As the name suggests, classic interiors are deeply influenced by classicism, a reverence for the classical period and its aesthetics and traditions. It brings you a look that is luxurious, elegant and aesthetically pleasing in a formal way. Classicism is a style manifested in the arts, literature, music, and architecture in Europe. It was greatly adapted during the Renaissance and again during the neoclassical revival in the 18th and 19thcenturies. It follows a tradition that lays a foundation that protects the olden period. It has a noble decoration, clear geometric shapes, exceptional-quality materials, and no unnecessary frills.
In the original, pure classic interiors of the olden days, you will not find any modern product like TV sets, speakers, air conditioners, washing machines, gas or electric stoves or even stainless steel pots and pans. Therefore, it’s not practical to adapt pure classical decorating style, and most probably, you are not willing to return to this way of living. However, some of its design elements can still be adapted by a modern person. Here are some of the ways to do it:
1. Use natural colors.
Colors in a classical interior are basically inspired by nature. It uses shades that are calm and neutral, to make the overall atmosphere soothing. Serene colors provide an atmosphere of reliability and imperial dignity preferred by the wealthy and those with a settled taste and preference. Most colors used are beige, olive, cream, gold, greens, browns, yellows and grays. Pastel hues and soft muted colors are also often used. Dark colors such as dark browns, dark greens, dark blues and black are chosen as emphasis for some elements in the interior. If going for whites, prefer off-whites to achieve an authentic classical feel, but if you wish to add a contemporary vibe, then feel free to choose bright white.
2. Adapt fine, natural materials.
Materials used for floors, columns, doors, pillars, and cornices are of naturally-occurring materials such as wood, stone, slate or other natural stones. Flooring is usually made of wood, especially parquet. You can go for wood flooring laminate or patterns if real wood doesn’t seem viable or practical. In some areas like the kitchen, bathroom or living room, marble or stone tiles are often used. The columns and pilasters of classical homes are usually made of marble. Then, the walls and ceilings are often paneled with wood. Wood trims on the ceiling are also common in a classic interior.
3. Pick quality, ornate furniture.
The furniture itself in a classical interior must shine with luxury and class, but in regular, geometric shapes. They are made of quality wood, like walnut, mahogany and patterned birch. Wooden furniture is also polished or varnished to make it graceful-looking. Carved detailing like classic flowers or lace-like motifs are common in classical furniture. The upholstery must be functional, comfortable and luxurious-looking. Pieces with a curved back and clean lines are very much welcome. It’s also common to see couches crafted with floral elements or coated with gold in a classic living room.
4. Maintain symmetry, order, and balance.
The classical interior is no room for chaos and artistic experimentation. It follows the rules of symmetry and order, as everything has to be balanced. The room is divided in half and the middle of it becomes the main accent or focal point. If you have one mirror at the side of the room, make sure to balance it with another. If you have an armchair on one side of a couch, another armchair should be placed on the other side. This also means that all elements (except the focal point) like side tables, lamps, vases, frames, and others must be two, four, etc. so that they can be symmetrically arranged in a mirrored manner.
5. Set a focal point.
Any room in a classical interior must always have a center of focus. Depending on what room you’re in, the focal point can in the form of a fireplace, a large oil painting, a stone statue, a wooden piece of art, a large mirror, chest of drawers, a queen-size bed, a massive dining table, an impressive staircase, or a kitchen island. Keep in mind that you maintain symmetry in the area surrounding the focal point. For instance, if the focal point in your living room is an antique fireplace, you can decorate either side of it with a Roman column or huge vase, or flank it with matching armchairs on either side with an ornate mirror above.
6. Choose elegant fibers and textiles.
When you say classy, it means elegant. So a classic interior must be decorated with classy forms of fabric like satin, silk, velvet, canvas, and brocade. These are the main fabrics to use when adapting a classical interior. Curtains are made of either one of these fabrics, and often supplemented by valances, jabot or lambrequins. Floors are covered with expensive handmade carpets.
7. Choose lighting fixtures made of fine materials.
In illuminating classic-style interiors, get ready to use the finest chandeliers. Crystal chandeliers are common in classic interiors, especially in living rooms and dining areas. Elegant, tiered chandelier with crystal hangings and gold-plated elements can help decorate the interior of a living room. When choosing lamps, choose those made of expensive glass or transparent stones.
8. Adapt conservative patterns.
A classic interior isn’t complete without a pattern in sight. Traditional patterns like brocade, florals, damask, fleur-de-lis, jacquard, trellis are used in classical interiors through floor rugs, wallpapers, upholstery, cushions or heavy fabric curtains. If the room is smaller, fancy lace patterns or plant motifs can work just as well. These patterns create a sense of elegance, class, luxury, and comfort.
9. Choose solid and restrained accessories and decoration.
Classic interiors have that royal design and appearance. If you choose this décor style for your home, be responsible for your choice of decoration, as items must be solid and restrained. Common accessories for this type of interior style are paintings depicting landscapes, portraits, and reproductions of religious paintings. These paintings must be framed in classy wooden frames or ornate gold metal frames. Other common accessories for classic interiors include antiques, grandfather’s clock, porcelain products, as well as statues and souvenirs made of marble or bronze.