Opulent, ornate, dramatic, flamboyant, theatrical, and glitzy … might be some of the words that come to mind when you think of “Baroque”. The word itself is French, and this design style creates a regal look that is warm yet extravagant. In fact, one might say that the a Baroque Interior Design is all that … and then some.
Baroque (according to the American dictionary) means “anything extravagantly ornamented, especially something so ornate as to be in bad taste.” However, that definition didn’t translate completely when it was married with the style of interior design back in the 17th century. At that time, if you used a Baroque style of interior design, you were considered to be making a statement of wealth and prosperity – a prominent status everyone aspired to have. Bad taste or not.
A Wealth of Style
The Baroque style boasted of luxurious textiles, flamboyant works of art, accessories rich with gold and silver, and massive, stately furniture that was hand carved and inlaid with precious materials. You’d find exquisite items such as ivory and mother of pearl to be the adornments of choice, as well as; crystal, marble and precious metals. If it was expensive, or in limited supply, you’d find it in a Baroque interior.
In today’s society a Baroque Interior Design has toned down drastically from the days of Louis XVI. Although still considered to be a bit on the flamboyant side, you do not have to have a king’s ransom when it comes to furnishing and decorating your new style of design. You simply need to have the flair and passion for this period of time – and the desire to bring it into your surroundings.
Elements of a Baroque Interior Design
- Furnishings: In one word: theatrical. Choose furnishings that are ornate pieces of art within themselves. Upholstery should be rich in patterns and texture to bring the “wow” factor into the room. Carved, ornate arms and legs will add to the richness. Accessorize the furniture where you can, such as adding crystal knobs to your dressers and desks – and tassels everywhere else. You may want to call on a furniture interior designer to help create this for you.
- Walls: The richness of the room extends to the walls. Wallpaper is a popular choice using colors and patterns to coordinate with the furnishings. If painting, go with dark colors or leave white and accent the wall with fabric draped over a rod or pulled up to the ceiling.
- Floors: Marble flooring was prominent back in the day, but hardwood will work nicely in modern times. Use area rugs to warm up the space.
- Lighting: Knock yourself out in this department. Think crystal and chandeliers. Everywhere. Gold or silver fixtures will add to the ambiance and provide sparkle to achieve the ultimate Baroque feeling of opulence. If using lamps, go with rich colored fabrics for the shades with ornamental accents.
- Window Treatments: Fabric is the way to go with your windows. Abundance is key here. The texture should be engaging to the touch and compliment the furnishings. Silk, taffeta, velvet, or an extravagant blend will also work well. Be sure to extend the fabric to other areas such as tablecloths, or even the bed covers. Embellish with light catching tie backs made of crystal or gold.
- Accessories: Art work would be prominent in a Baroque interior design. In addition, mirrors are a must have, and the more ornate they are, the better. Accessorize moderately. Unlike the decorating style of an English Country Interior Design, more is not necessarily better with the Baroque style. You’d be better of to choose a few, well positioned items to adorn the room – think quality versus quantity. Don’t let accessories take the focal point off the room itself.
Embrace the Style
If you are leaning in the direction of a Baroque style, don’t run from it, embrace it and make it your own! With Baroque there is no room for intimidation. Don’t be afraid to seek a professional Baroque Interior Designer to assist you in getting the most out of this style of home decor.
Affluence and wealth were a status that few achieved during the early 17th century, and it was flaunted using this design style. In today’s society, the Baroque interior style of design will also get you noticed, but it doesn’t have to indicate affluence or wealth, it’s simply a way of a stating you have good taste.
If you would like more inspiration and suggestions for interior design, please visit our Interior Design Ideas and Photos page, where the ideas are limitless. Contacting a professional is also easy by checking out our interior designer directory where there are experience firms to help you with any of your design projects.