Netflix’s The Crown has returned to our screens for the final time and once again we’re returning to sets filled with beautiful neoclassical interior design and all the pomp and circumstance of British high society. While the vast majority of us won’t have homes like these, there are ways in which we can capture the beauty of Buckingham Palace, the harmony of Highgrove and the charm of Clarence House. Let’s dive into neoclassicism and find out how to best use it in interior design.
What is neoclassical design?
Neoclassical design emerged in the mid-18th century as a reaction to the ornate and elaborate Baroque and Rococo styles that dominated the preceding era. Influenced by the rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman art and architecture, neoclassicism sought to revive the simplicity, order, and balance of antiquity. Architects and designers drew inspiration from ancient ruins, literature, and philosophy, creating a design movement that celebrated the ideals of harmony and proportion. The result is a style rich in history yet still ideal for modern living.
Neoclassical colours: Neoclassical colour palettes are typically subdued and sophisticated. Earthy tones such as beige, ivory, and pale grey dominate, creating a backdrop that allows classical architectural elements and furnishings to take centre stage. Accents of gold and other metallics add a touch of luxury as do jewel tones!
Furniture and furnishings: Furniture and soft furnishings in neoclassical interiors are characterised by clean lines, graceful curves, and a sense of proportion. Classic motifs are often incorporated into furniture design as are other embroidered patterns. Consider Roman blinds and curtains in fabrics like velvet and silk for added beauty.
Art and accessories: Neoclassical interiors often feature sculptures, urns, and busts. Artwork tends to draw inspiration from mythological themes or historical events. Gilded mirrors, metal lined lamp shades, and crystal chandeliers contribute to the overall sense of opulence without costing a fortune!
Key elements of neoclassical interior design
Symmetry and balance: Neoclassical interiors are characterised by a strong emphasis on symmetry and balance. Furniture, soft furnishings, and architectural elements are often arranged in pairs, creating a sense of equilibrium that is both pleasing to the eye and reflective of classical ideals. For neoclassical windows, add a Roman blind in a recess covered by curtains for a luxurious, layered finish.
Architectural details: Architectural details play a crucial role in neoclassical design. Marble columns, pilasters, and pediments reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman structures are commonly incorporated into interiors. These elements add a sense of grandeur and timelessness to the space. While marble columns probably are suitable for most homes, you could always consider marble effect fabrics.
Modern interpretations of neoclassical design
While neoclassical design has its roots in the 18th century, contemporary interpretations abound.
Designers today often blend neoclassical elements with modern aesthetics, creating spaces that are both timeless and relevant. The juxtaposition of classical architectural details with sleek, contemporary furnishings can result in a harmonious and visually striking interior.
This means you don’t always have to look back in time to enjoy the beauty of neoclassical design, you can modernise it to great effect. Remember, the core focus needs to be on high quality pieces with pops of colour found in a mostly neutral space. Small details will do you well from miniature Ciceros and Sullas, to marble effect fabrics and the sparkle of metallic details.
Neoclassical interior design continues to captivate enthusiasts with its enduring elegance and timeless appeal. Rooted in the rich history of classical antiquity, this design style effortlessly marries tradition with sophistication. Whether you choose to embrace it in its purest form or incorporate neoclassical elements into a more eclectic design, this style is a testament to the enduring allure of classical beauty in the world of interior design.
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