Gothic style, initially just a devotional approach to building, has lasted almost a thousand years. Revived several times as a domestic and public style in architecture, the Gothic has also encouraged literary genres, fashion, music, and art and in the late twentieth century, a synthetic lifestyle and design known as "Goth."
The Gothic style was primarily ecclesiastical, and was a symbol of the triumph of the Catholic Church in Europe. At a time when people mostly had the humblest possible wattle-and-daub or turf cottages, churches sported pinnacles, arches, vaults, elaborate sculptures and colored stained-glass windows.
Medieval builder's unearthed new techniques to support the weight of soaring churches: buttresses and piers, structurally integrated arches, and ribbed vaulting overtook the load of the buildings of their walls. The resultant thinner walls were able to contain large areas of glass - stained, leaded, decorated with marble ribbing called tracery.
Now churches, that for the period of the Romanesque time had been huge, gloomy affairs, were fraught with air and light. Plentifully carved spires of the cathedral soared ever higher, conveying the medieval faith in the divinity of earthly creation.
In North America and Europe between 1840 and 1870, historically precise Neo-Gothic churches, colleges, government buildings, and ultimately personal homes were built. These magnificent houses are made of stone featured pointed or quatrefoil windows with leaded glass, decorative tracery, and even gargoyles, battlements and pinnacles. In America, where wood was cheaper, a style named "Carpenter Gothic" developed, distinguished by plenty of elaborate timber gingerbread trim.
In designing your personal Gothic house, begin with architectural element: ogee or pointed arches, exposed wooden beams, tracery, stained leaded or glass windows in complex rose or trefoil designs. But even if you are starting with a contemporary interior, you can still produce a mystical and imposing Gothic style in your environment with surface detail, furniture, color and mosaics in design.
Floor should be stone - dark wood or large flagstones are best. Colors ought to be dark, rich and dramatic: black, purple, gold, and ruby, ochre, forest green will do. Decorative prints on the walls - trompe-l'oeil architectural features, scenic murals, or heraldic designs - may add a medieval performance to an entryway or dining room.
Victorian Gothic style furniture might be used, which makes things easier, but any immense oak furniture, either ornamented with Gothic shapes or rustically simple, will do. Cabinets, chairs and bed frames can feature spiral turnings, arches, rich upholstery and carved trefoils. Trestle tables with harmonizing benches create an ascetic flavor. Even storage benches and built-in cupboards of Arts-and-Crafts era will work because that stream borrowed a lot of decorative patterns from Medieval Art.
Wall drapery is essential. Stained glass, certainly, is pure Gothic style. Wrought iron, pewter, and myriad candles are the crucial Gothic accents.