"Visual balance is the key to a classical interior design style."
With a nod to the architecture and imagery of the Greek and Roman empires, classical interior design is based on order, symmetry and balance.
A primary element in classical style is the use of a focal point around which visual balance is achieved. A grand, marble fireplace flanked on either side by matching, gilded light sconces and crowned with an elaborate, gold framed mirror would be good example of classical balance. Imagine if the arrangement were split down the middle, one half of the arrangement would essentially be a copy of the other half.
The color palette common to classical interior design style takes it cue from the empire periods of history where color choices were often inspired by nature. Consider various yellows, blues, greens, browns as well as softer, muted hues like terracottas, grays and pinks. Adding some ebony (black) accenting within a well-planned design scheme can enhance the classical feel.
The use of classical ornamentation can additionally serve to anchor a room in the classical style. Common classical motifs (reoccurring images) include Roman and Greek inspired columns, busts and urns. Obelisks and other Egyptian inspired design elements might also be used. An ancient motif can be injected into the design through decorative accessories or as a carefully stenciled pattern on the walls, for example. There are also wallpaper borders available with strong classical design elements.
Fabrics used in classical interior design style tend to be elegant but reserved - quiet strength in a very ordered space. Cotton, canvas and velvet are some common examples. If you want to punch it up a bit, try some less reserved options like silk or taffeta.
Natural flooring of wood, stone or marble works best in the classically styled environment. It makes sense. It's what you would have seen during the Greek and Roman periods, right?
• Focus on symmetry. This is key. Make each side of the room's focal point balance visually.
• The use of broad stripes works well. Consider vertical, tone-on-tone stripes on the walls or the draperies.
• Create geometric patterns within stone or marble tile flooring.
• Define a space with a large, natural fiber area rug bounded by a classically inspired pattern - like a Greek key design, for example.
• When accenting with whites, choose off-white if you want to stay in keeping with a more authentic classical color palette. Choose bright white if you want a slightly more contemporary feel instead.