In the Rome and Paris of the seventeenth century, the houses of the wealthy and powerful reached new levels of dynamism and grandeur. Everything from furniture to building facades spilled over with carvings of birds, beasts, fruit and flowers. Elaborate decoration overwhelmed the senses, often alongside fantastic works of painting and sculpture.
Baroque domestic architecture was theatrical, extravagant, seeking to flaunt wealth and astonish the viewer. Where Renaissance design had appealed to the intellect, the Baroque worked on the emotions. Even Counterreformation religious conversions were miraculous visions inspired by lavishly ornamented churches and flamboyant devotional art.
If you don't have the means to build your own Versailles, you can create Baroque opulence with a few well-chosen pieces and the right decorative objects. Materials should be luxurious: silk, damask, velvet, tapestry. Colors should be strong and placed in bold, regal combinations like purple and ochre, indigo and gold. Baroque decorative arts are intricate and rich: large Chinese floral motifs, carved and painted geometric designs, wood inlaid with gold, ebony, or mother of pearl.
Ceiling medallions, cornices and moldings. Capitals, crowns and cartouches. Ournauthentic Period and Historic architectural ornamentation are all crafted in genuine plaster. For commercial and residential environments. Repairs and restoration.
Using color at home or in the office - for paintings, furniture or any artistic challenge - takes a good eye, a little know how, and a creative imagination. Create custom color schemes and color effects in your home or office. Learn how to use the best base color, create a glaze, mixing colors, and more.
Turn ordinary objects into heirlooms! Creating the 'Classic Antique' glaze finish for objects, furniture, walls and more. This detailed step-by-step tutorial shows how to mix the right colors to create the perfect antiquing solution for any object, furniture, picture frame and more.
A central design element in the Baroque Design Style is ornamental plaster features on walls and ceilings. Columns and capitals are richly ornamental, while walls are paneled with intricate moldings, featuring carved scrolls and fronds. Also mixed in, you'll find decorative elements from nature, including animals, birds and fruitd sand vegetables.
Chairs can be carved, inlaid, painted, gilded -- whatever will make them ornate and extravagant. Bed hangings, an oak armoire, and beveled-glass mirrors in the bedroom. In the living and dining rooms, heavy carved built-in cupboards, an oak buffet. Wide, low dining chairs with crossed legs, lion paw feet, and velvet upholstery for a throne like feeling.
Inlaid wood floors with intricate patterns are typical of this period. Also excellent: black and white tile in diamonds or squares, rush mats, Persian rugs, stone floors, particularly with a painted geometric pattern.
Paneling was often painted in geometric shapes. Walls featured lavish floral or figural carvings or paintings, gilding, faux marble or tortoiseshell. Moldings and cornices, however, were plain. Tapestries -- painted fabric, gilded or tooled leather, velvet, damask -- go far in creating this style.
Full, dramatic draperies, with gold and silver tassels or embroidery. Floral designs, matched with the upholstery, are quite authentic. Window and door latches were widely used during the period.
Baroque houses were lit with candles, solid brass, wood, or pewter candlesticks or mirrored sconces are the most authentic. Large chandeliers are appropriate also.
Chinoiserie is the most important type of decoration: lacquer ware, Chinese snuff bottles, porcelain, fans. Also authentic: blue and white Delftware, gilded frames, small sculpture, busts.