Neoclassical design has understandable appeal for anyone in search of a regal style that is eminently sophisticated and timeless in equal measure. As a décor theme suited for a bedroom or indeed most rooms within the home, it is versatile and appealing, yet also stately with a calming vibe, although not as opulent in nature as some of the more lavish French Renaissance styles that are a close cousin. The key to style success here is to begin with an essentially simple foundation, and then add classical elements through furnishings and accessories, resisting the temptation to introduce too many elements that are over-ornate, lavish, or oversized.
Neoclassicism, also referred to as Louis XV1 style, was popular in France and Europe during the latter half of the 18th century, and was a decorative trend marked by the revival of classical architecture and art forms which manifested itself in the form of décor that was invariably ornate and rich, featuring architectural elements inspired by old-world Europe. Fabrics, patterns, colours and furnishings saw a great Greek architectural influence, and pieces from many other European styles may be successfully incorporated into authentic neoclassical design. Empire, Greek revival, Rococo, and Baroque styles are all relevant in this respect…
Prepare the foundation for a neoclassical room or bedroom by applying a light and warm wall colour such as vintage whites, faded pinks, or a gentle gold that creates a welcoming and calming feel to the room, whilst offering appealing background contrast for furnishings and fabrics. A large area rug can become a colourful accent piece in the richer tones of crimson, purple and green, with patterns that incorporate typical Greek influenced designs, such as scrolls and bold geometric patterns. Natural and artificial lighting is also important here, as architectural advances during this period saw the introduction of larger windows which allowed in plenty of natural light. Accentuate windows with deluxe floor length curtains hung high to the ceiling, lighting the space well artificially during periods of dusk or darkness.
When it comes to furnishings, proportion and form is a major consideration, although large and grandiose is not the preferred route for an authentic flavour. Instead create interest and variety through pieces of various weight, sizes and forms. An ornate wooden bedstead is likely to form the focal point of the room, or you might prefer a French style iron bed painted in a rich gold patina finish for a slightly different, if less authentic twist. An oversized carved wooden headboard featuring columned detailing or an ornate frieze, might emulate the architectural elements typical of neoclassical buildings, whilst other rich furnishings, such as a chaises longue, are also at home here together with other more slender furniture pieces to strike a balance. A nightstand or a pair of bedside tables with thin fluted legs, add an element of the craftsman-quality cabinetry and woodwork that was prevalent during this era.
Finalise the neoclassical theme with accents and decorative ware that continues this luxurious style in a grand way, yet which don’t overpower the room. Grand Greek urns and classical-style prints and paintings can’t fail to evoke the ancient Greek aesthetic, and consider showcase paintings in ornate gilded gold frames on an accent wall. Stack or line bookshelves or a mantel with leather bound classical novels for a formalised vintage appeal, incorporating a variety of textures and materials for visual interest and authenticity. Marble accents, carved stone décor, high quality wood inlays, together with rich velvets and silks, will all evoke the neoclassical mood. Incorporate them in the form of smaller room accents and traditional bed fabrics, whenever your taste or budget doesn’t allow for them to be included on a grander scale.