Classicism is defined by the Treccani encyclopedia as a “complex of theoretical concepts and practical norms drawn from the ancient Greeks and Romans and applied to the composition and evaluation of works of art".
It was mainly the Italian Renaissance that proposed the works of Latin and Greek writers and artists to be followed, in the illusion of being rationally and definitively able to determine the canons of beauty.
In the artistic and architectonic field the term generically defines the manifestations that present a formal language that is consistent with or inspired by the Greek or Roman classic model, adopted as the ideal model”.
A style that “responds to criteria of balance, harmony and proportion”, as we have often been instructed at school with a stereotypical image that encompasses different meanings developed over the years and culminating in modern times in the classic interior design style. This is a design model with a typically retro approach, with decorative elements and engravings that are reminiscent of the grandeur of the classic, Greek and Roman age.
The classical (and neoclassical): historical expressions
The balance and the harmonic elegance of this style is evident in every element, bestowing a noble and somewhat lavish feel to space: nothing is too much and all is essential and measured.
Above and beyond the general vision that we have of the classical style (or that which we should refer to as neoclassical), its simplicity and its apparently rigid “rules”, we can note different forms of expression over the years. It has been reborn as neoclassical and has concluded its evolution - at least for the time being - with the modern classic version.
- In France the prestige and the splendor of the style has been accented (an example being the Place de la Concorde in Paris) as a sort of premise to the baroque.
- In England, the classic that has come to be known through the Italian architect Palladio, was significantly molded by rationalism and rigor. A late example is the building in which the British Museum is located.
- In Russia, it was introduced by Catherine the Great in a more eclectic form. The city of St. Petersburg is an amazing example; particularly with respect to its interiors. It comes as no surprise that the classic interior design style is very popular with the Russians.
- In Germany, it came into the limelight with the construction of the Brandenburg Gate: an example of imposing architecture in the Roman Doric style that had considerable impact in the Teutonic country.
Peculiar features of the classic interior design style
Before considering why the classic interior design style is perfect as a furnishing choice for your home, let’s take a quick look at some of the general features (without entering too much into an analysis of variations) that distinguishes it from the others.
- First of all the furnishing elements arranged in a symetrical and harmonious manner, two key factors in the creation of a balance and welcoming space in keeping with the classic canons.
- The use of noble and quality materials such as oak, mahogany, cherry or beech, ceramic, bronze and marble as well as high-class curtains and floor mats.
- Along with the standard furniture, the classic style interiors can feature columns or half-columns, friezes, cornices, rose windows and even statues, all refined and elegant features that are reminiscent of antiquity.
- The base colours are based on light and neutral tones, aimed a highlighting the “noble” materials such as marble or quality wood. They are predominately cream and yellows, beige and finishes in green or red.
- The furnishing accesories are delicate and refined, almost as if not to assail the eye and to blend with the other art elements such as framed pictures or statues as mentioned above.
- The illumination of the classic style interiors includes the use of floor lamps, crystal or indirect lighting to create a particularly welcoming atmosphere.
In a classic style space, you can just breathe in the refined atmosphere of the ancient and noble patriarchal families, as elegance and decor come together in harmony and symmetry. These create a feeling of grandeur, derived from the throwback to past ages, and hospitality due to the moderation and the care with which materials are selected and furniture, accessories and décor are arranged.
Reasons to love and select the classic interior design style
1. The valuable and refined nature of the materials
Whatever classic style you have selected to furnish your home, the pleasure and emotion of the nobility of marble, the warmth of oak and the elegance of golden and silver finishes or plastering is assured.
2. Furniture and accessories with an ancient flavour
Beds, dressers, sofas, tables, lamps, clocks and perhaps even a garden with a fountain: a classic interior design offers you the chance of enjoying furniture and objects that could also be at home in a museum. With the difference that you are living with their elegance and beauty.
3. The richness of the finishes and the decorations
It must be said, the classic style is not one that easily lends itself to economical solutions. This is the case for the materials, as described before, as well as for the importance of finishes and elements of decor. A rich but always balanced approach is seen in the furnishings, walls, doors and windows. Just think of the endless possibilities of a capital sited on a half-column.
4. The colour: tenuous and welcoming
Even though it has been widely proven that the ancient villas of the Roman and Greek age were not entirely white (unfortunately time has had its way with the beautiful mural paintings of theses ages), light and tenuous colours were predominant and so it remains. Contrasts are avoided to enhance the feelings of serenity and functionality.
5. Uniform and inclusive illumination
You don’t need to hang enormous crystal chandeliers (too fairytale like) but it must be said that classic style lighting is in keeping with the atmosphere. The space features lamps made from luxury materials that diffuse and distribute the light in a uniform manner and reinforce the sense of elegance and hospitality.