What is Elizabethan?

Elizabethan refers to an architectural and interior design style from the Elizabethan era in England.


The Elizabethan style is an architectural and interior design aesthetic from the Elizabethan era, which spanned the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from 1558 to 1603. This style embodies the transition from medieval Gothic architecture to the Renaissance's classicism in England. Notable for its ornate and extravagant features, Elizabethan design includes intricate woodwork, bold geometric shapes, and a mix of Tudor and classical motifs.

Key elements of Elizabethan interior design are heavy oak furniture, detailed paneling, and large tapestries which adorned the walls, reflecting wealth and status. The use of vibrant colors, extensive decorative patterns, and an abundance of textiles characterized spaces, alongside the occasional use of heraldic and mythological motifs in both architecture and furniture design.

The Elizabethan style is appreciated for its craftsmanship and attention to detail. It often featured fine carvings in wood, including the elaborate use of panelling and moulding throughout manor houses and royal residences. Today, it influences home interiors that aim for a traditional, antique, or historically inspired look.


In a contemporary setting, Elizabethan style is usually emulated through the use of heavy, carved wooden furniture, ornate tapestries, and decorative panelling. It's common in homes that aim to capture a sense of history, nobility, and craftsmanship, whether through a full Elizabethan-inspired interior or through incorporating specific antique pieces or replicas into modern design schemes.


  • What period does the Elizabethan style cover?

    The Elizabethan style covers the period of Queen Elizabeth I's reign from 1558 to 1603 in England.

  • What are characteristic features of Elizabethan design?

    Characteristic features include heavy oak furniture, detailed paneling, tapestries, vibrant colors, heraldic motifs, and extensive use of wood carvings.

  • How can I incorporate the Elizabethan style into a modern home?

    To incorporate the Elizabethan style into a modern home, consider adding heavy wooden furniture, ornate tapestries or wall hangings, decorative wood paneling, and elements with classical or heraldic motifs.

Practical Application

To effectively apply the Elizabethan style in a modern home, start by focusing on a few key elements such as an ornate wooden dining table, carved armchairs, or elaborate tapestries. Pair these with rich, warm colors to add depth. Balancing heavy Elizabethan pieces with simpler, modern fixtures and accessories can create a harmonious blend between past and present aesthetics.