What is it?
Dating back to the Greek and Roman Empires, classic design is based on symmetry, order, and balance. Grand focal points are used within classic design and once the focal point has been chosen, all the other pieces in the room will be used to enhance that specific focal point. For example, if a fireplace is the chosen focal point of the space, then matching chairs may be placed symmetrically on either side of it along with a piece of artwork or a large mirror directly above it. So, if the room were sliced in half from the middle of the focal point, each side of the room would mirror the other. This attention to symmetry within classic design is an identifying trait within this interior style.
Classic design uses colors found within nature. Deep greens, blues, browns, yellows, and earth tones such as terra-cotta are very common, and black may be used to outline items that are meant to be featured within the space. Off white or cream is used instead of bright white as classic design uses a more subtle or muted color palette and bright white is considered to be more contemporary.
An emphasis on elegance within fabric selection is very important amongst classic interiors and nothing should be overly ornate or attention grabbing. Canvas, cotton, linen, and velvet are commonly found within classic style, and as far as patterns are concerned, florals, toile, stripes, and plaids are frequently used. All fabrics in classic design should be used to enhance the focal point of the space, as (again) symmetry is a key trait within this style.
Classic furniture tends to be considered “homey” but ornate. Rich silks and velvet are commonly used and any wood utilized will be dark and intricately carved and decorated. Many sofas have skirts, and heavy drapery for the windows that coordinates with the sofa are commonly seen. Because of its Roman and Greek influence, all elements incorporated within classic design are steeped in tradition (think antiques or replicas of antiques), so all pieces are conservative, but immaculate. Some people would even go as far as to say that classic furniture has a museum-like quality within it.
Lighting & Finishes:
Lighting within classic spaces tends to be very traditional. Brass, bronze, and copper are common due to their soft, warm undertones when used in lighting fixtures. Crystal chandeliers and sconces are also commonly used. Mirrors and artwork are often gilt-framed to give them that museum-like quality coveted in classical spaces. Tarnished and textured metals are incorporated, as well, to make the space feel as though it has survived throughout history.
In conclusion, classic design is all about inspiration from the past with an emphasis on symmetry and predictability. Its soft lines are warm and inviting and provide a sense of order as all pieces within each space are immaculately placed to enhance its focal point.
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