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Style File: Preppy


What do plaids, blue and white china, Ralph Lauren linens, Hudson’s Bay Point blankets, and monogramed pillows have in common? They’re all hallmarks of a traditional preppy interior style.

While there are several different takes on preppy décor, such as tropical preppy, beachy preppy, glam preppy style and so on, today we’re looking at the straight forward version, which embraces aspects of English Country, but with a North American twist.

Preppy is a curated style meant to look as though it has been furnished by family heirlooms, travel treasures, and the trappings of a gentrified lifestyle.  Think “old money”, inherited finery, and country club living.

Here are some of the different aspects of preppy interior décor.

Strong Colours

Source: Style at Home

The preppy style of decorating embraces swaths of vibrant colour, such as the classic combo of pink and apple green.  Alongside these strong colours it is also common to see neutrals like tan, brown, and white.

Primary Nautical

Source: Country Living

Not to be confused with the watery chill of coastal décor, the preppy version of nautical is very traditional as far as colour is concerned. Primary reds, blues and whites, mingled with classic motifs like stars and stripes. Semaphore flags, model ships, oars and wooden buoys are also typical of this style.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name …or Initials anyway

Source: Pinterest

A preppy home simply isn’t complete with the presence of monograms. It’s practically a rule. Monograming pillows, throws, headboards, and even bars of guest soap are all part of the preppy style’s love of personalization.

Blue and White Chinoiserie Patterns

Source: House Beautiful

Blue and white chinoiserie pieces are a staple in many preppy homes, particularly favoured by more mature homeowners. Think ginger jars, bowls on stands, vases, and statuettes adding beautiful color an exotic interest in living rooms, kitchens, and foyers.

These pieces offer an air of classical style, and suggest a life well-travelled, even if the trip only took you to your local Bombay.

An Easy Update

The nice thing about preppy interior style is that it is largely low commitment. You won’t need to think about things like replacing kitchen cabinets with open shelves or abandoning your hardwood floors for a high commitment switch to polished concrete.

Going preppy can be simply done. Clear out some clutter and switch to a carefully curated style. Embrace new colour combinations and mix some vintage pieces into your home décor. Sounds like a fun weekend project, and the perfect way to brighten a room in your home for the Spring season.

Learn More About Décor Styles: Modern Farmhouse | Regency | Coastal | Cottage | Contemporary | Transitional | Scandinavian

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