Baroque style was born in Italy at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries, but the name and popularity among the powers of this world he already found in France, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King. In Russia, baroque, which means “fancy shell” or “sink with flaw”, appeared thanks to Peter I. It is in this style that the Winter Palace, the Peterhof Palace, the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and many other famous historical buildings are decorated.
Baroque style is luxurious and expensive in every sense, and also so elaborate that it is not possible to recreate it in an ordinary apartment. In this case, you can use the individual elements of the palace design, competently integrating them into the interior in the style of modern, classic, neoclassical. There is also the notion of neo-baroque or glambarocco, combining the features of neutral modern design and pompous baroque. The owners of spacious apartments, penthouses and private houses with high ceilings, with an area of more than 100 square meters, may well realize an interior in the spirit of baroque on their territory, there would be means and desire.
General rules for the design of dwellings in the Baroque style
Baroque style quite accurately characterizes such epithets as luxurious, pompous, artsy, brilliant and expensive. Designers identify several basic principles of building a palace interior in the spirit of the Renaissance:
- asymmetry of rooms and furnishings, the predominance of rounded and rectangular, vertical and horizontal lines, ovals;
- vaulted, domed ceilings, niches, columns, pilasters, moldings on the walls and stucco on the high ceiling with monograms and rosettes;
- an abundance of decorative ornaments, luxurious lamps, the use of the most expensive materials, furnishings;
- white with gilding prevails among the flowers; also pastel, blue, greenish, pink, maroon, and brown tones, and their contrasting combinations are often used;
- rich decor, curtains, carpets, tapestries, mosaics, chinaware and figurines, frescoes and paintings by famous artists, gilded frames of mirrors and paintings, marble decoration of fireplaces, expensive parquet.
It is not easy to bypass tough requirements in terms of high ceilings, a large area, and large monetary investments when creating an interior in the baroque style in a modern apartment. Most likely, you will be able to implement only a part of the following recommendations, and then the main task will be the competent integration of baroque design elements into the overall concept.
For decoration of rooms in the palace style, exclusively natural and expensive materials, fine wood, fabrics, worthy of kings (satin, velvet, silk) are used. The decoration is dominated by gilding, wallpaper with silk-screen printing, hand-painted walls and ceilings, stucco. In the interior, there is a place for expensive parquet, tables inlaid with mosaic, semi-precious stones, carved furniture from solid oak, mahogany, crystal chandeliers, decanters, mirrors in fancy frames. Baroque does not accept leather and cheap substitutes for natural surfaces.
In modern interiors, combining luxury with practicality, designers allow the possibility of replacing the marble floor or fireplace lining with tiles imitating this material, and Rubens’ paintings with his reproductions or similar themes of current artists as shown in the photo below.
Furniture and textiles
Furniture plays an important role in the interior of the apartments in the spirit of the baroque style. This style is characterized by large, massive forms and complex decor: chairs, armchairs, sofas on curved legs, decorated with carvings, curls, carved vines, and gilding. Sofas, beds, tables look thoroughly, unlike air rococo, and natural oak, mahogany, and other valuable species are used as a material for furniture.
In the bedroom, the bed occupies a central place; a company has a thick carpet on the floor, a canopy, tapestry or satin bedspreads, and snow-white pillows. Upholstery in upholstered furniture from expensive fabrics: velvet, satin, velour, tapestry, durable silk with embroidery. The colors are neutral or contrasting to the decoration of the walls, floor, ceiling, and plant motifs dominate the design. For the living room, hallway, bedroom, dining room furniture pick up headsets: oak table and chairs with soft upholstery and carved backs, twin chairs and a sofa with a banquette or ottoman, a bed and a chest of drawers on bent legs with a large dressing mirror. Small coffee and serving tables made of wood and natural stone delight the eye with gilded trim, carving, inlay, mosaic on the tops.
Textiles also occupy paramount positions. Luxurious fabrics (brocade, velvet, satin) are used for wall decoration. Portieres with lambrequins, pickups, tassels, and fringe adorn the large windows, canopies over the beds in the bedrooms give them a complete resemblance to the royal bedchamber. The fabrics unite the interior, since the same material is used for upholstering upholstered furniture, and the curtains resembling a theater curtain are in harmony with silk-screen printing and tapestries on the walls, carpets on the floor.
