Roman & Greek Home Decorating Ideas

Written by bonnie jahangiri
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Roman & Greek Home Decorating Ideas
You have many methods of incorporating Roman and Greek design elements into your home. (worshipping image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

Certain classical style elements form the framework of Greek and Roman interior design, and introducing these elements into your home decor can recreate the classical world in your living space. Carefully designing a space based on elements of symmetry, motif, colours and materials of the Greek and Roman classical periods achieves a representation indicative of their time.

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Symmetry

Ancient Greek and Roman designs are both heavily grounded in the idea of balance or symmetry. The orderly, balanced arrangement of the space is paramount. A room's focal point, such as a fireplace, for example, should achieve balance through the symmetrical placement of proportionally sized foliage, busts or other complementary pieces at an equal distance on opposite sides of an imaginary midline through the fireplace. Additionally, placing an ornate, decorative object centred above the fireplace draws attention to the fireplace as the room's focal point. Furniture placement should serve to enhance the focal point, not detract from it. The balanced placement of objects at equal distances from a line of symmetry or centred on a line of symmetry enhances the chosen focal point.

Roman & Greek Home Decorating Ideas
Here, pink tulips exemplify symmetry through a balanced, proportional placement of pieces along a central line. (tulips in interior image by araraadt from Fotolia.com)

Motif

Motif, the repetition of a pattern, image or theme, is common in Greek or Roman style. Both the Romans and Greeks utilised motifs via vases and wall paintings or frescoes to enhance interior spaces. Incorporating items that are representative of the styles of the classical Romans and Greeks enhances your room's classical motif. Odd-numbered groupings of urns and vases, for example, when symmetrically balanced by furniture placement, reinforce a motif. Stencilled wall patterns and strategically placed accessories also serve to anchor a room's decor to a theme.

Materials

Natural elements play a key role in the development of the classical atmosphere prized by the Romans and Greeks. Natural materials such as hardwood and/or stone floor coverings best emulate a classically-styled environment, as they replicate items Romans and Greeks would have utilised in their interior design. Wooden ceiling beams and fireplace ledges also play a strong role in creating a classical feeling, while stone fireplace surrounds enhance a room's natural feel. Natural fabric cushions and tapestries achieve a complementary balance with hard materials like stone and wood, and function to soften and accent hard surfaces.

Colour

Colours from nature often provided design inspiration for the Roman and Greek classical period. Various shades of cream, beige, yellow and blue, earth tones of green and brown, and softer, muted hues like terra cotta, greys and pinks provide the colour basis for a classical palette. Incorporating ebony accents within a well-planned design scheme can further reinforce the classical feel of a space.

Architectural Elements

Arches and columns remain basic yet essential architectural elements of Roman and Greek cultures. Mosaic patterns set in floors and walls represent the Roman and Greek emphasis on intricate details to achieve beauty. Such techniques can be implemented on a smaller scale to achieve a stronger representation of the classical world in a room's decor.

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