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Article: A Guide to classic Interior Style and 10 Tips for perfection

A Guide to classic Interior Style and 10 Tips for perfection

Written by Henry Phan Update
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Step into the world of classic style, where timeless beauty blends perfectly with refined allure. Imagine your home as a canvas, waiting to be painted with the subtleties of classic interiors. This journey is all about understanding the artistry—no fancy terms, just simple steps. So, let’s unravel the secrets together and transform your living spaces into a masterpiece of enduring beauty with Rowabi.

a guide to classic interior style and 8 tips for perfection

What is a classic interior design style?

The classic style is at the heart of European culture, an architectural manifestation that exudes splendor and sophistication. Originating in the 17th century and heavily influenced by Roman and Greek styles, Classical interior design is a thematic fusion where culture intertwines with design aesthetics.

classical style is at the heart of european culture originating in the 17th century and heavily influenced by roman and greek styles
At its core, classical interior design is a thematic fusion. Source: Architectural Digest [1]

The very essence of this style encapsulates the term "CLASS," presenting a timeless look characterized by structured interiors. Far from chaotic or wild, the classical approach exudes balance, with each accessory, texture, and finish contributing to a rich design tapestry. The symphony of precious wood furniture adorned with opulent upholstery fabrics crafts a unique artistic composition that transcends mere functionality.

the essence is encapsulated in the term class expressing a timeless look characterized by structured interiors
A symphony of charming wood furniture decorated with prosperous upholstery fabrics. Source: CGI Furniture [2]

On the advantageous side, the style offers timeless appeal, expressing affluence through rich design and ensuring durability with wood furniture. Classical interiors’ consistency and soothing palette provide a comforting and enduring aesthetic. However, these advantages come with financial considerations, as classical design may demand a higher investment than more modern alternatives.

What are the characteristics of classical interior design?

Classic interior design is characterized by several key elements that converge to create a space of enduring beauty and comfortable luxury.

Architectural opulence

One of the defining features of classic interior design lies in its architectural details. From intricate molding to architraves, skirting boards, and wainscot paneling, these elements impart a sense of sophistication and timeless beauty. In this context, each molding and panel becomes a piece of history, a tangible link to the past that adds layers of significance to the present.

the highlight of classic interior design lies in the architectural details that bring a sense of sophistication and timeless beauty
Molding epitomizes the artistry and craftsmanship inherent in classical design. Source: @angelica.medaglia [3]

The intricate dance of light and shadow on these architectural gems imparts a sense of depth, creating an atmosphere that transcends the ordinary. Classic interior design is not confined to historical abodes alone. It is a versatile style that gracefully steps into the realm of modernity, bringing with it the echoes of tradition.

classic interior design is not limited to historic residences which flexibly enters the modern realm gracefully
It is within these architectural details that the soul of classic style resides. Source: Lux Trim [4]

In contemporary dwellings, sleek lines and minimalist structures find harmonious companionship with the ornate detailing of classic design. The result is a visual symphony where the old and the new converse, creating an enduring aesthetic that resonates with both nostalgia and modern sensibilities.

Layering to craft comfortable luxury

Layering emerges as the master, weaving an artful tapestry that goes beyond mere aesthetics. This fundamental design principle, extending from the meticulously chosen color palette to the thoughtful arrangement of textiles and furniture, serves as the heartbeat of a space where comfort meets luxury seamlessly.

layering with design fundamentals spanning from meticulously chosen color palettes to thoughtful arrangements of textiles and furnishings
At the heart of classic style interiors is the art of layering. Source: The Wall Street Journal [5]

Furnishings become protagonists in this design saga, where shaped lounges, upholstered benches, and ottomans embody classic detailing in woodwork and luxurious textiles in upholstery. This fusion of form and function epitomizes the essence of comfortable luxury, completing the multi-sensory experience crafted by the intricate layers of classic interior design.

