Neoclassic Interior Design Style and What You Can Learn From It

Neoclassicism often sounds too complicated and people are worried while imagining what this style is about. However, we understand what is so amazing and special about neoclassicism and how it differs from the classics – and we are ready to tell you everything you need to know!

Neoclassicism in the interior is an ideal choice for those who prefer a solid setting, but do not want to be constrained by the frames of the classical direction. This style is much more flexible – but not simplistic, laconic – but not minimalistic, relevant – but not subject to momentary trends.

Our mini-guide contains the pros and cons of neoclassical style, its main features and key differences from the classics.

Neoclassical style in the interior: 8 features

  1. Restrained colors. To decorate an apartment in the neoclassical style, different shades can be used, for example:

    neutral – beige, light brown, milky, white;

    dark, saturated – dark brown, dark gray, wine, black;

    pastel – apricot, dusty pink, pale lilac;

    complex, expressive – terracotta, mint, mustard, purple.

The main condition is restraint, unobtrusiveness of the scale. In such a space, there is no place for excessively bright, flashy colors.

Another rule is harmony and compatibility of shades. This is definitely not the style where you should use bold, harsh, questionable, non-standard color combinations.

  1. Natural materials (or quality imitations). As for classical furnishings, natural materials are important for neoclassicism: wood, stone, natural textiles, ceramics, metal, glass and crystal are appropriate. But, unlike the classics, skillful imitations are also permissible: for example, porcelain stoneware imitating natural marble or high-quality textured laminate imitating wood.
  2. Noble forms. Furnishings can be close to the classic mood, or they can be slightly more restrained or even tend to the laconicism of minimalism. But bold experiments with furniture silhouettes are definitely not to be found: this style presupposes noble forms. This is why you can find impressive items in this style in
  3. Classical techniques of composition. The symmetry in the arrangement of furniture and the arrangement of the decor, which is obligatory for the classics, is also characteristic of neoclassical spaces. Sparseness, proportionality are also appropriate in this style. But the static is no longer so important: you can let some dynamics into the situation.
  4. Restraint of patterns. If desired, in a neoclassical setting, you can use traditional and classic patterns. But this stylistic direction still tends more towards moderation, so plain textured fabrics and unobtrusive patterns will be more appropriate.
  5. A lot of “air.” Of course, neoclassical style does not imply as much free space as minimalism. And yet, it does not accept cluttered space. Ergonomics and “air” are important components of such an environment. The ideal here includes high ceilings, bulky items, moderate decor and the sparseness of furniture already mentioned above.

But in conditions of limited space, it will be enough to rely on more compact furniture, abandon the unnecessary and make sure that nothing interferes with free movement around the apartment. Obviously, stumbling over coffee tables and squeezing between the wall and the bed is not about neoclassicism.

7. Moderation of decor. Pretentiousness and excesses are not typical for this style, as well as a complete rejection of decor. It is much better characterized by the word “moderation.”

Despite certain restrictions (old road signs, abstract objects, philosophical sayings or children’s drawings on the walls should definitely not be hung), there are many options to add comfort to the space:

    the neoclassical style in the interior of the apartment can be supported by photos in retro style, paintings on the walls, stylized posters, mirrors;

    vases, boxes, candlesticks can stand on bedside tables and side tables;

    lamps can be made both in the classical style and in a more concise one;

    textiles give the widest scope for decor: carpets, curtains, decorative pillows, blankets – all this is appropriate;

if modern furniture and decor are able to neatly fit into the general mood of moderate brevity, intertwined with classic sophistication, it will also find a place in the neoclassical interior. For example, it is really possible to use Cameroon hats, mirrored furniture, topical metal Scandinavian accessories in gold, copper, brass.

  1. Adequate, varied lighting. Lighting is even easier: ample natural light and versatile artificial lighting are all this style needs. Sconces, floor lamps, multi-track ceiling lamps will be especially appropriate – as a tribute to the classic origins of the stylistic direction

How is neoclassicism different from the classics?

The neoclassical style took all the best from the classics: nobility, solidity, elegance of forms, natural materials and an unobtrusive natural palette. But at the same time, it remained open to current trends: the desire for laconic furnishings and ergonomic space. Such interiors are more flexible to deviations from the classical canons, they look more modern and appropriate in typical apartments.

If the classics are characterized by static, then in neoclassics there is a place for some dynamics. Moreover, such interiors may well do without classic patterns and color schemes.

Pros and cons of the stylistic direction

It may seem that neoclassicism is almost the ideal choice, but it has not only advantages but also disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look below.


  1. Solidity. Neoclassicism looks status, solid, respectable.
  2. Modernity. The style is not only relevant timelessly, but also echoes all modern trends: it has laconic luxury, and attention to detail, and obvious references to the classics, and a natural palette, and natural materials.
  3. Orderliness. Neoclassical interiors are clear, orderly, they are devoid of visual noise and clutter.
  4. There is no excessive restraint. At the same time, you are not required to minimize the number of storage systems or abandon comfortable classic sofas and chairs – there is no constraint in this style.
  5. Visual space. This direction always requires “air”, a certain rarefaction in the environment. Visually, this technique makes not even the largest apartment much more spacious.
  6. Flexibility. The furnishings can be taken a little more into the classics, or you can choose a more modern option – on the verge of contemporary or modern.
  7. Loyalty to imitations. Unlike the classics, neoclassical interiors will tolerate high-quality imitations of natural materials, and stylized photos and posters instead of paintings, and small additions of other styles (say, minimalism, country or even a loft).
  8. Lack of reference to the type of housing. If it is a little strange to get from the entrance of a typical urban high-rise building into a classical apartment, and there is a feeling of inappropriateness, then in the case of neoclassicism there is no such dissonance. This direction is equally suitable for the design of country residences, and for housing in a big city.


  1. Complexity. Despite its seeming simplicity, it is not so easy to create a decent neoclassical interior. It is important to subtly feel the boundaries of style so as not to go into the classics – but also not to get carried away with simplifying and modernizing the environment.
  2. Specificity. Not everyone likes the solidity and regularity of this direction: someone may be closer to the spontaneity of the Scandinavian style or the cozy charm of Provance.
  3. High costs. Even despite the fact that this style is not as demanding on the selection of materials as the classics, such an interior is still far from being a budget choice.
  4. Necessary space. The style does not tolerate crampedness and clutter, and for a sense of spaciousness, a sufficient number of square feet and a competent storage organization are required.

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