If you’re trying to add a touch of grace and luxury to your home, rococo interior design is the way to go. This style has been around for centuries, and, according to designers, it’s as popular as ever today.
Here, we’ll take a look at its history and the features that make it so unique. Additionally, we’ll provide you with tips on incorporating rococo elements into your home décor.
So, if you’re ready to feel like royalty, keep reading!
What Is Rococo Style, and Where Does It Come From?
The term rococo originates from the French word rocaille meaning shellwork or rockwork. Centuries ago, people used the term to describe the ornate carvings and ornamental work found in architecture, furniture, and art.
Today, this term refers to the lavish decoration style that first emerged in 18th century France, a time of great luxury and extravagance.
French rococo was characterized by the use of ornate and intricate designs and ornamentation, asymmetry, curved lines, delicate pastel colors, and a focus on light, airy elements.
It quickly became popular among the French aristocrats, later spreading to Austria and Germany.
It was also present in Great Britain, but the English didn’t quite appreciate the style as much as the rest of continental Europe. As a result, rococo was adopted in a more moderate form there.
Rococo reached its height of popularity during the reign of French king Louis XV before falling out of favor in the late 18th century.
In recent years, this extravagant style has experienced a resurgence in interior design thanks to the unique blend of elegance and luxury it offers.
Rococo Architecture—Key Features
- Curves and swirls
- Gothic influence
- Classicism influence
Rococo was heavily influenced by the gothic style and classical antiquity, which is evident from the work of rococo architects, who often used elements from both styles (e.g., classicist columns and pointed gothic arches).
Rococo is also typically associated with excess and over-the-top decoration, which is why it’s sometimes understated.
A good example of rococo architecture is the Palace of Versailles near Paris (the former center of political power in France) built by Louis XIV. Another is the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.
Baroque vs. Rococo—What’s the Difference?
Rococo interior design is often confused with baroque interior design. While both styles are opulent and dramatic, there are several key differences.
Rococo was developed in France during the early 18th century, while baroque originated in late 16th century Italy.
Rococo interiors incorporate pastel colors, while baroque tends to be darker and richer.
Baroque style is characterized by grandeur, while rococo is more delicate and intricate. The baroque style emphasizes volume and massiveness, while rococo highlights details and ornamentation.
Compared to the more austere Baroque style, rococo interiors are light, playful, and elegant.
Symmetry is another major difference between these two styles. While the baroque style focuses on symmetry, rococo uses asymmetry.
Rococo Revival Interior Design
Rococo revival is a modern take on rococo that can be seen in homes and business premises all around the world due to its increasing popularity in recent years.
This style uses many elements from the 18th-century rococo but with a more contemporary twist.
Modern rococo has been adapted to fit the needs of modern homeowners. It often features more muted colors and simpler designs but still retains the essence of the 18th-century rococo—elegance, luxury, and opulence.
One of the most important aspects of contemporary rococo is the use of color. Rich and vibrant colors (including gold, silver, and other metallics) are used to create an opulent and luxurious feel.
Rococo-Style Interior Design—Key Features
Rococo interior design features are similar to those of rococo architecture and include:
- Intricate and detailed designs
- The use of light and airy elements
- Lack of symmetry
- Elegance and sophistication
Still, when incorporating rococo elements into your home, it’s important not to go overboard to prevent your space from looking like a gaudy hodgepodge.
Remember, a little bit of rococo can go a long way!
Rococo Characteristics—How to Recognize Them
1. Overwhelming Decor
Rococo design is all about excess and luxury, so don’t be afraid to include lots of decorative items. Use lavish fabrics, decorations with intricate details, and lots of gold and silver accents. Don’t forget to add paintings in decorative frames and other smaller details.
2. Boosted Lightness and Airiness
Rococo-inspired spaces typically feature plenty of pastel colors, light wood, and fabrics that add to creating a sense of spaciousness in your home.
3. Ceiling Molding
Rococo interior design is known for the use of ceiling molding. Rococo ceiling molding is a great way to add depth and texture to ceilings in your home.
If you’re after a more dramatic look, consider getting a rococo ceiling medallion. It’s large, ornate, and can really make a statement.
4. Luxurious Furniture
Finally, don’t forget about the furniture. A few well-chosen pieces (e.g., sofas with rolled arms and tufted upholstery, reading chairs with cabriole legs, etc.) can add a touch of elegance, sophistication, and beauty to any space.
There are several different types of rococo-style furniture (e.g., Louis XV, Italian rococo, Neoclassical rococo), but they all share common features like ornate carvings and curves.
For example, Louis XV style furniture is characterized by curved lines and rocaille ornamentation with motifs such as shells, flowers, and scrolls.
Such furniture is often made of carved wood, upholstered in velvet or silk, gilded with gold leaf, or adorned with wood inlay for an extra touch of luxury.
Rococo Style—Tips on How to Implement It in Your Home
If you want to decorate your room in rococo fashion, think of opulence, elegance, and luxury. Rococo rooms are generally adorned with intricate moldings, gilded details, and sumptuous fabrics to achieve the overall effect of grandeur and extravagance.
But, how can you make it happen in your home?
- Use ornate molding around doorways, windows, or on the ceiling.
- Use lots of curves and flourishes in your furniture and decor.
- Choose rich fabrics like velvet, silk, or brocade for upholstery and curtains.
- Opt for light and airy colors like pale pink, blue, or soft pastels.
- Use carved or gilded rococo-style furniture
- Add rococo-inspired lighting fixtures (chandeliers and wall sconces are especially typical of this style, but an ornate floor lamp can also do the trick).
- Hang rococo-inspired paintings or tapestries on the walls.
- Use larger decorative pieces (e.g., an intricately carved mirror or a detailed gold-leafed frame).
- Finally, don’t forget smaller decorative items—vases, clocks, and candlesticks can really help pull the look together.
Rococo design is making a comeback, and we think this is the perfect way to add some elegance and timelessness to your space.
If you want to jump on this trend, follow the tips provided above and use modern elements sparingly to keep the overall look of your living space polished and classy.
What were the main features of rococo interiors?
Rococo is known for ornate details, pastel colors, intricate carvings, gilded accents, and floral motifs.
Some features of a rococo interior include:
- Carved woodwork
- Plaster walls with delicate rocaille trimming
- Intricately embroidered silk curtains
- Hand-painted ceramic tiles
- Gilded furniture with intricate curves and flourishes.
Because of this, rococo furniture is often seen as too ornate or fussy. But, if styled appropriately and with moderation, a rococo-inspired space can look very elegant and chic.
What is rococo furniture made of?
Most rococo furniture is made of carved wood (walnut, mahogany, rosewood, etc.), often with gilded accents. The curves and flourishes in the design make this furniture quite delicate and intricate-looking.
But nowadays, there are also options made from metal and plastic for those who want to go for a more modern take on rococo design.
What is the difference between baroque and rococo furniture?
Rococo furniture is often more ornate and decorative than baroque furniture. It’s typically characterized by asymmetrical shapes, curves, and naturalistic designs.
On the other hand, baroque furniture is less decorative, more symmetrical, and more formal. It usually has intricate carvings and heavy use of gilding.
Rococo furniture is often associated with the French rococo interior design, while baroque furniture is typically associated with the Italian baroque style.