Have you noticed the Old Money trend on Tikok? The “old money” aesthetic is inspired by the lifestyles, fashion, interior design, and etiquette of wealthy established families, particularly those with “old money” inherited over multiple generations.
The old money aesthetic contrasts with “new money” that is more flashy and opulent. Old money is portrayed as more tasteful, subtle, and focused on family history.
“Old money” refers to families who have had significant wealth and status for multiple generations, typically inherited through family fortunes or established businesses. But how do these people decorate their houses?
Here are some characteristics often associated with “old money” and aristocratic homes!
Old Money House Features
What do old money houses look like? Old money houses are typically traditional in style and contain many family heirlooms, old artifacts, and vintage furniture that has been passed down through the generations. Here are some classic old money house features.
Historic and Grand Architecture
Aristocratic homes often boast impressive and architecturally significant designs, reflecting the wealth and status of the family. They may feature classical elements, such as columns, grand facades, ornate details, and large-scale proportions.
Aristocratic homes are typically situated on extensive estates, encompassing expansive grounds, gardens, and landscaped areas. These estates may include manicured lawns, fountains, private parks, and even lakes or rivers.
Aristocratic homes are often found in prestigious locations, such as exclusive neighborhoods, countryside estates, waterfront enclaves, or historical areas. These locations are chosen for their privacy, security, and proximity to amenities like marinas and country clubs or cultural landmarks.
Size and Scale
These homes tend to be spacious, with multiple stories and abundant rooms. They can feature a vast number of bedrooms, formal living areas, dining rooms, libraries, ballrooms, and even dedicated spaces for hobbies or collections.
Family Heirlooms and Antiques
Old money families often possess a rich collection of family heirlooms, antique furniture, artwork, and rare artifacts. These objects may hold historical, cultural, or sentimental value and are carefully preserved and displayed.
Aristocratic homes often include lifestyle amenities for the family’s enjoyment. This can include indoor swimming pools, home theaters, private chapels, gyms, tennis courts, boat docks, bowling alleys, or even helipads.
Due to the size and complexity of these homes, they often have separate quarters or living areas for the staff employed to maintain and manage the property. These areas can include living spaces, kitchens, and offices.
Emphasis on Privacy
Old money families value their privacy, and aristocratic homes are designed to provide seclusion and exclusivity. High walls, gated entrances, and advanced security systems help ensure privacy and security for the residents.
Formal Entertaining Spaces
Aristocratic homes often feature formal entertaining spaces designed to host lavish social events, receptions, or gatherings. These spaces may include grand ballrooms, formal dining rooms, and salons.
Old Money Interior Design Styles
The interior design of aristocratic homes emphasizes opulence and elegance. Expect to find high-quality materials such as marble, hardwood, silk, and fine fabrics. Elaborate furnishings, chandeliers, tapestries, and artwork are common.
Old money generational wealth homes often exhibit certain interior design styles that reflect their historical significance, personal preferences, and the cultural context of the time. Here are some interior design styles commonly found in such homes:
Traditional interior design is a hallmark of old money homes. It emphasizes classic and timeless elements, often drawing inspiration from European styles such as Georgian, Victorian, or French Rococo. Traditional homes feature ornate furnishings, rich fabrics, intricate woodwork, and formal layouts.
Classical interior design takes inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman aesthetics. It incorporates symmetrical layouts, columns, arches, and grand proportions. Marble floors, statues, and classical motifs are common elements in classical-style old money homes.
Neo-Classical style emerged in the 18th century as a revival of classical elements. It combines classical features with a lighter and more refined touch. Neo-Classical interiors frequently feature elegant furniture, subtle color palettes, and architectural details like pilasters and cornices.
Some old money homes incorporate French Château style, inspired by the grand country estates of Europe, particularly France. This style emphasizes opulence, with elaborate moldings, gilded accents, crystal chandeliers, and luxurious fabrics like silk and velvet.
English Country style exudes a cozy and comfortable atmosphere, often found in old money homes in the British countryside. It incorporates elements such as floral patterns, cozy upholstered furniture, exposed wood beams, and antique, rustic furnishings.
Inspired by the Renaissance era, this style emphasizes elegance and sophistication. Richly carved woodwork, elaborate tapestries, frescoes, and grand fireplaces are typical features. Classical motifs, such as ornate ceiling medallions and pilasters, are also common.
