Neoclassical decoration style: what does it consist of?

A trend that incorporates elements of antiquity and the 18th century, but that does not go out of style. Discover how to apply a sober and elegant style at home.

Last update: September 14, 2022

There are many options in decorative trends that transform spaces to personal taste. There are aesthetics retro and other more modern ones. However, with the neoclassical decoration style it is possible to achieve sophisticated and elegant environments.

Furniture reminiscent of ancient Greece and Rome, decorative details with simple lines and shapes or typical ornaments from the classical era. All these accessories work to establish a neoclassical style of decoration, emerged during the eighteenth century, but with great popularity in the new millennium.

What is the neoclassical decoration style?

When the word is mentioned neoclassic, it is common to link the term to an artistic category. Neoclassicism is, in essence, an artistic and literary movement that, during the 18th century, emerged to leave behind the forms of the French rococo. Like many other trends, also influenced architecture and decoration.

Currently, the neoclassical decoration style is an option to decorate interiors based on simple guidelines, antique furniture and strong colors. The main idea is to generate elegant environments with moderate ornamentation, in which elements from the classical Greco-Roman era are incorporated.

Like other trends in interior decoration, the neoclassical style It is built from the combination of different cultures. However, it implies the presence of some fundamental materials, such as marble or stone.

Implementing this trend in the home generates simple settings, although loaded with sophisticated decorations that achieve an attractive balance between the old and the modern.

Inspired by Greece and Rome, the neoclassical style rescues the classical vision of that time, reinterpreting it.

Origins of the movement

A very important historical fact was key to begin to popularize the neoclassical movement. It is about the discovery of 2 ancient Roman cities: Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were uninhabited after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano around the year 79 AD. C. The discovery of the ruins is attributed to the Spanish engineer and soldier Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre Morales, in the mid-eighteenth century.

Beyond the historical event, the discovery strengthened the infatuation of the Europe of that century with the classical Greco-Roman style. A taste that was evidenced in the neoclassical artistic trend, arising from the archaeological ruins and the opening of Greece to travelers.

These facts were complemented with the most purist details of the style, already incorporated in the 19th century. Simple lines and proportionate structures are the contributions that finished conforming to the neoclassical decoration.

Main characteristics of the neoclassical decoration style

Achieving an interior design according to style is possible through the incorporation of appropriate colors, furniture and decorations. The elegant neoclassical setting is not complex to implementbut it does require specific ornamentation and the presence of materials such as stone, wood or marble.


There are a number of pieces of furniture that work well to match the style. It is important that the processing materials are marble and pine or oak wood. In the meantime, the design should be simple and with Greco-Roman details.

Some examples that can be used are circular or semicircular tables, chairs with scissors legs and stools or concave seats. Roman divan-shaped beds or armchairs also work well.


One of the most important aspects in a decorative style is the range of colors. In the case of neoclassicism, neutral tones predominate, associated with white, gray or beige.

They bring serenity and elegance to the space. To achieve an atmosphere more in line with the trend, they should be combined with strong colors in the details, such as red, gold or purple.

Walls in the neoclassical decoration style

On the walls, beyond the colors, the application of decorative paper is recommended. It is possible to incorporate motifs, patterns and colors from the Greco-Roman era. For example, floral or damask patterns.

Of course, painting a wall with the range of colors of the trend is another effective option. However, perhaps the detail that most refers to ancient Greece and Rome are the columns and moldings.

If possible, adding them to a corner or wall creates the full feel of the neoclassical style. The stucco technique also fits in with this trend.


To make a complete neoclassical decoration, it is advisable to apply marble or stone floors. Failing that, granite is another combinable material.


In addition to large furniture and wall coverings, it is also possible to embellish the style with accessories, such as mirrors and curtains. The premise of the neoclassical style is to generate spaces with good light. For that, some people use multi-layer curtains.

They must be long and fall to the ground, while generating a contrast effect. Another alternative is not to install curtains to allow more natural light to enter. Mirrors are elements that favor the lighting effect and can incorporate neoclassical finishes in the frames.

The columns are essential to the neoclassical. They denote elegance and refer to Greece or Rome.

Ornaments of the neoclassical decoration style

In this trend, ornamentation is a central aspect, since it is where most references to classical antiquity can be incorporated. One of the best ways is through the installation of marble statues or busts.

As an alternative, stone can also be used. These ornaments refer directly to the Greco-Roman era.

On the other hand, the following elements can be incorporated:

  • Chandelier: a sophisticated and functional accessory, derived from the great chandeliers of medieval churches.
  • Vases and ceramic objects: used mainly in ancient Greece. If space is available, an amphora can be incorporated.
  • Printed fabrics: Among the Greco-Roman prints you can find typical shapes and also references to warriors and the Olympics.
  • Silverware: another utensil that provides elegance and refers to the neoclassical period.
  • Pedestals: bras of this type can be used for various functions within the home. The forms refer directly to the Greek columns.

Adapt the classic to the modern

The neoclassical style of decoration is a trend that incorporates elements from ancient Greek and Roman cultures, but combined with Renaissance details. It is important to adapt the elements to modern accessories to achieve a sophisticated, balanced and functional interior design.

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