Embracing Luxurious Textiles

The significance of textiles transcends mere decoration, becoming an immersive experience that defines the very essence of a space. These carefully selected and thoughtfully arranged gorgeous materials weave a narrative of opulence and comfort that elevates the classic style to timeless sophistication.

luxurious textiles infuse spaces with a soft and inviting ambiance
Luxurious textiles infuse spaces with a soft and inviting ambiance. Source: Architecture Art Designs [6]

In classic interiors, velvet embodies opulence with its lustrous pile and soft touch, whether draped over furniture or gracing statement pieces. In contrast to the lavishness of velvet, linen introduces fresh elegance through its natural fibers and subtle texture, seamlessly complementing the refined drapery, bedding, and upholstery aesthetic.

with classic furniture velvet material represents luxury with a smooth shine and soft feel
Velvet adds a tactile richness that beckons to be touched. Source: Fabrics and Papers [7]

Meanwhile, leather, a timeless choice, adds an impressive appearance with well-crafted armchairs and detailed furnishings, striking a harmonious balance of luxury and warmth. Synonymous with indulgence, cashmere transforms classic spaces into cocoons of comfort, inviting inhabitants to luxuriate in its fine fibers and velvety touch, whether as throws draped over sofas or in cashmere-upholstered seating.

leather on the other hand is a timeless choice that balances luxury and warmth adding a dramatic look to finely crafted armchairs and detailed furnishings
Its supple texture not only adds a layer of luxury but also introduces a sense of warmth. Source: NY Furniture Outlets [8]

Depth of color palette

The inclination toward neutrals is evident, but the true essence lies in the depth of the color palette. The classic design embraces a spectrum of richer huesblues, navy, and earthy tones- beyond the realm of whites and creams. This intentional infusion of color combines joyful and airy and is undeniably classic.

classic design includes richer colors blues navy and earth tones beyond the range of white and cream
The color palette offers a timeless canvas for the expression of interior aesthetics. Source: Sample Board [9]

Blues, with their calming and sophisticated undertones, become a cornerstone, providing a backdrop that resonates with both tranquility and timeless elegance. The inclusion of the navy introduces a deeper, more dramatic dimension, lending a sense of sophistication to the overall aesthetic.

blues whose tones are mellow and sophisticated become the foundation providing a backdrop for tranquility and elegance
Each shade becomes a brushstroke on the canvas of interior expression. Source: Interiors By Color [10]

While earthy tones, ranging from muted browns to subtle greens, bring warmth and grounding to classic spaces. These hues connect the interior to nature, infusing a sense of coziness and creating a harmonious balance.

Harmony in patterns

The careful orchestration of patterns is a nuanced endeavor to infuse life and dynamism into the living space, creating an environment that is as captivating as it is sophisticated.

The essence lies in the meticulous selection and fusion of patterns. With its intricate teardrop motif, paisley contributes a touch of timeless elegance, elevating the sophistication. The bold and graphic stripes of zebra patterns introduce a sense of movement, creating a visual rhythm. In contrast, the playful spots of cheetah patterns bring an untamed wildness, introducing an element of surprise and individuality.

with its intricate teardrop motif paisley contributes to timeless elegance enhancing sophistication
Each pattern serves a purpose, injecting bursts of personality into the design narrative. Source: Laurel Home [11]

It becomes a strategic language that engages the senses and tells a story within the space. When seamlessly harmonized, patterns evolve beyond visual elements—they become dynamic storytellers, enriching the character and ambiance of the environment.

Upholstered elegance

With classic style design, upholstered seating emerges as the undisputed star, taking center stage to steal the spotlight.

in classic style upholstered chairs emerge as a star
It's not just about having a place to sit; it's about the artistry ingrained in every inch. Source: Vimercati [12]

Imagine shaped lounges, the epitome of sophistication, adorned with luxurious textiles inviting you to sink into comfort. Wingback chairs will stand as timeless statements of elegance with classic woodwork detailing that infuses refinement into your space. Upholstered benches, both versatile and chic, effortlessly blend classic woodwork detailing with the luxury of meticulously chosen textiles.

