Spring 2024



British Design Invasion

Americans are going wild for the U.K.’s layered, lived-in look


F rom fashion to pop culture, America's obsession with the U.K. lifestyle is skyrocket- ing. Perhaps the lavish sets on the Bridgerton TV show are sparking the wave of English design on U.S. soil because British home decor is also having a moment. “More and more British designers are settling on American shores with their specific take on the British aes- thetic,” says Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky.com, a decorative-lighting source based in London. “And their American cousins are embracing the new design style.” Nicole Salvesen, of the London design studio Salvesen Graham, recalls a Colorado project that she and her team completed in 2022 for a British wife and an American husband. “Our British client wanted to inject a bit of British decoration into her Arts and Crafts home,” Salvesen recalls. “The layered, fabric-heavy nature of the interiors she grew up in felt important to her, having lived for a while in a more minimalist

home in California.” The design ended up as a “wonderful collection of art and objects.” Courtnay Tartt Elias, principal and creative director at Creative Tonic, a design company in Houston, says “the British fascination is hitting everyone.” Tartt Elias especially loves the maximalist aspect of English rooms. “It all looks so good together,” she muses. “The patterns and col- ors and textures and mirrors and antiques. It’s over the top but in a cozy way, like an Elizabethan dress.” America’s affinity for British interiors—whether it’s a country house decked out in “Cottage Core” or a chic pied à terre enveloped in a medley of patterns—has existed for years. But a growing admiration is undeni- able. Tartt Elias believes that people hunkering down during the pandemic could be a reason for the upswing. “Maybe for the first time in a long time, Americans were home and realized that they didn’t want these sterile environments,” she says. “People want their homes to feel warm and cozy and lived in.”

THE PAST INSPIRES THE PRESENT The U.K. has illustrated its architec- tural and design prowess for centu- ries, influencing American homes through styles such as Georgian, Tudor, and Victorian. Furniture, fabrics, and accessories rooted in these same periods continue to grace interiors, conveying Britain’s colorful, creative past.

Opposite page: Courtnay Tartt Elias of Houston-based company Creative Tonic designed this British-inspired library. Above: A room by Nicole Salvesen, of the London design studio Salvesen Graham, has the look of an English country home.





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