NEOCLASSIC – Louis XVI Style  

Louis XVI ruled France in the Late Eighteenth Century. His name is associated with the Neoclassical style. As seen in Images 1 & 2, this style is characterized by the use of:


  • classical elements, such the dentils crown moulding and symmetry;
  • rectangular wood wall panels;
  • lesser ornamentation than previous styles;
  • classical motifs placed in a orderly fashion;
  • patterned wood flooring.
  • rugs to define areas within a room;
  • plain or painted sky ceiling finishes.


This is one of my favorite periods in interior design history. I love the moulding and all the other classical details. The rooms are usually richly decorated but less busy than the previous styles: Baroque and Rococo. Because of its timeless appeal, the Neoclassical style has influenced many contemporary designers around the world as we can see in Images 3 & 4.

Images Credit: Met Museum –

Image 1

Image 2

NEOCLASSICAL STYLE – Influencing Today’s Design

Image 3

Image 4

Many of today’s interior designers, architects, and furniture designers are still inspired by the classical details and restrained look of this period. Images 3 & 4 are from Jorge Elias. He is a Brazilian architect and designer whose works are often inspired by Neoclassical style but have a tropical Brazilian twist.

Elias’ rooms have many of the neoclassical elements commonly found in the Louis XVI period. The use of rectangular wall panels, arches, mouldings, area rugs, symmetrical balance, and plain ceiling finish. However, he introduces elements that have a tropical Brazilian flair like the bold and modern pattern fabric on the accent chairs (Image 4) and the use of landscape windows connecting the vegetation to the interior space. The modern white coffee table in Image 4 also represents the Brazilian flair for contrast between lines (curves vs straight edges) and order. Although these rooms have a traditional look, they are cozy and functional, and are well-suited to the modern living style. 

Images Credit: Casa