Neoclassical Interior Design: What is it? And How To Get The Look

March 7, 2023
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When I think of neoclassical interior design style, my mind goes to Buckingham Palace. I immediately see royal furnishings, graceful arches, high ceilings, large mirrors and detailed carpentry. Of course, as an avid viewer of the Netflix series, The Crown, I can’t help but jump to this stereotype of this design.

BUT before you leap out of this post, thinking ‘the royalty look is not what I’m going for,’ wait! This is not a completely accurate depiction of modern neoclassical interior design. While it does get its roots from ancient Greece and Roman architecture, there is a modern side to this design. This timeless style is characterized by its clean lines, symmetrical shapes and luxurious fabrics.

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The neoclassical style does not have to feel heavy and museum-like, as portrayed in the picture above. My goal is to provide you with a rich and detailed description of this design, that will help you create a stunning neoclassical interior.

NeoClassical Interiors Design is a timeless classic rooted in the classical history of ancient Greece and Rome. Elements such as moldings, columns, ornate modern furniture pieces, detailed architectural features, and luxurious fabrics are used to create this elegant style.

Before we dive into the look, let’s start with some background. If history is not your thing, I understand. Feel free to scroll down to the next section. All about, how to get the look.

What is NeoClassical interior design?

What’s cool about this style is how it combines elements of the past with modern trends to create something grand and opulent. It’s one of those design styles that makes you feel like you’re in a different time period altogether!

NeoClassicism or NeoClassical Design is rooted in the classical history of ancient Greece and Rome. It influences European architecture, interior designers, and decorative arts to this day!

The style started to become popular during the Renaissance period and has remained a timeless classic for centuries.

A neoclassical interior design styled room with a grand piano

Throughout history, influential figures such as Robert Adam, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Angelica Kauffman have helped shape and popularize the NeoClassical style. And during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, also known as ‘the Age of Enlightenment,’ we saw some truly amazing works of NeoClassical architecture and art. Several of these works have become iconic features in our cities around the world today.

For example, we can still admire castles from across the UK like Chatsworth House, or grand monuments such as Paris’ famous Arc de Triomphe.

And whether it’s a castle or a grand monument, NeoClassical Design continues to capture the hearts and minds of people all over the world. It’s a style that’s here to stay, and it’s easy to see why!

Decadent blue colored bookshelves with a modern chandelier in a den

But what’s really interesting is how NeoClassicism has endured and reemerged throughout design history. It’s been revived in different forms over the years, from the sleek Italianate modern takes of Victorian interiors to contemporary designs that boldly use patterned materials inspired by decorative motifs.

Neoclassical revival 

In the late 1700s, people started to revive the Neoclassical design style. This design movement emphasized using simple, balanced forms, geometric pattern, and flowing lines that reminded people of ancient Greek and Roman architectural design.

The Neoclassical movement put more emphasis on form rather than decorative elements, creating an elegant and sophisticated look for building facades. This design has stood the test of time and is still popular in modern design.

A room with detailed ornate moulding, a couch and a sideboard. Portrays a neoclassical interior design style.

This style has continued to reemerge throughout history as part of larger design movements such as:

  • Neoclassicism in the 18th century
  • Greek Revival in 19th-century America
  • Sleeker Italianate styles in Victorian interiors
  • Contemporary designs with its bold use of patterned materials inspired by classical motifs.

The elegant embrace of gracefulness through many eras has been a testament to the lasting appeal of Neo-Classical style Design.

A neoclassical interior design style room with high ceilings and a powder blue sofa

All of this history, finally brings us to….how do we achieve this timeless elegance in our own home?

How to Get NeoClassical Design in Your Home

The key elements of neoclassical design is: symmetry and grandeur!

The first place to start is by assessing the existing architectural features of your space.

This is because the NeoClassical decorating style is all about adding traditional elements to enhance an already existing style.

This can mean incorporating moldings, columns, large windows or other architectural details into a room’s design.

A dining room with a modern table and full back wall of floor to ceiling windows

Popular features of neoclassical homes are ornate furniture pieces, detailed architectural features, luxurious fabrics, marble floors, floral patterns and more.

