How to Bring a Medieval Design Flair to Your Home Decor

Here are a dozen design techniques to teach you how to create a medieval flair in your home with castle décor.

By Ande Waggener

 

Some people, like me for example, are drawn to castles. There’s something about their majesty that lures out both the suppressed romantic and the inner warrior. Given that most of us, including me, can’t afford a castle, is there any way we can capture just a hint of a castle’s alluring qualities? Happily, yes, there is.

 

We don’t need to have sweeping hallways filled with Celtic art and suits of armor to have a touch of castles in our homes. Here are a dozen interior design ideas for adding a castle-like panache into your home décor.

 

1. Arches

Castle architecture is filled with arches. Incorporating at least one of these architectural details into your home’s design can bring a bit of real castle into your proverbial castle.

 

Arched doorways can work in any style home.

 

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Arched windows traditionally have added elegance to a home, but they can also hint at a castle.

 

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An arched ceiling, however modern, especially if done in dark wood, can say, “Castle” no matter what space it’s in.

 

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2. Bare Floors

When you picture a castle, you don’t see wall-to-wall carpeting. Castles had bare floors, usually made of stone. Stone flooring, therefore, provides a strong base for castle décor.

 

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Bare wood can work too, especially if Element Ten, stone, is included elsewhere in the room.

 

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3. Castle Colors

Typical castles are dark and rugged, with deep, jewel-toned colors. The three most common colors used in castle décor are burgundy, dark green, and gold.

 

You can use one of these colors for your walls.

 

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The above photo shows how you can pull off a dark color on every wall if you combine it with lighter-colored fabrics.

 

Or try combining a strong burgundy accent wall with gold on the other walls.

 

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Do you see how the wall colors above insert a hint of castles into the otherwise contemporary room?

 

If you don’t want such forceful colors on your walls, just use them in your furniture, rugs, or accents.

 

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4. Chunky Furniture

The only kind of furniture that can hold its own in the cavernous spaces of a castle is furniture with a robust presence, aka chunky furniture. You can get chunky through the size of the furniture. Large pieces in any style or color are dominant enough for castle-inspired spaces.

 

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Complex furniture styling, which includes a lot of carving or artistic detail, can also have a “chunky” castle feel.

 

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A wood furniture piece so intricately carved that it becomes art can also have the large-and-in-charge influence needed to suggest “castle.”

 

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You’ll notice that the actual design style in each of the above photos varies. Don’t worry about getting the period right. Go for the flavor, not the facts.

 

5. Copper Pots

Hanging copper pots represent the quintessential castle-themed kitchen.

 

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You don’t have to go for the full hanging pot look, however. Just a few copper touches in your kitchen will do.

 

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6. Dark Wood

Castles, although home to massive windows, aren’t traditionally light-filled places. The dark wood used within is the main reason for this. So true castle style needs some dark-stained wood, preferably in a strong beamed ceiling presence.

 

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More rugged beams against a dark wood ceiling can work as well.

 

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The dark wood can also be brought into the room via ornately carved wood furnishings.

 

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7. Fireplace

A castle without a fireplace? Impossible! A wood-burning fireplace can bring some castle mystique into even the most modern space.

 

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Combining a fireplace with the texture of a stone wall, as above, will evoke castle even more strongly.

 

8. Heavy Fabrics  

Castles are not the place for gauzy, light fabrics. Thick upholstery and tapestries reign in castles.

 

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You can achieve a similar look in your interior design with substantial fabrics layered in window coverings combined with rich upholstery on the plush furniture.

 

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Or if you’d prefer, you can use a light touch and just add a tapestry pillow or two to your décor.

 

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9. Long Curtains

Castle curtains are reminiscent of ladies’ dresses. They’re long and sweeping. Properly “castled” window coverings will puddle on the floor.

 

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10. Stone

If you’ve chosen a bare stone floor, as discussed in Element One above, you already have a basis for your castle décor. But take that stone up the walls if you really want your home to have hardy castle zest.

 

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The more rugged and old-world the stone, the more enduring your castle theme will be.

 

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Put uneven rustic stone with a fireplace, and you’ll start feeling like a castle lord or lady.

 

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11. Wall Sconces

For the mystery and charm of a true castle, you must have wall sconces. Positioned between narrow windows, especially, they’ll add enough enchantment to a room to transport it back to medieval times.

 

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12. Wrought Iron

The beauty and power of a castle can be displayed simply with wrought iron design elements. Choose a wrought iron stairway railing.

 

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Or if you’d prefer, just bring a bit of wrought iron into the bedroom with a wrought iron headboard and footboard.

 

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As you can see above, wrought iron doesn’t have to detract from the soft or cozy feel of a room. Adding fabric layers and at least one castle color (in this case, green), keeps the romance alive.

 

Hopefully, you now some living room ideas, kitchen ideas, and bedroom ideas for how you can bring together castle elements to create your own “castle” without having an actual castle to play with. Castle charisma can be acquired with much more finesse than is generally found in true castles.

 

If you’re drawn to castles, I encourage you to experiment with including several, if not all, of the above ideas in your home décor. And if you feel like digging a moat, go right ahead. Just be sure you come back here and share a photo so we can all ooh and ahh.

 

Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

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