Romanian Inspired Interior Design

Romanians have a wealth of cultural history from which to draw when it comes to interior design and style. Today the country remains a land of contrasts, with sleepy traditional villages in the countryside unchanged for centuries, and edgy contemporary cities such as Bucharest that are buzzing with attitude. Those who like to combine traditional and modernist ideas in their homes will find plenty to smile about in Romanian interiors.
When putting together a Romanian inspired scheme in the home, there are plenty of influences to draw upon. Here are some of the key areas worth considering:

Traditional folklore motifs

Folklore and tradition have a strong presence in Romanian life, even today, so inject an authentic flavour into a room by including distinctive motifs from traditional crafts. Painted eggs, hand-woven textiles and embroideries introduce vivid colours and warmth into a room and work well as accents without being overpowering. Too many crafty wares will appear twee, but combined cleverly with modern pieces they can look super stylish.

Ornate wooden furnishings

Carved wooden furniture is a signature look in traditional Romanian homes. Look out for naïve, rustic examples in heavy styles to achieve the right tone. Chests and cupboards with intricate carvings and patterns such as rope details, stars, moon and even wolf teeth motifs will give an unmistakable stamp of authenticity. Eating together and entertaining is a national passion in Romania. When all the family and friends are invited around to sample traditional dishes such as Ciorbă (sour soup) and Pârjoale (meatballs) it is a good idea to have extending dining tables so everyone can be seated comfortably. Wooden tables adorned with brightly coloured woven linen and napkins in traditional designs create a homely feel and contrast beautifully with solid dark furnishings.

Bright colours

The love affair with jewel colours has been going on for a long time in Romania. Historic textiles vary in colour depending on the region they come from. Expect to see fabulous examples in deep reds, famous Voronet blue, golds, greens and oranges. In contemporary monochrome schemes try using the distinctive Sibiu textile design that is of Saxon origin – its smart black and white pattern is historic, but looks sharp in modern settings.

Hand woven kilims

These beautiful handmade flat weave rugs look fantastic at floor level or used as wall hangings. The designs are often geometric and abstract, or of leaves and bird motifs - they can have a deceptively contemporary feel, even though they are taken from ancient patterns.

Blend ancient and modern

Close the divide between rustic tradition in the rural backwaters and modernist innovation in the cities by blending sharp, architectural pieces with softer, naïve accessories. Although the folklore of Romania remains ever present in the cultural identity of the country, nods to modernism are everywhere. The famous Romanian sculptor, Brancusi, celebrated abstract and contemporary shapes, and art deco and modernist architecture is found all over Bucharest. Today, proposals such as the iconic Dorobanti Tower by architectural superstar Zaha Hadid which would stand tall over the capital, show what a truly cutting-edge place it can be.
Taking style cues from traditional folklore and artisanal motifs in Romanian history makes a great starting point for an interior design project. Using the unique colours and bold and unusual designs to inspire, combine with modern elements to create something truly distinctive and memorable.
photos via corvincristian.com, project.ZULU, pinterest.com/costinm

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