy  Decorating With Samplers.....Hand Stitched Heirlooms  http://eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com/2013/05/decorating-with-samplershandstitched.html

Decorating In The Primitive Colonial Style   http://eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com/2013/02/decorating-in-primitive-colonial-style.html



Click here to see the previous post

http://eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com/2014/07/decorating-with-porters-chairs.html


This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer



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