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The colonial style is sophisticated, timeless and elegant. One only has to think of the beautiful colonial interiors of the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore or the majestic Taj hotel in Mumbai, India to be transported back to a bygone era, evoking images of gin and tonics on the veranda and a glamourous tropical lifestyle.

Colonial Style and how to get it l The Past Perfect Collection l Singapore

Credit: Taj Hotels


Back in the Imperial era, when the European colonists arrived in new far flung lands there was a meeting of two different cultures. And while this culture clash was evident in many aspects of life, when it came to furniture, it resulted in what is now known as colonial furniture and the colonial style itself. Essentially colonial furniture was made due to necessity. The colonists wanted the traditional European furniture they were familiar with back home, but realised they needed to adapt it to suit the hotter climate and use materials native to the area. The way they styled their homes had to change and the colonial style was born.

Colonial Style and how to get it l The Past Perfect Collection2 l Singapore

Credit: The Dutch House, Galle, Sri Lanka


  1. Paint walls in light colours to give a cool and airy feel to rooms. Light colours reflect light and heat after all.
  2. Choose furniture made from dark wood, like rosewood or mahogany. This will also contrast nicely with the light shade of the walls. Then add some natural textures with sisal rugs and rattan framed furniture such as planter’s chairs.
  3. Choose interesting furniture. Antique colonial chests work really well as storage and are highly decorative. Hardwood four poster beds swathed in mosquito nets will evoke the romance of this era.
  4. Add a spot of colour with fabrics featuring lush green palm trees and tropical motifs. Adding some exotic greenery will liven up the space too and add to that tropical vibe.
  5. Choose eclectic accessories to enhance your colonial interior. Antique maps, globes and fans work well, along with traditional Asian collectibles from your travels.

Credit: Olivia Bonnal Sansoni Photography

With a few carefully chosen items and one or two key elements, the colonial style is easy to create to make a dramatic impression and give your living space an elegant and well-travelled look.

Now, the only thing left to do is enjoy that gin and tonic on the veranda. Cheers!

Find out more about Colonial Furniture.

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