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Medieval Décor for Modern Homes
Whether you are a medieval scholar or simply a fan of the period, it is easy to decorate your home in medieval style.
Medieval people loved bright, rich colors. Try deep scarlets, umbers, azures, and golds. Earthy colors are also appropriate for a medieval themed home design, including dark woods, natural stone and ceramics, and greenery.
The medieval world was full of extraordinary textures. Wood rough hewn, or carved into extraordinarily elaborate decorative patterns, natural stones and ceramics, woven wool, blown glass, cast iron and smooth pewter...
Elaborate geometrical designs and story pictures are among the characteristic patterns of the period.
Putting It All Together
If you're lucky enough to be building a home from scratch, it is easy to accommodate medieval tastes with exposed wood beams, central stone fireplaces, hardwood floors, arching doorways,and more.
The rest of us have to get a little more creative.
Flooring. If possible, rip up your carpet and install hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile floors. In addition to being easier to clean, their earthy textures and colors add a touch of timeless class to any room. Decorating on a budget? A handsome throw rug on neutral colored carpeting can suggest the visual effect of a rug on a stone floor.
Lighting. To duplicate the lighting effect of wall torches and candles, use medieval inspired wall sconces and chandeliers, preferably on a dimmer. Decorating on a budget? Lampshades in warm tones can create a warm glow similar to candlelight. Using real candles is even more fun, but be careful to follow safety precautions.
Window hangings. Keep window dressings simple: no swags, no undercurtains, no lace, no frills. Tapestry curtains in rich colors and/or ornate patterns are all you need. Wooden pelmets add to the medieval effect.
Wall hangings. In the Middle Ages, wall hangings were used both for decoration and warmth. Even today, heavy wall hangings on outside walls can help lower your heating and cooling bills. Decorating on a budget? A simple and inexpensive way to duplicate the decorative effect of wall hangings is to paint one wall in a room a deep, rich color, leaving the others off-white. This creates an attention-grabbing focal point similar to that created by a large tapestry.
Furniture. Furniture should be primarily wood or metal, perhaps covered with heavy, textured fabrics such as tapestry and brocade. Relatively simple rustic, aged styles are best, perhaps with carvings or other decoration. You can buy replicas or refinish modern furniture. Garage sales, thrift stores, and antique stores are all great places to start hunting. Hide modern electronics in chests or cabinets.
More Medieval Design Inspiration
- BBC - Homes - Medieval Living Room
BBC Homes, get hundreds of irresistible design ideas from your favourite designers
- Medieval & Gothic Home Décor
On these Medieval Home Décor pages I hope to offer a "straight to the meat of the matter" approach with project ideas, illustrations, suggestions, links, and photos.