Art of Ancient Rome

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The tendency of the Ancient Romans to the grandeur of the buildings and their facilities, the daring combination and use of architectural elements, the multitude of expensive materials, rich colours and strong contrasts is what makes the Roman art an inspirational starting point in the design of luxurious and grandiose spaces like hotel lobbies, casinos, as well as private villas and their lounges.

Free, wealthy Romans-Patricians, beside great social privileges had also enjoyed special privileges of the everyday life in their rich homes called Domus. Those were, for that time, luxuriously decorated, comfortable houses with many rooms for various purposes, including a bathroom with hot and cold water, libraries, pinacothecas-rooms for storing or displaying pictures. Their style of life, even from today’s perspective, was one of luxury and hedonism

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This tendency toward achieving elegant, sophisticated, luxurious atmosphere in modern design, has been achieved by the use of the ancient Roman art, its architectural elements, furniture, decorations and original ways of organizing and decorating space.

The ambiance of this lounge, inspired by the Roman style, conveys the spirit of the time and tradition, displaying the striking aristocratic charm of the home, its sophistication and elegance.

In the interiors of the ancient Rome, from the humble to the most luxurious ones, the bed was the most important piece of furniture. There were beds of different shapes, each of which had its name and clearly defined purpose: bed for sleeping, bed for eating, bed for resting… They were made of wood, bronze, even silver with a precious decoration of gold, silver, ivory, tortoiseshell … Such bed made with side supports for head and feet was an indispensable part of the Roman interior. Centrally placed, as the axis of symmetry of the entire room, the bed in this salon conveys the importance of this piece of furniture in the interior, as well as in the lives of ancient Romans. While other pieces, although stylistically non-Roman art, by its position and compliance in colour and material with the bed as a main element of furniture, still contribute to the elegance of this room

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Painting the walls with architectural motifs such as doors, windows, pilasters, through which one can see the city or garden, and quite often with the human figures, are all Roman heritage. Wall painted that way, denied itself as a space border, creating the illusion of a larger and more luxurious room. Such a fresco technique found its place in the interior of this salon, relying on motifs and colours of the Roman wall fresco painting. Romans favourite colours were black, red, blue and terracotta.

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In the homes of the Romans, the use of draperies and textiles was very popular. Openings for windows and doors were covered with many different types of fabrics, which prevented the entry of light and cold air in the room. The floors were covered with carpets. The famous, expensive, oriental carpets, in Roman times, as well as nowadays, were the special luxury of each home. With its rich decoration and colours, besides being pleasant and warm floor covering, carpets were a clear indication of the reputation and economic status of the home owner.

in: Architecture Interieure etc, Jean Feray
Napoleon's bedroom, Malmaison

Antique bust on a pedestal, seen in the background, is another one of the decorative elements with which the interior is cleverly rounded in the spirit of the Roman times.

Design and interior decoration in the Roman times was in the service of comfort and cosiness of life. Looking at the remains of the most luxurious Roman domus and villas, organizations and decorations, we gain clues to their life styles and hedonism for which they are famous even today. Skill of transferring that atmosphere onto the present premises is based on the knowledge of the types and forms of the furniture of the time, materials, colours, but also on the skills of architects / designers, who are able to transmit their knowledge and create a completely new, modern and stylish interior

Author:

Miljan Torma