We aren’t living in Italy or Greece and it isn’t the 18th or 19th century, but this style is still as popular as ever.

If you get a chance to visit ICIMOD then make sure you take a picture or two if you are really interested in Neoclassical design. Or if you don’t want to go that far, visit Kaiser Mahal - another example of neoclassical architecture. But if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home then just Google Lincoln Memorial, that’s a good example. 

Though it began in Britain and France during the 1750s, neoclassical design and décor was in fact influenced by classical ancient Greek and Roman architecture and décor. This style in known for its elegance, opulence and romantic atmosphere while giving the house a dose of European aura. If you look closely at the buildings following this design scheme, they will have some things in common, namely the white walls, numerous pillars, grand hall and marbled floors.  As for décor, according to interior designer Zuna Bhattarai, think of “classical design with a touch of the modern.” 

Your home doesn’t need to follow the neoclassical architecture to be decorated in neoclassical décor. Adding just a few elements can instantly add a touch of neoclassicism. Instead of the clean straight furniture that are so popular, go for the heavy wooden furniture with a lot of carvings.  According to interior designer Suman Karmacharya, while selecting furniture it is important to make sure that it has natural polish that enhances the grains in the wood. Zuna adds that a touch of gold or gilt rather, in technical terms, is also something to look out for, since it adds a level of luxury and elegance.  The furniture’s form in neoclassical style is the most important factor; it should be ornate but should have more tidy lines and less curves and swirls. The furniture can have tapered, fluted or reeded legs with gilt accents and scrolls, medallions, rosette and lyre designs. The ornate detailing in such furniture should come from delicate paintings and carvings. If you are looking for popular pieces of furniture based on neoclassical design, think of chaise lounge (made famous by the depiction of Cleopatra lounging it), foot stools, fire screens, sofas, chairs and bookcases. 

Like the furniture, this design also has a particular type of fabric that is used frequently. Suman suggests using thick, heavy fabrics. The upholstery can be either dark or light in color. The darker colored upholstery uses rich and muted colors with no patterns whereas the lighter colored upholstery can have a bit of pattern according to Suman. For curtains, Zuna recommends long, heavy curtains that are dark in color with a lot of drapes.  

Another element of this design scheme is the lighting. Instead of stark bluish tinted white light that is popular currently, Zuna Bhattrai recommends lights with a warm tone (lights with a yellow tint). If you have the space then a chandelier will also be appropriate in a neoclassical décor. 

If you would rather just add touches of this design instead of having a whole room or house devoted to it, here are some simple things that you could add.

  • Use a trim to frame doors and windows
  • Have a crown molding around the top of the walls with neoclassical design elements like garlands and acanthus leaves.
  • Add the famous Doric (column with no carvings on top), iconic (column with scroll ornaments on top) or Corinthian style columns (columns with lavish and ornate carvings on top, mostly depicting leaves and flowers).
  • Though this design can easily add a much needed sophistication to any room, it is very easy to go overboard and miss the mark of the grand and jump into the gaudy instead. 

If you get a chance to visit ICIMOD then make sure you take a picture or two if you are really interested in Neoclassical design. Or if you don’t want to go that far, visit Kaiser Mahal - another example of neoclassical architecture. But if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home then just Google Lincoln Memorial, that’s a good example. 

Though it began in Britain and France during the 1750s, neoclassical design and décor was in fact influenced by classical ancient Greek and Roman architecture and décor. This style in known for its elegance, opulence and romantic atmosphere while giving the house a dose of European aura. If you look closely at the buildings following this design scheme, they will have some things in common, namely the white walls, numerous pillars, grand hall and marbled floors.  As for décor, according to interior designer Zuna Bhattarai, think of “classical design with a touch of the modern.” 

Your home doesn’t need to follow the neoclassical architecture to be decorated in neoclassical décor. Adding just a few elements can instantly add a touch of neoclassicism. Instead of the clean straight furniture that are so popular, go for the heavy wooden furniture with a lot of carvings.  According to interior designer Suman Karmacharya, while selecting furniture it is important to make sure that it has natural polish that enhances the grains in the wood. Zuna adds that a touch of gold or gilt rather, in technical terms, is also something to look out for, since it adds a level of luxury and elegance.  The furniture’s form in neoclassical style is the most important factor; it should be ornate but should have more tidy lines and less curves and swirls. The furniture can have tapered, fluted or reeded legs with gilt accents and scrolls, medallions, rosette and lyre designs. The ornate detailing in such furniture should come from delicate paintings and carvings. If you are looking for popular pieces of furniture based on neoclassical design, think of chaise lounge (made famous by the depiction of Cleopatra lounging it), foot stools, fire screens, sofas, chairs and bookcases. 

Like the furniture, this design also has a particular type of fabric that is used frequently. Suman suggests using thick, heavy fabrics. The upholstery can be either dark or light in color. The darker colored upholstery uses rich and muted colors with no patterns whereas the lighter colored upholstery can have a bit of pattern according to Suman. For curtains, Zuna recommends long, heavy curtains that are dark in color with a lot of drapes.  

Another element of this design scheme is the lighting. Instead of stark bluish tinted white light that is popular currently, Zuna Bhattrai recommends lights with a warm tone (lights with a yellow tint). If you have the space then a chandelier will also be appropriate in a neoclassical décor. 

Note:

Though neoclassical style in the international arena mostly means design ideas that are influenced by the classic Greek and Roman architecture, since for them classical design means ancient Greek and Roman architecture. It can be argued that Nepal can also have its own neoclassic style since Neoclassic basically means new classic. The architecture and design elements in the Malla period is considered to be the classic design in Nepal, thus local neoclassic designs would include the Malla period design elements with some modern touches. 

The Rana durbars or the homes made with such influences do not follow neoclassic architecture, but are based on renaissance architectural designs.