Gothic Home Decor
by Giorgina Devereaux
era of Gothic home decor and furniture (also known as Goth) began around 1150 and was known as the Middle Ages.
period, there was a clear distinction between furniture for the poor
and for the rich.
The furniture for the poor was crude, but functional,
while furniture for the rich was classical.
At this time, a
non-classical theme was developing and consisted of heavily carved and
ornately decorated motifs.
motifs, such as
heraldic symbols like griffins, lions, and hawks were used, as well as
the royal fleur-de-lis.
The term “Gothic” refers to the barbarians of
the north, known as the Goths, and was used as an uncomplimentary
reference as a way to part from the classic themes of the past.
the middle class (particularly, the minor nobles) were forced to move
from home to home in order to follow their lord, this led to the
emergence of chests and cabinets that could easily be packed and
These included the introduction of large and solid pieces,
such as the armoire for clothes, the buffet for the storage of eating
utensils, and tables with drawers.
bedroom furniture consisted of large four poster beds that had
intricate backboards and posts. The carvings were usually of Gargoyles
and other mythical creatures that were thought to be instrumental in
scaring away lingering evil spirits.
This idea was borrowed from the
church, which is where the Gothic home decor style originated. The most popular
material used was oak.
Other decorative accessories associated with
religious themes were incorporated into this style, such as stained
glass windows, ornate candelabras, brass, and pewter.
In addition, the
Gothic style includes rich tapestries and hangings, along with stone
walls or paneling. Window treatments are generally of a heavy fabric
and feature bold colors, such as gold, rich reds, purple, and black.
should be noted that there were two distinct periods of Gothic
influence, between 1150 and 1500, and then it resurfaced between 1840
and 1880, known as Gothic Revival.
During the Gothic Revival period,
the proportions were medium to large. The essential elements consisted
of motifs, such as tracery, arches, rose windows, and quatrefoils, and
the woods used were walnut, mahogany, rosewood, cherry, or oak.
notable features of the furniture were tall-back chairs, with some
having upholstered backs.
for antique Gothic
home decor and furniture is not difficult if you know where to look. Many antique
stores will carry some sort of antique Gothic furniture, which features
intricately carved designs.
You may also find Gothic furniture
reproductions that are identical to the real thing and not discernible
by the untrained eye.
further enhance your Gothic home, consider a Gothic fireplace.
elegant Gothic fireplace is a wonderful focal point and works well in
bringing together the decorative elements of a room.
were generally painstakingly hand carved with details consisting of
Gothic architectural elements, such as repeating patterns, delicate
tracery work, and repeated pointed arches and quatrefoils (ornamental
flowers with four lobes).
Also, a number of wooden fireplaces were carved
with coat of arms,
mythical creatures, which were located in the center of the mantel or
on either side of the fireplace.
The fireplaces were also constructed
of stone and had less detail because carving intricate patterns in
stone was more difficult than carving wood.
However, stone carvings were larger and rougher than the wood carvings, and were
composed of roses, diamond paterae, and other patterns, with the detailed
carvings being located in the spandrel (the area immediately above the arch) or
small portions of the jambs.
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