Symmetry and balance

Symmetry, deeply rooted in the aesthetic traditions of classical architecture, transcends time and continues to be a timeless foundation for creating visually appealing, comfortable, and inviting interiors.

symmetry rooted in the aesthetic traditions of classical architecture creates interiors that are attractive comfortable and visually appealing
In classic interiors, balance reigns supreme. Source: Home Designing [13]

Symmetry is often employed in architectural features such as doors, windows, and moldings, or furniture placement, such as sofas and chairs, usually arranged in pairs. Moreover, fireplaces and coffee tables are used as the central points. Mirroring these elements on either side of a central axis creates a sense of order and formality. Identical or similar pieces are often placed on either side of a room, establishing a sense of equilibrium that appeals to the human eye.

Top 8 tips to rock this classic interior style

Ready to bring that classic charm into your home? We've got you covered with our Top 8 tips to enhance this timeless interior style:

Invest in quality furniture

Opt for pieces that boast classic detailing and exceptional craftsmanship. Not only does high-quality furniture stand the test of time, but it also infuses an undeniable air of sophistication into your living space.

choose pieces with classic details and exceptional craftsmanship to create an atmosphere of sophistication
Investing in quality furniture offers a multitude of benefits for your living space. Source: Elle Decor [14]

Quality furniture often prioritizes ergonomic design, promoting comfort and well-being. The investment pays off in terms of style as well as in the support and relaxation it provides. These pieces often come with warranties, providing peace of mind and financial security.

Furthermore, quality furniture tends to retain its value over time, making it a sustainable investment. Should your taste evolve or circumstances change, well-crafted pieces can often find new life through reupholstering or repurposing.

Go for soft, not bold colors

Drawing inspiration from nature, opt for gentle tones of yellow, blues, greens, and browns to infuse a traditional touch. While the classics favor off-white, consider a modern twist by incorporating crisp white for trims and detailing. Embrace the strategic use of vibrant shades like emeralds and plums, ensuring they adhere to placement rules for a harmonious outcome.

inspired by nature choose soft tones of yellow blue green and brown to convey a traditional touch
Soft, not bold, is the mantra for the classic color palette. Source: Interiors by color [15]

Try out this tip, select two armchairs in a coordinating color, complemented by cushions in the same fabric or hue. Place them thoughtfully on a neutral sofa to create a layered effect. The key lies in structure and repetition—meticulously place items to act as the cohesive 'glue' and repeat the color palette throughout the room to establish visual harmony.

Blend old and new

Crafting a curated and eclectic ambiance within classic interiors involves skillfully interweaving vintage discoveries with contemporary elements. Commence this creative journey by discerningly selecting timeless pieces from diverse eras, each boasting its unique narrative.

creating an atmosphere in a classic interior requires skillfully intertwining classic discoveries with contemporary elements
Combine vintage finds with modern elements to create a curated, eclectic look. Source: Veranda [16]

The magic happens in the interplay of textures, materials, and styles. Imagine a mid-century sideboard standing beside a minimalist console, both complementing and contrasting. This fusion transcends mere decoration; it becomes a deliberate effort to infuse your space with depth and personality, where each piece has a purpose and contributes to the eclectic tapestry of your home.

Lighting as a focal point

Chandeliers, sconces, and elegant lamps have the potential to transcend mere functionality, transforming into captivating statement pieces that define the aesthetic of your space. With chandeliers, you could adorn with opulent crystal elements or feature a more understated wrought iron design to embody the classic elegance.

elegant chandeliers sconces and lamps that go beyond mere function can be decorated with luxurious crystal details or feature a more refined wrought iron design to express classic elegance
The carefully chosen chandelier could quickly turn into a visual centerpiece. Source: Luxury Italian Furniture [17]

Complementing these, strategically placed sconces along walls contribute ambient lighting with designs ranging from intricately detailed metalwork to minimalist. Further enhancing the lighting ensemble by putting elegant lamps on tables or as floor fixtures introduces both task and ambient lighting.

