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Gothic Decor: The History of Dark Elegance

Intrigued by gothic decor? Learn about the history of this dark, elegant style – and get inspired by our favorite gothic looks.



Key Elements of Gothic Style

Despite how it’s represented in pop culture, Gothic style isn’t ‘all black, all the time.’
In fact, ‘Gothic style’ and the color ‘black’ are not mutually inclusive. 
Gothic style stems from Gothic architecture, which is rooted in grandiose structures and intricate embellishments, heavily influenced by the European cathedrals around the 15th century. 
While Gothic style was influenced by the European cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the European cathedrals of the Middle Ages also influenced it; the relationship between the two was give-and-take – a two-way street.
Bringing Gothic into the home is more about embracing a Gothic mindset; each piece should be carefully chosen for its ability to channel extravagance, achievement…
…and, most importantly, an infatuation with the spiritual, the abnormal, the mysterious – just like the cathedrals did back in the day.
If this isn’t your beat, don’t write off Gothic just yet – there’s a bit more to the story of this intriguing style!
Several centuries after the Gothic movement in the Middle Ages, novelists in the Victorian era began to explore darker motifs…
…giving the world a new genre of literature now known as Gothic.
Stories often included elements like castles, dark passageways, and monsters; ideas and themes revolved around death, romance and horror.



Gothic in the Home

It’s this kind of Gothic – the macabre kind – that people often associate with the term…
…while the grand, lavish, intricate architecture and aesthetic of the Middle Ages acts as no more than a forgotten footnote.
Of course, there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ Gothic – both ways of perceiving the style are historically accurate. 
So, whether you get inspired by the cathedral arches, crosses and towers of the Middle Ages…
…or the romantic, horrifying, death-obsessed literature of the 1800s, there is at least one matter you can settle all bets on: your style is Gothic!




American Gothic

Kick vintage Gothic up a few centuries with modern details. In the china cabinet above, for instance, glass paneling replaces what would otherwise be an all-wood façade, while a soft brown coloring offsets a harsher, more traditional silhouette.

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