The Modern Baroque Home


17th Century homes are hard to come by in the United States. Maybe you can find a reproduction somewhere but an original? No way!

The only way you can experience 17th Century life is to get hired as a reenactor at someplace like Plimoth Plantation.

However, in Europe, it’s not so hard. In fact, when I searched for 17th Century house for sale, just about every listing is in Europe. If you’ve got cash, you can obtain a lovely original 17th Century dwelling, and if you’re lucky, it might even still have a roof, walls, and floors.

Dwelling aside, what your house looks like on the outside, and its actual age, doesn’t dictate what you do on the inside, so why not a modern baroque medley? And what if you don’t like over-the-top fru-fru and decorative fanfare? Can something as ornate as baroque be toned down and still maintain the distinct qualities of the fashion? Does baroque inherently mean moody, heavy, and dark? And, my all time favorite, can one accomplish this on a budget?

House Beautiful’s October issue is all about global inspirations for decor. With no actual theme other than all the homes are on planet Earth, it’s almost overwhelming for someone with interior design ADHD like myself. But, upon closer inspection, all the homes show how you can really put whatever you want in your home and mix things up in unexpected ways, even if the inspirations/sources are countries thousands of miles apart. Of course, it helps to be a professional. If you look at 1,000 chairs a day, you’re bound to pick one that’s a winner.

I normally steer clear of magazines where the houses featured are bigger than my entire block but I needed cash back for the Pumpkin’s lunch money and it’s cheaper than paying ATM fees. And, sure enough, true to form, the articles featured one big house after another. But, the representative from France isn’t just any old big house, it’s a very old big house. Specifically, it’s a 16th Century old big house. Ah, joy!

Even though I am not a presumably wealthy, world-renown conductor who lives in France in a 500 year-old house, I see lessons about how to bring old into one’s modern life that are doable.

To explain how, evolved into quite a long post in-and-of itself, so onward to “Baroque, 19th Century Row House Style.”


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