Your Guide to Medieval Interior Design in 2022
From The Tudors to Game of Thrones, there’s just something about the imagery of medieval times that captures our imaginations. Even though the medieval period lasted almost 1,000 years, much of its design sensibilities are easily identifiable and distinct from the eras that came both before and after it. After all, it was the era that gave us stone castles, stained glass windows, and stone fireplaces.
Although many centuries have passed since the end of the medieval age, you can still have your very own medieval-style interior with the following design tips:
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1. Invest in solid furniture pieces
As furniture pieces back in the days had to be handcrafted, buying and replacing furniture tended to be big-ticket affairs. It was typically more financially sensible to invest in furniture that could be used for decades and even passed down through the generations.
When shopping for a medieval-style room today, keep an eye out for big, solid pieces – but also be sure that your floors can withstand the weight of these bulky furniture in order to avoid unsightly scratches later on. For tiled floors, your best bet would be to use homogenous body or full premium coloured tiles.
2. Go for stone and wood elements
Reflective of how simple and functional life was in those times, the stone and wood elements are omnipresent throughout the architecture. But the people of the Middle Ages were also great appreciators of beauty, and crafted pieces were especially sought after.
While many living during those times made do with packed earth beneath their feet, the richer ones managed to hire stone and woodworkers to craft cobbled and hardwood floors for their underfoot comfort. Those who were even richer still had their floors covered in ceramic tiles and were especially fond of mosaic tiles to create patterns unique to their identity.
3. Lavish up with patterns and textures
While stone and wood provided much of the structure and support required for the stability of a building, the people of the Middle Ages were all about creating comfort and beauty. Even without the materials and technology that we have today, they managed to create a visually and texturally rich living environment by getting creative with what they had.
By combining various materials such as linen, wool, and silk, they were able to create plush interiors while also incorporating colourful patterns into the weave. As such, no two households were ever alike, as each would have its own identity.
As mentioned, the bourgeois loved showing off their status with their fancy ceramic flooring that was handcrafted piece by piece – but thanks to modern technology, you now can enjoy much finer workmanship at a fraction of the cost. Have a look at Muse for patterns close to what Medieval homes would have had.
4. Play with light and shadow
There’s nothing like natural light filtering in through a window into a dark room to add depth and drama to an interior space. Especially when paired with your solid furniture pieces and all the stone and wood elements, you might even believe you’ve been transported back in time!
In those pre-electricity days, they would rely mostly on natural light during the day and firelight by night to find their way around. Warm and indirect lighting are the natural accompaniments to such interiors – try it for yourself!
5. Pay attention to the finer details
To the untrained eye, medieval-inspired interiors may look indistinguishable from any other rustic interior, but a closer look reveals a world filled with secrets to uncover and details that imbue every little thing with meaning. A window is never just a window, and a banister is as much a work of art as it is a functional handrail.
Quite the opposite of bare-bones minimalism, the details are what sets medieval interiors apart from the rest. So instead of having a bare wall, see if you can dress it up with wallpaper or a tapestry; and when selecting a countertop, opt for one that’s full of vibrant designs versus a muted one. That way, you can give your space a true sense of personality, making it a memorable and distinct one.