When most people picture gothic design, they picture dark, dank, and depressing images that call to mind images of haunted houses; however, in reality, gothic is anything but gloomy and cold. This style of architecture is actually quite dramatic and visually stunning. If you’re looking to turn your home into a true statement piece, you might want to consider incorporating gothic elements.
Gothic Architecture: A Brief History
Gothic architecture dates back to the Middle Ages, where it was first introduced in France during the 12th century. It was preceded by Romanesque architecture, and many of the great cathedrals throughout Europe are based on this design. Notre Dame in Paris, Westminster Abbey in London, St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Duomo di Milano in Milan, St. Patrick’s in Dublin; these are just some of the examples of gothic-style architecture. Many European castles are also based on gothic design, such as the Czech Republic’s Prague Castle, France’s Palais des Papes, Italy’s Doge’s Palace, and Romania’s Hunyad Castle (more commonly known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’).
Gothic architecture is synonymous with grandeur; tall, sweeping, and ornate, yet elegant. Flying buttresses, pointed archways, vaulted ceilings, open and airy interior spaces, colorful and intricate stained glass windows, and gargoyles are all classic elements of gothic-style design.
Needless to say, gothic design certainly isn’t dark, depressing, dreary, or cold; in fact, it’s quite the contrary.
Create a Statement with Gothic Design
If you’re interested in creating a lavish look for your home, one that is full of ornate elements and will certainly attract attention, you should certainly consider incorporating gothic-inspired details. By incorporating the following elements, you can turn your house into a showpiece that will be the envy of your neighborhood.
Turn your kitchen into a true design masterpiece with gothic cabinets. Cabinets are more than just functional pieces of furniture; they also play a major part in the overall design of your kitchen. They comprise a large portion of the space and are one of the first things that are seen upon entering the space.
If you want to make a real statement in your kitchen, considering installing gothic cabinets. These cabinets are constructed out of dark wood and feature highly detailed, decorative elements, such as carved insets or frames. The hardware, including hinges and pulls, are also ornate; think brass, bronze, or steel. While you can certainly find attractive pre-fabricated gothic cabinets, if you want to create a bold, one-of-a-kind statement, opt for custom-crafted. Consider hiring a carpenter that has experience in gothic design to craft your cabinets for you. Together, you and your carpenter can design unique cabinets that feature gothic elements that no other kitchen will have.
Gothic design is all about drama, and one of the most effective ways to incorporate drama into the design of your home is with color. Black is certainly an option, as the shade is often associated with gothic design; however, you want to use is sparingly, otherwise you could end up creating that ‘haunted house’ look that so many people equate with this style. You might want to feature black as an accent wall or reserve it for the trim, for example.
Bring in bold, rich, and dramatic colors; think emerald green, deep purple, royal blue, burgundy, and ruby. Use these colors on your walls, on your furniture, in draperies and rugs, and other elements throughout your home and you’ll certainly achieve a gothic-inspired look.
Gothic design is also famous for featuring rich woods. Cherry and mahogany are quintessential dark woods that are often incorporated in gothic style architecture; other options include rosewood and European walnut. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, consider hand-scraped bamboo that has been finished with a dark stain. If you’re using a lot of dark colors, brighten up the space while staying true to gothic design by using lighter woods, such as maple, oak, or cedar.
Wood flooring and wood paneled walls are classic elements in this style of architecture. You can incorporate wood in your ceilings, too; for example, have your ceiling lined with wood panels or install wooden beams that feature ornate carvings.
Another great way to incorporate gothic design in your home is with earth elements. Think terra-cotta or natural stone floors and exposed brick walls. The classic gothic style castles and cathedrals throughout Europe are brimming with these elements, so adding them to your home is the perfect way to pay homage to this type of design.
Another must-have element for a gothic-style home is wallpaper. The more decorative the style, the better. Damask and brocade patterns are perfect, as they feature that elegant, dramatic look that is so typical of this type of design. You could even incorporate wallpaper with a brushed velvet finish. Opt for colors bold colors, like those mentioned above, including black, burgundy, gold, dark green, and deep blue.
You’ll want to use elegant fabrics throughout your home; for the draperies, bedding, pillows, and even tablecloths. Satin, silk, and velvet in rich colors are perfect for this style, as they are opulent; the very essence of gothic design.
You could also use tapestries throughout your home, as the feature intricate designs in bold colors that are perfect for this style. Hang a dramatic tapestry on a focal wall and you’ll instantly add a touch of gothic to your home.
If you want to create a truly dramatic statement, then you should definitely consider including stained glass elements in your home, such as windows and lighting fixtures. Stained glass is one of the most commonly used features in gothic architecture; the Rose Windows in Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral are a perfect example of how stained glass plays such an integral part in this style of design.
As you can see, gothic architecture is anything but dark and depressing; it’s quite the opposite. By incorporating these elements into your home, you can create a stunning showcase that you’ll be proud to call your own.