So, to get Neoclassical design elements in your home, you can start by incorporating some classic modern elements such as:

  • Symmetrical patterns and geometric shapes
  • Large columns and arches
  • Antique light fixtures or sconces
  • Bold wallpapers or wall murals depicting classical scenes
  • Decor pieces inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art
  • Floral motifs and ornamental motifs

Colors for NeoClassical Design 

When it comes to NeoClassical design, colors are essential for setting a tone and creating visual clarity.

Generally speaking, a muted but sophisticated palette of creamy neutrals can work best as your base colors.

Light and darker rich shades of taupe, beige, grey, and white create an inviting backdrop that works with the neoclassical furniture and decor.

A neutral color palette family room with 2 sofas facing one another flanked with bookshelves on both sides

To create a bit of warmth and contrast in the room, introduce yellow tones – think mustard or butter hues – they’ll coordinate nicely with the toned-down neutral shades.

You could also add some hints of light blues on accent pieces to give an ancient, yet modern feel or cool navy paints or trims against crisp whites to add drama and sophistication.

Using these types of shades will add style and depth to your NeoClassical room masterpiece!

A neutral color room with green chairs added and a long sofa. Neoclassical interior design style decor

Then choose from rich blues, deep reds, and luxurious gold accents to bring the timelessness of Neo-classicism into each room of your home.

Luxury fabrics and wallpaper 

Looking to add a touch of luxury and elegance to your space? Look no further than NeoClassical wallpaper and fabrics! These design elements are a key part of the NeoClassical style and can help elevate your space to new heights.

Luxurious fabrics are a must when it comes to creating a NeoClassical look. Think plush velvet cushions, damask upholstery, and rich silk curtains. These textures not only add a layer of luxury but also help complete the overall look.

A narrow dining room with blue curtains and white chairs around a round table

When it comes to NeoClassical wallpaper, you’ll find a range of designs featuring Greco-Roman and neoclassical-influenced motifs. These designs often feature classic architecture, symmetric geometric patterns, natural elements such as foliage and flowers, and soothing color schemes inspired by nature. Popular motifs include figures from mythological scenes.

If you’re looking for some specific NeoClassical wallpaper styles to try, consider these:

  • cream and gold flocked velvet
  • embossed leather panels with vibrant colors
  • needlepoint motifs rendered in gold metallic foil on a deep navy background
  • or even eighteenth-century French pastoral scenes hand-painted on silk or cotton
  • You could also try lace-patterned European designs with a Rococo styles flare

A neoclassical interior design style room done well. With large floral print wallpaper, green chairs, and modern furniture.

By incorporating NeoClassical wallpaper and luxurious materials, you can create a space that exudes sophistication and elegance. So why not add some classic design elements to your home and create a timeless look that will never go out of style?

Furniture to create a Neoclassical style 

Furniture is also important when it comes to creating this elegant classical style.

You could add furniture pieces that have neoclassical touches such as carved wood details or ornate metal hardware.

To get the unmistakable elegant look of the period, also look for furniture pieces with plenty of detail such as carvings and materials like wood or luxurious and often used marble.

An elegant guest bathroom with a marble backdrop and a floating countertop with a white bowl sink.

Upholstered pieces with damask silk fabric add a classic touch. Add some rich Neoclassical accents such as gilded mirrors, chandeliers, or sconces to complete the look.

However, It’s important not to overdo it in terms of the number of elements used and their size. Neo-classical design should be subtle yet luxurious!

NeoClassical Interior Design

Ultimately NeoClassical Interior Design is a sophisticated style that has stood the test of time.

By blending classic architectural elements with lush furnishings and fabrics, your home will be transformed into an inviting space full of grandeur and elegance.

So if you’re looking for a way to give your home an upgrade without sacrificing style, NeoClassical Interior Design may be the perfect fit for you!

An L-shaped sofa in a neutral colored room with sheer curtains flanking the large rectangular window behind it.

Achieving neoclassical design in your home is all about creating a space that is elegant, yet welcoming!

By incorporating luxurious fabrics and rich finishes, you can create a timeless look that will elevate your home.

However, remember to keep it warm and inviting by adding wood tones and personal touches throughout the space.

I hope you are feeling inspired to incorporate some of these and other design principles in your renovation or décor project, be sure to check out my blog for more design tips and tricks.

I’ll show you how to get the look without breaking the bank – happy decorating!

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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