20 Designs That Capture Classic Ivy League Style

These preppy designs have a traditional look with a modern aesthetic reminiscent of classic Ivy League style.

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September 06, 2019

Photo By: Peter Rymwid

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Harvey Smith Photography

Photo By: Houlihan Lawrence, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Eric Perry

Photo By: Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Ellen A McDermott

Photo By: House of Jade Interiors

Photo By: William Raveis Real Estate Mortgage and Insurance, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Michael J. Lee

Photo By: Aaron Leitz

Photo By: WE Studio Photography

Photo By: Eric Perry

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Marie Flanigan

Photo By: Houlihan Lawrence, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Photo By: Dan Piassick

Rich Finishes

Work comes easy in this walnut-wrapped home study. The custom cabinetry holds the homeowner’s treasured book collection and is stained to match the rich hardwood floors underfoot. The rich wood walls and floors are enhanced by sage velvet window seats and coordinating, green shaded sconces.

From: Jo Ann Alston

Cozy Upholstery

Preppy, red-and-green plaid upholstery makes a playful statement in this cozy family breakfast table. The punchy settee and dining chairs surround a sleek, glass top table and pop against the snowy-white shiplapped walls. A modern, abstract painting pairs with a stallion print on the wall to create interesting contrast and balance in the otherwise traditional design.

Built-In Balance

A stately fireplace serves as the focal point in this formal sitting room. Symmetrical windows, mantel lamps, arm chairs and built-in bookshelves flank the fireplace and bring a traditional and timeless aesthetic to the space. A leather-bound book collection couples with Chinoiserie treasures to bring the color and personality to the bookcases. Ruby toss pillows pair well with the jewel-toned area rug underfoot and pinstripe drapes add drama to the windows and frame the view of the front yard.

Dark + Handsome Details

East Coast charm is abundant in this preppy, seafront sitting room which serves as an idyllic spot to catch up with friends or a lengthy summer reading list. Inky paint highlights the space’s handsome millwork and brings dimension to the walls and beamed ceiling overhead. Traditional crystal table lamps flank a slipcovered sofa and a solitary brass floor lamp offers light to a ruby-red wingback chair.

From: Houlihan Lawrence and Luxury Portfolio International®

Leather-Bound Library

A traditional, preppy home is not complete without an enviable library collection. Rich, honey-toned bookcases are filled with leather-bound vintage books and enhanced with framed, abstract prints. A bust sculpture perches upon a rattan box and peeks from behind the glass door, adding a luxe touch to the display.

Moody + Masculine

A lived-in leather armchair sits in front of a roaring fireplace and makes the perfect spot to revisit a favorite book. The fireplace boasts a classic, colonial-style mantel that’s painted a moody, gray-blue hue to match the handsome, built-in bookshelves along the wall.

Elevated Americana

This dashing guest bedroom shows American pride with a stylish display of red, white and blue. A blue-and-white buffalo check rug adds a cozy, casual look to the design and an oversized flag brings spirited flair above the stately four-poster bed. A navy paisley duvet pairs with windowpane shams and a ruby lumbar pillow to give the bed a polished and preppy appearance.

Timeless Blue-and-White

There’s room for the entire family in this cozy, East Coast living room. A plush upholstered sofa sits across from a classic leather arm chair and two, navy-and-white plaid seats. A pair of chinoiserie table lamps frame the main sofa and a matching, blue-and-white ceramic garden stool serves as additional seating and a makeshift side table. Crisp white built-in bookcases flank the fireplace and television while a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows offer unmatched harbor views behind the sofa.

From: Gloria Nilson and Co. Real Estate and Luxury Portfolio International®

Refined Wall Art

A deep navy, paneled wall provides a bold backdrop for three framed antique maps in varied sizes. A pair of twin upholstered armchairs are nestled beneath the maps and offer a soft spot to make cozy conversation with friends. A ruby toss pillow pops against the creamy upholstery of the corner seat and adds a touch of plushness and effortless style to the design.

Secluded Study

Escaping the world to work has never looked more appealing. A circular workspace is tucked neatly beneath the staircase of this Manhattan home. The walls are wrapped with blonde, built-in bookshelves and a tulip table and regal leather armchair offer a stylish space to study. A wooden library ladder leans out of view and offers homeowners a boost to books on the top shelf.

Four Poster Bed + Fresh White Linens

A black four-poster bed makes a statement against the light aqua walls in this preppy master bedroom. Crisp white linens and matching turquoise toss pillows make the bed and add to the classic, Hamptons-style appeal of the space. A crystal and bronze chandelier sparkles overhead and illuminates the space with old world charm.

Playful Print Underfoot

Wall-to-wall windows wash this cozy family room with endless natural sunlight. A pair of cream sofas nestle closely together atop a preppy red, navy and hunter green plaid area rug. Exposed wood beams anchor the airy design overhead and a glossy, mahogany coffee table provides a spot for everyone’s coffee or cocktail in the center of the room.

From: William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance and Luxury Portfolio International®

Fine Dining

We’re mad for plaid and perfectly obsessed with this posh-meets-preppy dining room. The space features bright-white trim and ceiling and a beige, lacquered built-in bar and shaker-style cabinet system. A sleek, wood and glass dining table is flanked by two barrel chairs with blue-and-cream plaid upholstery. Fluffy white hydrangeas add height to the table and add fresh, East Coast appeal to the space.

Color-Rich Walls

This expansive formal sitting room appears refined and inviting, all dressed in red. The grasscloth walls make a statement and are enhanced by classic upholstered pieces, like a creamy linen sofa and darling sky-blue arm chairs. Symmetrical accents and light fixtures accent the space and bring a sense of order and structure to the otherwise expansive, open floor plan design.

Stately Dining Set

A traditional, mahogany dining table and matching chairs shine in this crisp, white-washed kitchen and dining room. The brilliant dining set instantly warms the surrounding area and contrasts against the crisp-white, shaker-style cabinets in the background. A timeless, blue-and-white vase overflows with a lush, green fresh-cuts at the center of the kitchen island and adds punchy, preppy pigment to the otherwise neutral design.

Nod to Menswear

Sleep comes easily (and stylishly) in this well-appointed master bedroom. Black furnishings and menswear fabrics stand out against walls painted a vibrant cranberry hue. The pencil-post bed is dressed with boutique hotel-quality linens, quilted bedding, a cozy wool throw and a ticking-stripe comforter. Turn-of-the-century walnut and poplar doors were stripped of paint and repurposed as pocket doors to bring old world texture to the design.

Masculine Influence

A dashing duo surveys this moody and masculine living room from their post behind the handsome velvet sofa. A rugged, antique wood table nestles in front of the chesterfield sofa and adds a wealth of texture and warm color to the space. Bonus? It offers ample space for morning coffee, afternoon cocktails and late night reading, alike.

Well-Suited Washroom

Charcoal chevron wallpaper dresses the walls in this tiny-but-mighty washroom. The handsome walls serve as backdrop to a luxe, brass and marble pedestal sink and a chic, vanity mirror. The unexpected mix of menswear and gilded finishes makes for a high-contrast and high-style preppy design.

Striking Study

This study can be described as grand and gorgeous. The business-ready workspace boasts mahogany-paneled walls, built-in bookcases and a classic, wood-burning fireplace. Traditional sconces flank the television above the mantel and illuminate the striking millwork throughout the space.

Timeless Balance

This expansive master suite appears intimate and elegant with a cozy, fireside sitting area and luxe, preppy finishes at every turn. The space features intentionally balanced colors, weight and textures to yield a design that feels balanced and secure, and appears polished and inviting.