Although ancient and classical decorative styles have largely faded from public consciousness, the imagined opulence and luxury of the Gothic medieval and pre-modern periods lingers on. A small but dedicated segment of modern society continues to find ways to enhance their modern dwellings with the veneer of the last thousand or so years of European history. If you live in an apartment, you don’t need to worry, you can still create gothic apartment decorating ideas based on these tips below.
Tips for DIY Gothic Apartment Decorating
Look for apartments that are heavily decorated in deep, darker colors. More than one source suggests that, if you are allowed to paint your walls, you might make them over in a stone-wall masonry facade, like the walls of a medieval manor, cathedral or castle. Marble’s Lawn’s first page of Gothic/medieval decoration contains guides to creating such a facade. A Designer Spot states that, “there are three recommended finishes for Gothic floors: dark colored hardwood … stone flooring and tiles.”
Go shopping for some decorative trinkets and home furnishings to start with. Gothic Martha Stewart suggests starting with garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores first, then moving up to independent bookstores, curiosity shops carrying decorative statuary and figurines, and online vendors that carry Gothic, medieval and fantasy decorations. You should be looking for cast-off items that you can rehabilitate, as well as more straightforward items such as pewter figurines of dragons and stone sculptures of angels or demons. Also look for other medieval iconography such as Celtic crosses, wall hangings and tapestries, old decorative rugs and carpets, and iron-girded furnishings.
Enhance the items you already own. Draping a piece of luxurious dark, rich fabric or a throw blanket over your furniture — couches, futons, love seats, and chairs — can emulate the furniture in an ancient medieval chateau. You can also drape cloth over small tables and hang tapestries across bare walls. Marble’s Lawn’s second page on medieval decorating suggests that you enhance your wooden furniture with a Gothic theme by adding “some heavy hinging and black stenciled knot-work” to an old chest, adding some carved patterns to the front of wooden chairs, and, of course, filling your pad with candles and candelabrum.
Finish the decor of your newly decked out Gothic pad by displaying your newly acquired statuary, pewter figurines, and any other Gothic or medieval art or pieces you may have on top of the tables you’ve draped over with cloth, the chests you’ve enhanced with hinges and stenciled knot-work, and any other dark wood furniture you own. If you have any decorative swords, shields or coats of arms displays, you can mount them prominently on the wall between your paintings and tapestries.
When thinking of gothic apartment decorating, many people jump straight to thoughts of black on black. However, black doesn’t necessarily define gothic style, nor is it the sole style option. There are several subcultures within the gothic community, and each subculture can lend to a different decorating style. Gothic decorating can range from a few well-placed gothic pieces to a full house of gothic-inspired furniture and decor.