In regions with a colonial history, old money homes love to embrace colonial interior design. This style features a blend of European influences with local traditions. It often incorporates antique furniture, colonial-era artwork, and natural materials like wood and rattan.
Regency style gained popularity during the early 19th century in England. It is characterized by light and airy interiors, pale color palettes, and a mix of classical and Oriental influences. Regency-style old money homes showcase refined furniture, delicate patterns, and chinoiserie accents.
In the early 20th century, Art Deco became a popular style for affluent families. It is represented by geometric shapes, bold colors, and luxurious materials like lacquer, chrome, and exotic woods. Art Deco interiors often feature streamlined furniture, glamorous lighting, and decorative accents.
Old Money Home Decor Ideas
If you want to decorate your home like “old money” without actually acquiring the real estate, here are several ways to decorate in the old money style. These are the best tips for how to decorate your home to capture the timeless elegance of “old money” families.
Dark Hardwood Floors
Dark hardwood floors are a classic feature in the homes of old-money families, symbolizing a sense of strength and enduring beauty. This flooring option creates a rich contrast with lighter walls and adds a layer of sophistication to any room. Whether it’s deep mahogany, walnut, or ebony, the dark tones of the wood help to ground the space and enhance the antique furniture and artwork.
The luxurious gleam of well-maintained dark hardwood not only reflects an era of timeless elegance but also offers the durability and character associated with generational wealth. Choosing wide plank floors or incorporating intricate parquet designs can further elevate the aesthetics, crafting a visual narrative that’s both opulent and refined. Integrating dark hardwood floors into your home’s design can provide a foundational element that ties all the other old money decorating principles together.
The dining room is the heart of many homes, and old money families often feature exquisite vintage tableware that tells a story of history and refinement. To achieve this look, consider investing in classic china sets with intricate patterns from renowned manufacturers like Limoges or Royal Copenhagen.
Include silverware and serving pieces that have been handed down through generations or are designed to replicate an antique look. Crystal glassware and fine linen tablecloths can complete the ambiance. When setting the table, aim to reflect time-honored tradition and luxury.
Wall moldings have long been a staple of old money interior design, as they add depth and character to the walls. Incorporate crown moldings, wainscoting, and paneling to give rooms an aristocratic feel. These architectural details are typically found in Georgian, Victorian, or Colonial styles, and can be painted in soft, muted colors or rich, dark tones. Whether intricately carved or simply elegant, these elements create grandeur and timelessness.
Art has always been a way to showcase wealth and taste. Hanging old paintings, especially landscapes, portraits, and classical scenes, in ornate gilded frames will instantly elevate your decor. Seek out artworks at auctions or antique stores, and don’t be afraid to mix periods and styles, as long as they are cohesive. Including sculptures, busts, or antique mirrors can also add to the sophistication of the space. The placement of these pieces is essential; a properly lit art piece can become a stunning focal point in any room.
Furniture is not just functional in the homes of old money families; it’s a statement of style and craftsmanship. Look for vintage furniture pieces made of hardwood, with detailed carvings and upholstered in rich fabrics like silk or velvet. Investing in heirloom-quality antiques, whether genuine or reproductions, creates a sense of history and continuity. Think of Chippendale chairs, Louis XV sofas, or mahogany writing desks. The arrangement of these pieces should be harmonious, yet display formality.
Aged Brass Accents
Aged brass accents provide a warm and elegant touch that resonates with the charm of bygone eras. Incorporate this material in door handles, light fixtures, or even decorative objects like trays and candlesticks. Over time, brass develops a natural patina that adds character and authenticity to the décor. Mixing brass with other noble materials like marble or leather can create a sophisticated balance that feels both luxurious and lived-in.
Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass windows are a stunning feature that can bring a historic and artistic flair to your home. Whether in entry doors, sidelights, or a grand staircase window, stained glass designs add color, light, and a feeling of mystery. Opt for traditional patterns or commission a custom design that reflects your taste and the architectural style of your home. When placed thoughtfully, these windows can become a breathtaking visual centerpiece.
Decorating like old money families is about embracing quality, tradition, and timelessness. By focusing on these elements, your home can reflect an ambiance of elegant sophistication, resonating with the graceful refinement of generational wealth.
Attention to detail, a curated mix of vintage and antique pieces, and a celebration of art and architecture will help you achieve a home that feels rich in history and character.
These characteristics are generalizations, and not all old money or aristocratic homes will have all of these features. However, they provide a glimpse into the stereotypical image of such residences.