European decorating, as witnessed through overwhelming sensory input, strolling through its medieval cobblestone streets -- the pubs and cafes, the buzz of traffic on an incomprehensible maze of streets, the centuries old architecture, the history, the smells, the statues, the beautiful waterways and stone bridges...
Stepping out of the city and into the countryside, a more tranquil mood takes hold, with rolling green hills, vineyards, farms, villages, snow-capped mountains and monumental castles. You witness Old World scenery which has not changed to a great degree over the last several hundred years.
An amalgamation of designs, the term "Old World" refers to a timeless look in this decor that spans over fifteen centuries and includes these primary periods in history:
Gothic, Medieval, Middle or Dark Ages (500s - 1300s), marked by sketchy historical records, the rise and subsequent fall in population, religious wars, chivalry and knighthood; when home decor was typically very rustic, with only a few rooms that were sparsely decorated with furniture and art, vaulted ceilings, narrow glassless windows and floors of straw and clay.
Renaissance (1400s - 1600s), bridging the gap between the Dark Ages and the Early Modern period, the Renaissance is when many of the world's most famous scholars, artists and scientists flourished and economic revival ensued; new trends in home decor began to emerge, such as solid floors and larger windows (complete with glass), smaller, but more rooms, paneled walls, the addition of wallpaper, and cushions and cloth for added comfort.
Classical or Early Modern (1700s - 1800s), characterized by increasingly meaningful developments in science and technology, the emergence of wide spread, market-oriented economics, and civilized government and politics. During this time, architecture and decor became more elaborate, with stucco-plastered walls and ceilings, grand staircases, and finely crafted, ornately-carved furniture made from walnut and mahogany, all of which are still popular in design today.
European Decorating Themes ...
England, France and Italy are the countries typically referred to when the term "Old World" is used in European decorating, and span not only time, but geographic locations across the Mediterranean, Central and Western Europe.
English Country Decor
Victorian Home Decor
French Country Decorating
French Home Decor
European Decorating - Period Wall Tapestries spanning Motifs, History and Countries throughout the World