Renaissance design for the 21st century09 June 2022 Renaissance architecture means massive spaces. Look at paintings of interiors from this time and you’ll huge halls and furniture on a grand scale. Most houses today don’t come with that sort of space, but it doesn’t mean you can’t add a touch of Renaissance glamour to your home.
Perhaps the simplest way to do this is through pictures. Taste in art was very important to those with money during the Renaissance. Today you’ll probably struggle to bag an original van Eyck, but look out for prints, smaller paintings, or even works by lesser-known or unattributed artists.
Many works from the era (roughly 1400-1600) might be religious so look for genre scenes and portraiture from northern Europe, which may have a broader appeal.
Artists today continue to be inspired by works of this era. It’s possible to find works drawing on familiar elements of historic works and putting entirely new twists on them.
What about furniture? If you’re lucky enough to have a large space in your home, it’s worth looking out for a big statement piece.
They might not be Scandi-chic or minimalist by any stretch, but furniture from this period (and later imitations) are usually solid and intricately carved. Plus they’ve survived this long, they are unlikely to fall apart in a hurry.
Otherwise, opt for contemporary pieces with some old-style charm. Chandeliers were a big feature of Renaissance interiors, as were round mirrors, four poster beds, chests, sideboards and dressers. You don’t have to go far to find a contemporary – but still interesting – version of these items.
And why not make it a bit more interesting by adding some one-off decorative elements. These don’t even have to be for inside the home. There are plenty of ways to get historic elements in the garden, whether through statuary or more abstract or decorative features.
But it is definitely possible to get decorative elements in the home too without having to widen your door. A sheet of illuminated manuscript, a musical instrument or a sconce would all do the trick.