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Adding a Little Old World Style

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 16 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
Old World Style Floors Walls Accessories

Old world style décor has become increasingly popular over the past few years, because of this old world style accessories have become increasingly easy to come by. Here are some tips on how to add a little of your own old world style. Old World decor is an eclectic look that can embrace the 12th through 17th centuries and the medieval to Renaissance eras. So feel free to mix pieces that represent various historical periods within this range.

The hallmark of old world design is a comfortable, broken-in look that shows the wear and tear of usage. Choice of materials is critical to achieve an old world look. The idea is to use materials that look as if they existed for decades or longer. Slick modern synthetics are out; natural materials like stone and wood are in.

Old World Walls

Give your rooms a historic feel. Make walls look as if they've been there for centuries, with rough, multi-tone faux paint finishes that mimic worn plaster or stucco. Red-painted walls were also popular during the Renaissance. Hang old world maps and Renaissance-type art or prints (Raphael, da Vinci). Use frames that are heavy and embellished and have a gold, lustrous finish. Hang woven tapestries for a gothic effect.

Old World Faux Finishes

Follow the effects you have created on the walls with your accessories. Choose items with finishes that mimic stone and gold - for example, in lamp bases, cachepots, decorative boxes, figurines, obelisks, and picture frames.

Old World Windows

Use simple curtain rods, such as a wooden pole with a pointed top-shaped finial or a wrought-iron style whose ends are reminiscent of shepherd's crooks. For a more ornate room, go with metallic finishes, especially gold, on baroque-style rods. Choose heavy velvet drapes to add a taste of luxury. Go with rich colours like deep reds, purples and gold.

Old World Accessories

Set out candles in holders that suggest the Europe of centuries past. Baskets and antique-look world globes also make excellent accessories. Look for gargoyles to use as a tabletop ornament or as a bookend. Stained glass gives a wonderfully old world effect whether you use it in ornaments or as additions to your existing windows.

Old World Floors

Lay an area rug (faux animal skin, sisal and hand woven textiles) over a stone effect hard surface floor (vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile or genuine stone).

Remember the old world look is a myriad of European styles, but at the heart of it is a palette of deep, rich hues like wine red, midnight blue and forest green, a combination of natural materials like limestone and tile, substantial furniture pieces and a plethora of texture on the walls, fabrics and floors. Shop at flea markets and antiques stores to find pieces and mix them with reproductions for an affordable Old World look.

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