Decorating Tips from Jane Austen

Great interior design is timeless, and I believe that interior design tips should be timeless too. I have plucked a few rather apt Jane Austen quotes from her various famed stories to help guide your timeless interiors (and aid with various decorating woes).

On committing to a colour scheme - A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. - Pride and Prejudice.

On opting for expensive and strenuous modern renovations rather than simply employing a fabulous decorator - Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation! - Emma.

On awaiting deadlines - When people are waiting, they are bad judges of time, and every half-minute seems like five. - Mansfield Park.

On the client adding things last minute - Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable. - Emma

On innate design ability - We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. - Mansfield Park.

On the outcome - Advice is good or bad only as the event decides… - Persuasion.

On thinking your house isn’t grand enough - Those who do not complain are never pitied. - Pride and Prejudice.

On showcasing your new interiors to your partner - It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of a many is affected by what is costly or new in their attire. - Northanger Abbey.

On embracing antiques - Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure. - Pride and Prejudice.

On choosing the wrong curtain fabric - You must not be too severe upon yourself… - Pride and Prejudice.

On those who don’t value design - One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. - Emma.

On interior design not needing to cost the earth - What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness. - Sense and Sensibility.

On clients who don’t trust their decorator - I wish as well as everybody else to be perfectly happy; but like everybody else it must be in my own way. - Sense and Sensibility.

On scrolling through 1st dib’s endless online catalogue - There may be a hundred different ways of being in love. - Emma.

On scheming with Beige - There is a safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person. - Emma.

On inevitable budget restrictions - A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. - Mansfield Park.

On a decorator’s state of mind - Indulge your imagination in every possible flight… - Pride and Prejudice.

The ultimate rule - Wherever you are you should always be contented, but especially at home, because there you must spend most of your time. - Northanger Abbey.

This post is inspired by the writings of Colleen Sattler, from her book Jane Austen’s Tips for Success.

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