Color and lighting solutions
Baroque equally accept the entire palette of shades, with the exception of overly screaming colors. The colors should look expensive and noble; the main thing is that they are in harmony with each other, creating a contrast of the background and details. So, for finishing large surfaces in addition to snow-white with gilding, they often use soft golden, sandy, creamy, pastel tones, choosing burgundy, purple, pink, terracotta or chocolate for furniture and textiles. In modern interpretations of the Baroque, the reverse situation is often encountered with a dark background (the colors of dark chocolate, blue, violet, and burgundy hues) and light accessories, textiles, and furnishings, as in the photo below. The color of champagne, walnut, pale turquoise, light green tones are found in furniture upholstery and in the decoration of the premises.
The interior design of a modern baroque apartment implies the presence of several sources of artificial lighting. One or three ceiling multi-track chandeliers with crystal pendants, drops or leaflets and candle-shaped bulbs (the number of chandeliers depends on the size of the room) are complemented by elegant wall lamps, floor lamps, table lamps from the same collection. When placing them should be guided by the rules of symmetry, having paired lamps on both sides of the sofa, on the sides of the mirror in a massive gold frame, near the chairs on the elegant tables.
Floor, ceiling, and walls
For the floor is used natural parquet from expensive wood with a certain pattern or marble tile. In a modern apartment, you can replace them with linoleum, laminate, parquet board, tiles with marble imitation. Be sure to have a carpet of thick wool, with a short nap, with ornaments or monophonic, to match the presence of textiles in the room.
The ceilings in the palace interiors are decorated with stucco, gilding, frescoes handmade, and the ceiling itself smoothly into the walls, forming a kind of set. In an ordinary apartment, there will be enough molded sockets for chandeliers and cornices with “gilding” around the perimeter of the room. It is gilding and details in the form of white columns, moldings, niches that unite the decor of the ceiling and walls, tying them together. Decorative plaster, hand-painted, silk-screened wallpaper and embossed patterns, tapestries, marble inserts, brocade, mirrors and paintings in gilded frames are used for the walls. The contrast of color areas with white is smoothed by gold frames and patterns, sometimes it is played up not with color, but with the texture of finishing materials.
Decorative items and accessories
Baroque accessories are authentic vintage items of that era or their high-quality imitation. These include massive watches made of wood, with obligatory carved curlicues, statues, and statuettes, paintings with mythological plots, caskets made of wood and metal, inlaid with colored glass, semi-precious stones, and mosaics. A patterned fruit dish, a vase resembling an ancient Greek amphora, crystal decanters, and elegant porcelain table sets in a sideboard with glass doors, standing on a table or a mantelpiece, a pair of such details will be enough in a small apartment.
A must-have element of a dining room or living room in the spirit of Baroque is a fireplace with a marble finish and a huge gilded mirror. You can replace it with a stylized hearth or an imitation of the portal, decorating forged gilded candlesticks or candelabra, statuettes of angels or heroes of ancient myths from bronze, silver, and ceramics, as in the photo.
Neo-baroque for modern apartments
Neo-Baroque or Glambarco is an interior style designed by designers for small spaces. This type of design of modern apartments has incorporated the main features of the Baroque (a luxury in decoration and colors, curved lines and prominent structures in architectural elements and furniture), but it is devoid of the original pathos and does not require large expenditures. In the interiors, in the neo-baroque style, there are no large and massive pieces of furniture, and the atmosphere of luxury is supported by the beauty of color combinations, furniture, lamps and accessories made from modern materials.
For a small apartment in the style of Glambarocco, there will be enough beautiful wallpaper with embossed, organically selected lamps, satin curtains and a bed with a carved massive back. Do not forget about the carpet in the tone of the furniture and a pair of decorative vases-amphoras. Another very important point: even in a modern apartment, not to mention the classic palace interior, there is no place for the latest technology. It must be masked with carved panels, sliding doors of wardrobes or velvet curtains.
Good luck with your baroque style interior design!