When you hear the term Gothic decor, what comes to mind? For most of us, it’s something along the lines of an all-black, macabre look that comes packed with animal bones, feathers, and various other witchy elements.
The dramatics that come along with gothic or gothcore design instantly add a touch of offbeat opulence and historical relevance to your space. The origins of Gothic design began with dramatic Christian cathedrals and European castles, after all.
Curious to find out more about the bold aesthetic? Below, we’re laying out some of the most elegant and effective ways to give your home that enviable Gothic style—whether you’re decorating an ornate heritage home or a modern condo in the city.
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Consider adding black decorative accents
“It’s very obvious that the primary color used when it comes to gothic decor is black, but this doesn’t mean you need to go all out and decorate your home all black,” says Ryan Jones, Decorator at Land of Rugs. “You can simply add black decorative pieces to add to the look!”
For example, you don’t need to re-carpet your home and go with a black or very dark carpet. You could simply add to the look with a black area rug or other decorative accents.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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Opt for dark furnishing (but don't go too far)
Likewise, you don’t need to paint all the walls in your home black—unless you want to go extremely bold! “You could simply add some black furnishings such as a sofa or coffee table to add to the look,” suggests Jones. “In fact, white walls go great with gothic interior design when paired with black furnishings in the home such as sofas, coffee tables, or dining tables.”Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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Don’t shy away from wallpaper
A removable Gothic Victorian or damask wallpaper is an excellent option if you’re looking to make a bold statement in a smaller space—and can be particularly smart if you’re living in a rental and don’t want to worry about having to fix your walls when you eventually move out.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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Choose dramatic drapery
Looking to take a more cozy approach? Consider laying dramatic drapery that will not only filter out bright light but also offer a bold statement within the room. Choose long and heavy velvet drapery that will comfortably reach the floor and create an elegant ruching effect at the foot of the drape. For an extra touch of drama, consider employing tassels or fringe to add another layer of opulence to the overall look.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Candles to set the mood
No Gothic-inspired space is complete without an ample amount of candles. Not only do they create a warm glow to the space, but they also add another layer of visual interest. Instead of opting exclusively for matching candle jars or candlesticks, mix and match a variety of both sizes to add texture and opulence to the space.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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Consider a chandelier
Candlelight is a great way to set the mood—but a chandelier is the top option for adding Gothic opulence to your space. If you’re working with a smaller space or relatively low ceilings, you don’t have to go for a grand chandelier—even the smallest light fixture with sparkling crystals will do the job.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Recreate lancet windows
Lancet windows are an extremely popular architectural element in Victorian Gothic design, but there are workarounds if your windows are more modern and squared off. You can easily recreate the effect with a modern mirror with a similar vaulted design.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
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Go antiquing for oddities
Here’s where going Gothic gets fun: A common element of Gothic-inspired decor is an abundance of ornate accessories on display—like pottery, stones, feathers, animal bones, and more oddities. Start your collection by going antiquing, foraging your own backyard, or raiding your parents’ attic.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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Incorporate dried flowers and foliage
Like the abundance of tchotchkes and oddities, Gothic-inspired decor is typically plentiful with dried flowers and foliage. However, you’ll want to skip the ornamental grass or carefully arranged bouquets and go for more opulent flowers like bold red roses, lilies, or even artfully arranged branches.Continue to 10 of 11 below.
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Look to the molding
Interesting arcs and crown molding are classic Gothic design—but if you’re dealing with a more modern home, there are certain ways to get that same element of grandeur without doing a full reno. Consider adding an artificial stone wall, a faux fireplace mantle, or castle-inspired wall sconces to add some of that medieval flavor.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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Kitchen Ceiling Tiles
We're often quick to overlook the fourth wall in our living space, but a ceiling treatment can pack a serious punch when it comes to bold style. Antique-inspired tin ceiling titles, in particular, offer a whole new layer of visual interest to your kitchen or dining room space and is much easier than painting or installing ceiling beams, for example. Consider an American tin pattern in a striking metal colorway—like silver or brass—for equally sumptuous and dramatic Gothic feel.