What is Williamsburg Style?

Williamsburg Style is a blend of colonial design aesthetics with modern functionality.


Williamsburg Style is an interior design aesthetic heavily influenced by the historic district of Williamsburg, Virginia, which is renowned for its well-preserved British colonial architecture and furnishings from the 18th century. This design style marries the elegance and historical allure of colonial-era furnishings, patterns, and architectural elements with the conveniences and functional needs of contemporary life.

The style emphasizes authenticity and is characterized by the use of traditional materials such as wood, brass, and iron. Furnishings often feature intricate craftsmanship, including detailed carvings and classic lines that evoke an air of antiquity. Color schemes typically draw from a natural palette, with rich, warm tones and muted hues lending a cozy, timeless ambiance to interiors.

A key to Williamsburg Style is the thoughtful incorporation of antique or reproduction pieces that reflect the historical period, within spaces designed for modern living. This may include the use of period-appropriate window treatments, wall treatments and finishes, and decorative objects. The goal is to create interiors that feel both classically inspired and comfortably livable, offering a nod to the past without sacrificing functionality.

In Williamsburg Style, lighting plays a significant role, often incorporating chandeliers, lanterns, or sconces that are either genuine antiques or modern reproductions designed to mimic the look of the 18th-century fixtures. Complimentary use of contemporary and antique decorative items ensures that the spaces maintain a balance between historical aesthetics and modern needs.


Williamsburg Style is commonly employed in homes that wish to evoke a sense of history and tradition, often found in historic homes undergoing respectful modernization or new constructions aiming for a timeless appeal. It can be seen in both city and country settings, where the homeowner desires to blend classic elegance with contemporary comfort and practicality. This style is particularly appealing to those who appreciate the detail and craftsmanship of colonial-era design but require the functionality of a modern home.


  • Is Williamsburg Style suitable for modern homes?

    Yes, Williamsburg Style is perfectly suited for modern homes. It incorporates the conveniences and functionalities of contemporary living while maintaining the elegance and historical charm characteristic of the colonial era.

  • Can Williamsburg Style be combined with other design styles?

    Certainly, Williamsburg Style can be harmoniously blended with other design styles, especially those that emphasize traditional elements or historical motifs. Pairing it with complementary styles can create a unique, eclectic aesthetic.

  • What distinguishes Williamsburg Style from other traditional design styles?

    What sets Williamsburg Style apart is its strict adherence to the aesthetics and craftsmanship of the colonial era while integrating modern comforts and amenities. It's a celebration of 18th-century British colonial design, distinctly characterized by its authentic use of traditional materials, colors, and furnishings, tailored for today's living environments.

  • How do I incorporate Williamsburg Style into a contemporary layout?

    To incorporate Williamsburg Style into a contemporary layout, begin with classic colonial furniture pieces, and integrate them with modern conveniences and appliances. Use warm, natural color palettes and include antique or reproduction decorative objects to lend an air of authenticity and historical depth to the space.

Practical Application

Incorporating Williamsburg Style into your home starts with selecting authentic or reproduction furnishings that embody the craftsmanship and aesthetic of the colonial era. Focus on creating a warm, inviting ambiance by using natural color schemes and materials. Incorporate modern amenities discreetly, ensuring they complement rather than clash with the historical aspects of the decor. Attention to detail in selecting decorative objects and lighting fixtures that mirror the 18th century can further enhance the Williamsburg look, achieving a sophisticated blend of old-world charm and contemporary living.