Unfortunately today Gothic design or indeed anything Gothic related, is wrongly viewed with sinister undertones by the general public. Shock rockers like Marilyn Manson and moody teenagers who enjoy vampire movies and stealing the mother’s
Eyeliner, have certainly not helped with the plight of this once much loved style. Given today’s misinterpretation of the style which meddles in dark imagery and black on black colour schemes, it may surprise many to discover that Gothic style was initially concerned with bringing light and colour into the gloomy Medieval spaces of its heyday. Architects of the Middle Ages devised an innovative way of building that allowed slender masonry walls to support large areas of glass so that the places of worship could be brighter, taller and generally more uplifting places to be. Out this was born the Gothic style as Ecclesiastical architecture began to become the main source of influence to design on a domestic level.
Now resurfacing as a very popular design movement, Gothic interior design is a wonderfully ornate and delicate style that is sure to add some splendour and romance to your home. Starting with the floor, a hard surface is the most typical- tiles, stone or a dark hardwood are all perfect though you may want to add a rug or two for comfort.
Other important elements are fireplaces, stained glass and wooden beams. For a really authentic look, recreate classic pointed arches in narrow areas of your home such as the hallway or above your windows.
Walls should be dramatically coloured by either painting or wallpapering with elaborate Gothic style motifs. Colours to include are crimson, ochre, dark green, black, violet and gold. Continuing the theme and palette with your fabrics will really see the Gothic period brought to life. Settees, cushions, bedspreads and curtains should all contain heraldic or floral patterns with curtains especially benefiting from extra attention. Really add drama with material such as velvet or satin and include beaded tassels, beaded tie-backs, pelmets and wrought iron tie-back hooks. For added effect, include extra fabric details around the home such as table runners, wall tapestries and windowsill cushions.
Furniture should be of heavy, hardwood construction and should be elaborately carved. Details to look out for are turned legs, arched designs, plush upholstery and carved details containing Medieval or religious elements. At this point your home will contain all of the main features that define the Gothic style whilst remaining unfussy and clutter free. If however, you do wish to intensify the theme, add details such as candles, wrought iron sculpture, gargoyles, crosses and stone statues. Though I would only advise you do so if your home has the necessary size and is much older, otherwise the final look will end up a little “theme park” and lose the all important scale.
Gothic interior design is a beautifully evocative route to follow if it is a dramatic finish you desire. It is certainly not the foreboding, doom and gloom style that movies and music have led us to perceive. Its many facets offer so much scope for personalisation and just as effective at simply adding a little softness to your home as it is at transforming it into a full on castle-like retreat. It is completely up to you how far you want to take it.