For savvy home decorators, an ultra-polished, well-coordinated home doesn’t always entail choosing happy pastels or soft textures and creating a warm, fuzzy feeling. Style can come from a range of perspectives.

Inspired by all the Halloween fun, Treetopia is going bold with one design aesthetic typically associated with the grim and haunting: Gothic. We’re blending striking colors of black and purple (or shades of it), ornate lines, and various textures to transform a style once seen by some as gaudy into something oh-so gorgeous.

A Gothic-inspired entrance that features pointed archways
By Austin Architects & Designers Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Modern Gothic: Matching Soft Textures with Bold Lines and Colors

Traditionally, the Gothic look uses lavish windows and entryways, ribbed vaults, and pointed arches. Thinking spooky mansion? Not at all.

Given their enormity, however, these architectural marvels often come across as ostentatious. But if you look closely at the uniqueness of the detailing, the Gothic aesthetic can be ultra elegant. The lines showcase tracery (decorative ribbing). Other times, they simply create sleek contours punctuated with sharp points, such as those seen in cathedral windows or castle corridors.

In a contemporary setting, these elaborate designs maintain their scale, but the detailing is a little tempered. Not a lot of drama goes on. The archways in this modern living room, for instance, have a smooth frame that still serves as a chic entrance.

A Gothic-inspired living room featuring a burgundy velvet chaise
By San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Lizette Marie Interior Design

The focal point of this room is undoubtedly the gorgeous burgundy velvet chaise. A plush factor, as we at Treetopia like to say.

The color and form of the chaise mimic Gothic furniture pieces of old. But with that surprising plushness, the pieces no longer hearken back to the times when Goth was all about grotesque Addams family-inspired wingback chairs or dark wood furniture that were a pain to sit on. That’s certainly one period of design history most interior decorators would prefer to stay buried in the past!

The soft texture of the chaise is an unexpected touch that contrasts well against the rigid lines of the bold black ladder and the bookshelves on the side. All in all, the furniture pieces veer away from the spooky and welcome a bit of Gothic glamour.

Modern Gothic: Blocks of Color, Ornate Patterns, and Animal Prints

Love elaborate Gothic patterns but hate their deathly overtones? Forget those haunting images of skulls and bones. Instead, consider the quatrefoil when going for Gothic elegance.

The quatrefoil is perhaps one of the most well known patterns of tracery to have emerged from Gothic art and architecture. It showcases four half circles overlapping and forming almost a clover shape. Take that signature pattern and turn it into a statement. In this example of a Gothic chic walk-in closet, the quatrefoil is used in outlining the backrest of the chair. The colors are, however, limited to just black and white with a bluish pattern – muted deliberately in order to draw attention to the outline even more.

A Gothic-inspired walk-in closet featuring subtle patterns of tracery

How else is the room hauntingly gorgeous? Look closely at the patterns on the lavender ceiling; at the intricate detailing on the border of the mirror and the legs of the table; at the scrolls on the carpet. All the ornate patterns have an almost subliminal feel – they are hidden using subtle colors in order not to come across as gaudy. In reality, these are inspired by Gothic tracery.

A Gothic-inspired bathroom featuring a black crystal chandelier, a purple accent wall and an animal-printed bath tub
By Miami Kitchen & Bath Fixtures PSCBATH

At the far end of the spectrum of Gothic glam is the use of striking colors not to mute but to amp up lavish detailing even more. In the bathroom above, the color palette uses the two principal colors we started out with: black and purple. White is simply an accent. The exquisite black crystal chandelier is screaming for attention, and it works well against the accent wall painted in solid purple. But those two aren’t the only surprise elements here. The Gothic takes a primal turn by featuring a fierce animal-printed bath tub in a sort of yin-and-yang relationship with the chandelier.

If there is one thing these designs teach us, it is that Gothic is for the unapologetic.

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