Surrounded in mystery and misunderstood for centuries, the term Gothic is usually summed up in two words; dark and medieval – but that would actually be a bit misleading. Mythical, religious, rich in color, and laced with history, a Gothic Interior Design is an intricate and dramatic means of decorating your home.
Can You Recognize Gothic Design?
Gothic design was originally an architectural style used around the 12th century. What you may not know is that it was primarily used in the construction of churches, specifically those that were Christian. Next time you drive by or visit an older church, take note of the ornate, high cathedrals, tall arched windows and stunning stained glass – although simplified, you’ll be looking at the roots of the Gothic style of design.
After the 12th century, Gothic design laid quietly in the background visible only by it’s outward appearance on castles, churches, palaces and other early European buildings – but it wasn’t until the mid 1800’s that it resurfaced as a means of interior design. Sandwiched between the Victorian Era and the ornate Art Noveau Interior Design style, Gothic interior design emerged as a more romantic and emotional style of decorating – which is how it remains today.
Elements of a Gothic Interior
- Make it About Color: Most of us relate Gothic with the color of black, and although that has been one of the primary colors (or lack thereof), the fact is that the color scheme of a Gothic Interior Design can really go in any direction. The determining factor when using color is to make sure it is rich, dramatic, and moody: ruby reds, emerald greens, golden hues, velvety violets and extreme blues, will accomplish that nicely.
- Consider the Floor: Staying true to the original concept of Gothic, you’d want to use stone or concrete; however, in today’s terms of comfort, it’s a bit impractical. Go with a deep, rich toned hardwood and adorn it with ornate throw rugs that are immersed with depth defying bold colors.
- Pile on the Fabrics: A Gothic design is embedded with fabrics on everything from window coverings to furnishings to wall decor. Heavy, dramatic patterns in the right color combination that will fall from your windows and puddle at the floor. Use a complimentary, and equally rich fabric, for your furniture’s upholstery – as well as other accessories that contain a fabric element.
- Bring on the Romance: Pull in romantic touches to soften the rough edges of this decor – a good place to start is with a stone fireplace. Adorn it with accessories in gold, sliver, and dark wood tones; candlesticks, photo frames and vases. Bring a floral element into the room by using fresh flowers or a blooming plant. Add reflective gold touches to catch the lit fire; mirrors will work beautifully.
- The Drama of Lighting: Wrought iron or gold is suggested for your light fixtures or table lamps. Adorn with tassels trimmed in gold – or use dark, seductive patterns for lamp shades. The Gothic style of lighting is more about the mood it exudes rather than just the light itself. Think candles, dimmer switches on your light fixtures and of course, a well stoked fire in your fireplace.
Can Gothic Go Wrong?
Yes. If not done correctly, achieving the Gothic style in your own home will turn out dark, dreary and depressing – not exactly a soothing environment in which to end your day. To avoid this, consider hiring a professional Gothic Interior Designer who can balance your desired Gothic Elements with your individual style of decorating. Using an experienced designer will result in nothing short of a magical, romantic, and creative living space in which you can truly find peace and comfort at the end of the day. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
For more information on learning how to decorate your home, please check out our Interior Design Ideas and Photos. When it comes time to seek professional help, you’ll find our interior designer directory filled with highly qualified design firms that will help you in all aspects of creating your own personalized design style.