Medieval Apartment Décor

castle decor

Medieval décor can be understood in two connotations. On the one hand you have the fairy tale perception, of towering turrets and heroic knights saving damsels in distress. On the other hand, you have the stark reality of a war torn age, devoted to the church, and tyranny. Any understanding of medieval design has to accommodate one of these two visions or it will become muddled.

A Fairy Tale Age

The perception of the Medieval period as a golden age of chivalry and honor is popular amongst children, but can also be used to add a sense of whimsical delight to a space.

The colors which dominate this style are rich pastels, such as lavender, and sage, which tend to contrast with one another in intricate patterns. Crimson is a bit deeper, but can also be used throughout the space to give immediacy and excitement to an otherwise wispy color scheme.

Imaginative decorative pieces can be found at any local Renaissance Faire, and often also in new age shops. These can include gargoyle statues, intricate incense stands, crystal balls, as well as shields and tapestries rich with colorful emblazoned crests. If you are decorating a child’s room you can feel free to go right over the top populating the space with puppets and strange stuffed animal creatures.

A fantasy décor also lets you invest in the most elaborate display weapons you can find. Huge double handled swords that could never have been used in battle, axes and maces designed after your favorite literary character, even ninja stars and knives from science fiction shows can all be hung on walls or placed in a variety of display cases.

The Real Medieval Decor

In reality the Middle Ages were more about violence than magic. It is a period marked by large, towering structures. This is due partially to the fact that architecture evolved during this time to help in the construction of enormous castles. These castles were intended to defend against enemies, but were also made to be impressively large, so that enemies would be afraid to even try an attack.

This trait of building things on a grand scale was almost immediately adopted by the Church, which also had a Roman tradition of grandiose monuments. It is in the construction of huge, towering Churches which reached up to the heavens themselves, that we see the beginning of the Gothic age of architecture.

Subsequently, medieval design is marked by large objects, often built using stark natural materials, such as concrete, or hardwood. The arch is also very popular as it both provided increased strength for heavy structures, and also served as a symbol of reaching for the heavens.

Medieval interior decoration is marked by a contrast of deep colors and rich textures. Crimson, gold, and puce are some of the common tones which mix together to form powerful contrasting patterns.

Furnishings from the middle ages were strong, durable, and usually made from rough unfinished materials. There was an emphasis on powerful pieces which could stand up to the most severe of treatment. In general, these pieces are unadorned and not overly elaborate, although some carving work can be done on higher end items.

One place where medieval artisans excelled was in the creation of elaborate tapestries. The artwork of the middle ages has a very distinct style, and features two dimensional characters set in sizes proportionate not to reality, but to their importance in the world. It is rather easy to find reproduction tapestries at Renaissance Faire’s, and on the web.


The concept of medieval design has different meanings to different people. While engaging in a fully twelfth century decorative style may be a bit over the top, drawing elements from the various characteristics of the age allows you to add a bit of severe power to your space.

Leave a Reply