It’s no secret that fashions come and go. But as in all areas of art, certain forms have remarkable staying power. Theatres still perform Shakespeare, orchestras belch out Mozart and art galleries display the Renaissance’s finest. The same goes for classic style. Though fashions come and go, individual styles remain – they’re the closest we’re ever going to get to objective standards of beauty.
To really know what people like, you have to look at how they spend their own money. The vast majority of high-quality, luxury interiors aren’t based on sterile modernist designs concocted by elites. Instead, they take the majority of their inspiration for search for beauty and aesthetics from the past. In general, modern luxury interior design bears a striking resemblance to the Louis XV’s palace at Versailles, and the revival of architectural style in the Georgian era just before the industrial revolution. Yes, the materials are modern and the techniques more refined, but all the basics are there.
Here’s how to create a fad-free design for your home that will last.
Keep Things Uncluttered
Modern design is usually minimalist. Homes aren’t so much seen as places where people live by many modern designers: more like places where people go for sensory deprivation. Classical homes, on the other hand, are more flamboyant and contain far more superfluous design choices than their contemporary counterparts. In classical homes, there’s joy in all the little extra flourishes and a genuine desire to create something artistic, not just ordered.
Too little order, however, can get messy. That’s why it’s so important to create a balance when classically dressing a room. For instance, if you go for intricately detailed seating, balance it out with relatively plain flooring, rugs, and walls. Similarly, if your lighting fixtures are opulent, try to make the rest of the room fairly plain, at least by classical standards, to offset the effect. Rooms which look too busy can be overwhelming.
Make Use Of Stone
If you really want your interiors to take on a classic look, it’s important to work with the right materials. Whereas modern design focuses on synthetics, concrete, and glass, classical designs are based on traditional materials, like wood and stone. Marble is essential for anybody trying to recreate a Regency appeal in their home, especially around the fireplace. Engraved wood – even if it’s done by machine – is another important add-on that can really help lift a room and give it timeless appeal.
Stick With Classical Fittings
Classical homes are great, but only if paired with similar fittings and fixtures. Ultra-modern, Apple-style details in an otherwise traditional room can really jar with the surroundings and create an unwanted juxtaposition. Stick with traditional column radiators, light switches, lamps and TV stands. Try to avoid modern incarnations of fireplaces (such as those that slot directly into the wall), and keep rooms based on classical features, like the hearth or the stove.
Add Some Drama
Classical designers weren’t afraid to add flourishes to their design. Look at any home built more than a century ago, before the influence of postmodernism on our culture, and you’ll see ordinary successful people putting flourishes into their decor. The average country manor had stunning, detailed coving, carved woodwork around the fireplace and bold artwork on the walls. Contemporary designers even experimented with their drapes and light fixtures, adding chandeliers to add a bit of drama and create an impact.
Keep The Character Of The Home
Many modern designs and fads are all about working against the traditional character of a home. You see this sort of thing all the time with glass and steel extensions of classical buildings. However, one of the most important aspects of your home is its classical features: many of which can’t be found anywhere else. The challenge is to make these features, such as ornate carvings above doorways, stand out in a way that makes them the center of attention for the room. Wood paneling is another thing that is important to preserve wherever possible, even if there are gaps between the panels. Wood paneling helps to create character – something which is sadly lacking in many of today’s new builds.
Stick With Traditional Sizes And Colours
Every year the interior design industry invents new trends which are supposed to be the final word in interior design. But things like “statement walls,” oversized furniture and bright, bold color patterns come and go. What remains are almost always the basics: accent pieces, beautiful materials, and classically-inspired designs. Every new element in a room should emphasize that which is already there, not detract from it.