Baroque Design. Understanding the Baroque architectural design style.          

Baroque Style

Understanding the Baroque architectural design style.

The Baroque is a period of artistic style that started around 1600 in Rome, Italy, and spread throughout the majority of Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the Rome and Paris of the seventeenth century, the houses of the wealthy and powerful reached new levels of dynamism and grandeur. In Baroque design 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 style worked on the emotions. Even Counter reformation 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 Palace of 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.

Some of the most iconic artists of the 16th - 18th century Baroque painters are Peter Paul Ruebens, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Nicolas Poussin and Jules Hardouin Mansart.

Some of the essential design elements of Baroque architecture include:

Dramatic and Dynamic Forms: Baroque architecture often features bold and dynamic forms, such as curving facades, sweeping staircases, and grandiose entranceways. These elements create a sense of movement and energy, adding to the overall drama of the style.

Ornamentation and Decoration: Baroque architecture is richly ornamented and decorated, with elaborate details that adorn facades, interiors, and even ceilings. Decorative elements such as sculptures, reliefs, frescoes, stucco work, and gilded accents are commonly used to create a sense of opulence and splendor.

Baroque Ornamental Plaster

baroque ornamental plaster
Baroque plaster ornament. Interior details and architectural ornamentation!

Baroque 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.

more ornamental plaster medallions.

Use of Light and Shadow: Baroque architecture makes dramatic use of light and shadow to create a sense of depth, contrast, and drama. Buildings are often designed with large windows, domes, and cupolas that allow natural light to filter into the interior spaces, creating a play of light and shadow that enhances the overall visual impact.

Monumental Scale: Baroque architecture is often characterized by its monumental scale, with large buildings and expansive spaces that are designed to impress and awe. Palaces, churches, and public buildings are often massive in size, with imposing facades, soaring domes, and grandiose interiors that create a sense of grandeur and magnificence.

Eclectic Influences: Baroque architecture incorporates a wide range of influences from different architectural styles, such as classical, Renaissance, and Gothic, and often combines them in a unique and eclectic way. This allows for creative freedom and experimentation, resulting in buildings that are rich in variety and visual interest.

Dynamic Use of Space: Baroque architecture often features dynamic and theatrical use of space, with varying levels, hidden views, and surprising perspectives. This creates a sense of spatial complexity and intrigue, adding to the overall drama of the style.

Symbolism and Allegory: Baroque architecture often incorporates symbolism and allegory, with decorative elements and motifs that convey deeper meanings and messages. These symbolic elements add layers of meaning and significance to the design, creating a sense of richness and depth.

Contrasting Materials and Textures: Baroque architecture often employs contrasting materials and textures, such as smooth marble against rough stonework, or shiny metals against weathered wood. This contrast adds visual interest and depth to the design, enhancing its overall dramatic impact.

Play of Colors: Baroque architecture often uses a rich palette of colors, with bold and vibrant hues that add to the overall visual impact of the design. Colors are often used strategically to create focal points, highlight decorative elements, and add to the overall drama of the style.

These are some of the essential design elements of the Baroque architectural style, which collectively create its characteristic grandeur, drama, and opulence.

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The Baroque architectural style is known for its opulent and dramatic design elements that create a sense of grandeur and theatricality.

Elements of Baroque Design

Feature products - Baroque Ornamental cast plaster!

A central design element in the Baroque architectural 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.


architectural plaster capitals

Baroque Furniture

In Baroque design, 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.

baroque interior design style

Baroque Floors

Inlaid wood floors with intricate patterns are typical of the Baroque period. Also excellent: black and white tile in diamonds or squares, rush mats, Persian rugs, stone floors, particularly with a painted geometric pattern, embodied the Baroque design style.

Baroque Walls

Baroque paneling was often painted in geometric shapes. Walls featured lavish floral or figural carvings or paintings, gilding, faux marble or tortoiseshell. In the Baroque design style however, moldings and cornices were plain. Baroque Tapestries -- painted fabric, gilded or tooled leather, velvet, damask -- go far in creating this style.

Baroque Windows

Baroque design supports full, dramatic draperies, with gold and Silver tassels or embroidery. Floral designs, matched with the upholstery, are quite authentic in Baroque design. Window and door latches were widely used during the Baroque period.

Baroque Lighting

Baroque houses were lit with candles, solid brass, wood, or pewter candlesticks or mirrored sconces are the most authentic. Large chandeliers are appropriate also.

baroque style chandelier lighting

baroque style chandelier lighting

Baroque Decorative objects

Chinoiserie is the most important type of Baroque decoration: lacquer ware, Chinese snuff bottles, porcelain, fans. Also authentic: blue and white Delftware, gilded frames, small sculpture, busts.

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