To add a contemporary twist, consider incorporating a rattan pendant light. This unique choice introduces a natural and textural element, infusing a touch of modernity into the classic setting. Imagine the interplay between the timeless allure of a crystal chandelier and the casual elegance of a rattan pendant light, creating a dynamic and visually engaging atmosphere.

to add a modern touch consider incorporating rattan hanging lights helps create a dynamic and visually appealing atmosphere
Add a touch of modernity to your classic interior design with the rattan pendant light. Source: Pottery Barn Link: [18]

For inspiration, explore the exquisite Rowabi collection of rattan pendant lights. Currently, we're thrilled to announce our largest sale of the year—a combination of Brand Super Month and Black Friday festivities, offering an enticing 30% discount on every piece, including our best sellers. Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your space with timeless and beautifully crafted lighting at unbeatable prices.

Curate a thoughtful art collection

Transform your living space into a gallery of personal expression by curating a thoughtful art collection. Go for classic artworks or those timeless gems that match your vibe. It could be a stunning painting, a unique sculpture, or some captivating photos—whatever floats your artistic boat. Let these pieces take center stage and become the heart of your classic-style digs.

find vintage works of art or gems that resonate with your vibe in a central location and be the centerpiece of your vintage digs
Vary your options of art pieces to present your own uniqueness. Source: Belle Vivir [19]

Trust me, when you choose items that look good and tug at your emotions or tell a story, you're turning your home into a canvas of your personal journey. So, go ahead, make it your own art gallery!

Never go wrong with symmetry

Symmetry is like the backbone of your room—it brings a sense of balance and order that transcends the ebb and flow of design trends. When strategically applying symmetrical placement for both furniture and decor elements, you establish the groundwork for a space radiating timeless allure.

symmetry brings a sense of balance and order that transcends the ebb and flow of design trends
Elevate the enduring charm of your living space by harnessing the influence of symmetry. Source: Posh Pennies [20]

Consider aligning key pieces, such as sofas and accent chairs, in a balanced manner to promote harmony. Opt for symmetrical decor arrangements on shelves or walls to enhance visual cohesion. Embrace this design principle, and transform your space into an oasis of enduring elegance, beckoning you to revel in its harmonious equilibrium for years to come.

Combine the different types of textiles

Have you ever considered mixing these textiles to give your house a refreshed and unique look? For example, use velvet accent pieces, such as throw pillows or an upholstered chair, to introduce a touch of opulence. The reflective quality of velvet adds a dynamic dimension to your space, creating a visually rich and indulgent atmosphere.

Meanwhile, opt for linen drapes or bedding to infuse your space with a light and airy feel. Play with neutral tones to amplify its classic charm, or experiment with subtle patterns for a touch of contemporary flair.

choose neutral toned linen curtains or bedsheets to keep the space feeling light and airy
Making every moment at home a truly luxurious experience by integrating different textiles. Source: Baer’s Furniture [21]

Mix and match these luxurious fabrics thoughtfully to create a sensory experience that reflects your personal style. Combine a velvet sofa with linen throw blankets, or pair leather chairs with velvet cushions for a well-balanced and visually intriguing composition. Experiment with textures and tones to achieve a harmonious blend that resonates with your unique taste.

Keep it clutter-free

Nurture a sense of timeless elegance by adhering to the principle of keeping your space clutter-free. Classic interiors thrive on simplicity, allowing key pieces to take center stage. Streamline your decor choices and maintain a sense of order by avoiding unnecessary clutter.

classic interiors thrive on simplicity that maintains a sense of order by avoiding unnecessary clutter
Being classic sometimes just means being simple and clutter-free. Source: The Seattle Times [22]

Opt for quality over quantity, strategically placing each item to enhance the overall aesthetic. This approach preserves the sophistication inherent in classic design and also creates a serene and inviting atmosphere, where every carefully chosen piece contributes to the narrative of your home.

Final thoughts

As we wrap up this guide, keep in mind that classic interior style is not just about creating a visually appealing space—it's about curating an atmosphere that withstands the test of time. The carefully chosen patterns, the embrace of symmetry, and the infusion of luxurious textiles all contribute to a home that exudes sophistication and comfort. Happy designing your own house!


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