Decorating your home in a Gothic design doesn't have to mean gargoyles and skulls. There are many different styles of home decor that fit into the Gothic realm, and many can be warm and inviting. Before committing to a Gothic style, do a little research to make sure you can live with the rich textures and ornate pieces necessary to bring it to life.
The term "Goth" comes from the word Gothic, which refers to a period and style of architecture that began in France. A romantic and ornate style, the Gothic period of the medieval era has inspired a heavy, highly decorative and dark style of modern decor that appeals to a specific population. Gothic decor can range from a medieval period decorative technique--which features heavy layering of accent pieces including taxidermy animals, dark colours and thick materials--to a more modern take including dark colours and theme-oriented rooms featuring European influences such as gargoyles and claw-footed furniture.
The function of a Gothic home decor is to express the love of the Gothic period by the homeowner. Whether it's a traditional Victorian-styled design or a more in-your-face skull-and-graveyard look, Goth home decor allows the owner to layer unique items to create an overtly European space.
There are several types of Gothic home decor styles depending on the theme or amount of historic influences the homeowner works under. One type of Gothic home decor reflects the historic medieval period and includes items like crow sculptures, dragon imagery, traditional European gargoyles and items that reflect knighthood and castles. Typically what people think of when they hear the word "Goth," this decor is simple, yet items used reflect high quality and rich earth tones. Candles, swords, silver chalices, fur rugs and heavy tapestry fabrics are part of a medieval Gothic decor. The next type of Goth decor features a Victorian influence. Victorian Goth design includes lots of rich colours, lacy textures and plenty of layering. Definitely a more-is-more philosophy, a Victorian Gothic home covers the walls with fabrics or wallpaper, layers in framed traditional artwork and covers tables with cloth, flowers, candles and knick-knacks. Jewel tones in velvet and satins make the space feel lush and full and include frills, teapots, vases, books and anything else you can imagine. Some Goth decor revolves around cemetery art, including the use of iron, angel sculptures and religious items. A much more theme-oriented Goth look, this style of home decor is a bit harder to live with and thrives on the "shock" value of stone work and tattered fabrics. Finally, the modern Goth look features a much cleaner, sparser look, featuring leather furniture in blacks and greys, iron and chrome accessories and the occasional skull. Cold and unappealing for most people, this look works well for singles or young couples.
The main feature of any style Gothic decor is the layering of medieval European looks. Whether it's the use of Pre-Raphaelite prints or dark tapestries, the Gothic decor gives viewers plenty to look at and experience. Although some Gothic decors can be a bit costume-y or prop-filled, a well-done Gothic home can inspire warmth and a feeling of tradition.
When decorating in the Gothic fashion, you must decide on which style of Gothic you want to go with and design the entire house in this fashion. You cannot have just a Victorian-Gothic living room and then have a modern-looking kitchen; you need to layer each room with rich fabrics and accessories to tie the whole experience together. Rome wasn't built in a day, so pick up pieces to layer into your home with every shopping trip.
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