How Baroque Design Improves Your Living Space
When you plan a living space, you need to choose a style and pull together the right furnishings. To do this well, you need to understand your chosen style. Baroque style is a popular choice for a living room, bedroom or bathroom. Here is a look at everything you need to know about Baroque design and why a Baroque rug is important to the look of your space.
What does “Baroque” mean?
The word “Baroque” refers to a style or period in the history of art and architecture that flourished in Europe from the late 16th century to the early 18th century. The term “Baroque” originated from the Portuguese word “barroco,” which means irregularly shaped pearl or stone with complex, intricate details.
In the context of art and architecture, the Baroque style is characterized by grandeur, extravagance, and ornate detailing. It emerged as a response to the Renaissance’s emphasis on balance, harmony, and proportion.
The Baroque Style Characteristics
Baroque art and architecture sought to evoke intense emotions, convey dramatic narratives, and create a sense of awe and splendor.
Some key characteristics of the Baroque style include:
- Ornamentation: Baroque artworks and buildings are richly decorated with intricate detailing, including elaborate carvings, gilded accents, and intricate patterns. The aim was to create a sense of opulence and grandeur.
- Dynamic and Dramatic Forms: Baroque art often features exaggerated proportions, sweeping curves, and dynamic movement. Sculptures and paintings capture intense moments, theatrical gestures, and emotional expressions.
- Light and Shadow: The Baroque style utilizes dramatic lighting effects, known as chiaroscuro, to create a sense of depth and drama. Strong contrasts between light and shadow enhance the three-dimensional quality of the artwork.
- Illusionism and Trompe-l’œil: Baroque artists often employed techniques to create optical illusions and deceive the viewer’s eye. Trompe-l’œil, which means “fool the eye” in French, involved paintings that appeared three-dimensional, often depicting objects or scenes that seemed to extend beyond the confines of the artwork.
- Dynamic and Complex Compositions: Baroque artworks frequently exhibit complex compositions, with multiple figures arranged in intricate arrangements. Diagonal lines, spirals, and swirling forms are common, creating a sense of movement and energy.
The Baroque style found expression in various art forms, including painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and literature. Prominent Baroque artists and architects include Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Peter Paul Rubens, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Johann Sebastian Bach.
Overall, the Baroque period represents a departure from the classical ideals of balance and restraint, embracing a more exuberant and theatrical aesthetic. It remains a significant and influential chapter in the history of Western art and culture.
What Is Baroque Design?
When 16th century Rome wanted to combat the Protestant Reformation, money was spent all over Rome to build new churches and palaces meant to improve the city’s image. This new construction was elaborate enough to outshine the Renaissance. By the 17th century, the style known as Baroque was considered the height of culture in Italy. This style even spread though nearby countries in Europe. When 18th century Italy was picked apart and conquered by France, Spain, and Austria, this style inspired the next design era known as Rococo.
Where Did Baroque Design Come From?
The wealth and success in Roma and Italy made a ripe breeding ground for lavish furnishings. Expendable income and assets allowed lords and priests to commission work for their homes and places of worship. Roman designers who created the first Baroque pieces did so to prove their worth to patrons. This time period saw nobles and clergy seeking prestige through patronizing artists, so each craftsman worked to outshine his competitors. This led to intricate details covering every available surface. These details included bold flowers, open scroll-work and carvings of swarming human figures.
What Is the Modern Take on Baroque Style?
To bring 17th century Italy into a 21st century home takes less effort than you might imagine. One difference from the original Baroque style is the use of gold. Where gold once was used to paint nearly every available carving of a piece of furniture, modern Baroque furnishings use gold more sparingly to contrast against other colors. Modern Baroque art also has less of a religious focus, though you can still find such pieces for your home. Modern technology has made it easier to make these pieces, so they also aren’t as expensive, relative to inflation, as they once were.
How Much Is Too Much?
One great aspect of Baroque design is that there is no such thing as too much. Each piece of furniture can be covered with swirls, shapes and patterns. Even the walls and curtains can sport the elaborate designs of this era of history. When it comes to coordinating these details, it is important to strike a balance between overusing the same patterns and covering each surface with a unique pattern. One way to do this is to start with a focus piece, such as a cabinet or floor rug. From there, take two of the main colors and repeat them in other places while choosing other pieces to coordinate with those colors. Do the same with the patterns.
For example, if you start with a Baroque rug featuring the colors light blue, dark blue, pink, black and gold, then you can choose a variety of pieces in light blue and gold to match, then some dark blue accent pieces. If the rug features repeating scrolls of various sizes, those scrolls can be repeated on chairs, tables or cabinets. Choose a few pieces to feature a slightly different pattern, such as curling vines and fruit. This template works for a variety of Baroque floor rugs, so choose a great rug as a starting point and decorate from there.
Why Are Rugs Necessary for This Style?
True Baroque style requires that every surface be covered with the intricate patterns and images the era is known for, including the floor. However, it would be difficult to carve or paint this imagery into most flooring materials. One or more Baroque rugs can achieve this effect with no effort on your part. Adding a rug to your decor is also a good way to add a feeling of space to a room by choosing the right size. If your rug is large enough to cover the space between furniture pieces without being under any, this makes the room look bigger since the rug is not getting crowded.
Planning your Baroque living space takes time and knowledge. This lavish style from the 17th century makes your home look plush and cultured. A Baroque rug easily adds to this look by repeating common patterns from this era on your floor. Coordinating the color and patterns of your Baroque furniture and curtains to your rug makes your room look complete. Look through the antique and vintage rugs we have in the Nazmiyal Rug Collection to find the perfect complement to your Baroque design.