Period Designs: Gothic; in Part Two of Our Ongoing Style Series, Interior Designer Andy Bradshaw Explores the Gothic Period
Although Gothic was first seen as an architectural style throughout the Middle Ages, it's the revival during the mid 19th century that is probably the most familiar.
The revival was a reaction by the Victorians against the classical styles of the Georgian and Regency era that had preceded it.
A nouveau riche generation was born from the new industrialisation, and they wanted something that would demonstrate this new-found wealth and give them a feeling of grandeur and importance.
Highly decorated with images taken from medieval and ecclesiastical architecture, the Gothic style embraced the ideals of chivalry and romanticism.
Influential figures of this time include Sir Walter Scott, whose prolific work included Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, John Ruskin, the art critic and writer, and, of course, closer to home William Burgess, whose wonderful legacy of Cardiff Castle, with its rich colours and ornamentation, and Castell Coch, has delighted many visitors to the city.
Get the look
One of the most repeated forms to give instant effect is the Gothic arch. Use it in alcoves to create decorative niches.
If you are lucky enough to have exposed beams then you are half way there. The Victorians were happy to add faux beams to create the look, although I do feel that you can end up with a look that smacks of ye olde bogus inn.
Colours were rich, so look for accents in deep greens and reds. Good choices are the Little Greene Paint Company's Olive colour and Bronze Red contrasted with Orchard Pink and Sienna Earth from Fired Earth. Keep the rest of the colour fairly neutral to emulate stone. Splashes of gold are a must but these can be added through candlesticks or other ornamentation.
Wallpaper is also a great way to get the look.
Cole and Son has been making wallpaper since 1873 and has the original blocks for many papers of this period. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has also launched a range for Graham and Brown inspired by this period - use sparingly.
If your room will take a fireplace then go large.
Chesney is the top dog in this field, although many of the DIY stores now offer pretty good, and perhaps more affordable, copies.
Flooring should be hard, preferably flagstones, so it's possibly a good idea to invest in some under floor heating. Pale stone that has a worn and weathered look or, alternatively, stain floorboards in a dark finish or lay laminate in dark oak. …