Baroque Style Interior Design: Elements and History

Baroque interior design originated in the 17th century and is one of the most elaborate, dramatic, and decorative styles.

While this ornamental design is hard to replicate in a residential home, you can work parts of it into your design scheme. Here’s a look at the history of Baroque interior design and its design elements.

The Origins of Baroque Interior Design

Baroque interior design

Baroque interior design originates from the Baroque era, which began in 17th-century Italy and lasted into the mid-18th century. But the Baroque period wasn’t only about interior design and architecture – it influenced music, art, and culture.

Baroque architecture and interior design developed in the 1600s in Italy. At the time, there was a reformation against the Catholic Church. In an attempt to counter that reformation, the Catholic Church began designing buildings that evoked power and beauty and inspired a sense of awe.

The first Baroque structures were intricate, with domes, ceiling carvings, and a sense of grandeur. In the beginning, Baroque-style buildings were only for churches and religious places, but as time went on, the style spread.

In France, the Baroque style made its way to the monarchy. It also spread through Latin America, Germany, Austria, and Czechia. While Baroque designs remained one that architects used for churches rather than residences, the details changed form depending on location.

The Baroque style fell out of favor in the 18th century as people grew tired of the elaborate designs. Simple neoclassical architecture and interior design replaced the Baroque style. While it’s never made a complete comeback, you can find features of the Baroque style in Hollywood Regency and glam interior design.

Elements of Baroque Interior Design

Baroque interior elements

Because the primary use for Baroque interior design was for churches and aristocrats, it’s a complex design to imitate. But, you can use Baroque elements in your decorating to create a luxurious and ornamental style.

Painted Ceilings

One of the critical markers of Baroque interior design is painted ceilings, using an effect called trompe-l’oeil. Trompe-l’oeil is an illusory painting method that creates a 3-D effect.

Ornate Carvings and Sculptures

Baroque style is similar to maximalism in that you can layer items together, even if ornate. For example, a typical Baroque room might feature a sculpture or two, furniture with elaborate detail, and all cabinets and doors featuring carvings.

Bold and Shiny Colors

Gold is one of the primary colors of Baroque interior design. You can find it in paintings, furniture, and trim. Other colors include deep reds, blues, and greens. A Baroque color palette will be bold and shimmery and look like it’s fit for royalty. 

Lots of Mirrors

Mirrors create the illusion of depth and space, which was part of Baroque-era architecture and interior design. Look for mirrors with ornate frames, and go with gold when possible.

Oval and Curved Shapes

Baroque style uses oval and curved shapes rather than squared-off motifs. You can find these in the architecture and interior design of the building.

Large Furniture

Baroque furniture is large and looks like it’s fit for royalty. The backs of most sofas and chairs from this era feature curved shapes with carved wood trim. Look for large armchairs, settees, and sofas made of luxurious fabric like silk or velvet, with gold trim and carvings.

Dramatic Chandeliers

Baroque lighting was rife with dramatic chandeliers. While gold chandeliers dripping with crystals are common, so are darker gothic-looking options. 

Lush and High-End Everything

Everything from the flooring to the curtains to the ceilings is luxurious and extravagant in Baroque designs. It’s a style that shows off wealth and power. 

Examples of Modern Baroque Interior Design

The original Baroque style interior design is fit for churches and palaces. Today we’ll look at some modern ways designers and homeowners have adapted this style.

Modern Baroque Living Room

Modern Baroque Living Room

There are several Baroque elements in this living room, including the gold chandelier, sofa table, gold and marble stool, curved fireplace mantel, and sofa. The room also features a minimal rustic style for an eclectic design.

Modern Baroque Bathroom

Baroque bathroom Mirror
Isler Homes

The ornate gold mirror frame is a prime example of Baroque interior design. The room also showcases high-end marble and luxe cabinetry and faucet.

Modern Baroque Dining Room

Baroque dining area
Dallas Design Group, Interiors

The designers made this dining room formal using elements of Baroque interior design. It features a gold chandelier, ornate gold carvings throughout, curved and embellished dining chairs, and a flowing gold drapery.

Baroque Style Bedroom

Baroque style bedroom decor
Annmarie Ruta Interiors LLC

Baroque-style bedrooms are heavily decorated and may feature sweeping curtains, chandeliers, extra seating, and large bed frames. The designer of this room also added many gold accents, which are vital for this style.