Empire style in the interior - a luxury worthy of an emperor

Empire style in the interior is often called a palace or imperial. The main distinguishing feature of this trend is pomp, luxury and triumphal triumph of the monarchy. Empire is designed to emphasize the status of the owner and impress guests with grandeur. The halls of French and Russian palaces are decorated in this style. However, the empire originates in ancient Rome.

Empire style light room decor

Empire style in room interior

beautiful design of an empire style apartment

Empire style room design

Empire style bright interior

Modern apartment design in Empire style

Origins of style

It was in the Roman passion for monumentality, the perpetuation of the triumph of the great empire, the creators of the French Empire took their inspiration. By order of Napoleon Bonaparte they had to make a kind of revolution in the interior. Strict features of classicism faded into the background. Now every detail in the decoration of the halls was to emphasize the importance of the supreme power and power of the emperor.

The creation of rooms in the Empire style worked, and the outstanding painters of that time and architects. Even the furniture in the Tuileries Castle and the Louvre itself during the reign of Bonaparte were made according to special designs designed in the Empire style.

Certain changes appeared in the Empire style after going to Egypt. In this hot country, the French Empire inherited a craving for lion heads and legs, which skillfully combined with classical Roman columns. Most of all, this feature was tested on furniture. But despite the foreign borrowing of new symbols of power (and, in some cases, thanks to them), the empire in the interior has special distinctive features.

original interior of the Empire style bedroom

Empire style in the interior

unusual decor of an empire style apartment

Empire Style Design Idea

Main features

The neoclassicism with its thirst for its monumentality and massiveness of objects became the basic platform for creating magnificent interiors in the Empire style. But unlike classical straight-line forms, the empire looks more impressive thanks to the sphinxes, bas-reliefs and ornaments of a triumphal military theme.

Among the hallmarks of the Empire style:

  • all design elements should ideally be combined with the general direction and emphasize the majesty of the style;
  • Empire style in the interior involves the presence of exquisite elements that meet the rules of symmetry;
  • the revitalization of space with the help of a large number of decorative elements made in the style of the ancient Egyptian kingdom, the era of the Roman heyday and the period of the Greek rise of culture is welcomed;
  • premises decorated in the Empire style must be decorated with emblems and symbols of military triumph;
  • a distinctive feature is the presence of consoles, pilasters and columns;
  • high canopies and heavy curtains made of expensive fabrics;
  • Since Bonaparte’s time, special attention has been paid to furniture (in the Empire style, massive headsets with exquisite carvings and unique shapes made of expensive wood).

But, the main requirement that must be observed, giving preference to the Empire style, is the space, which is the main distinguishing feature of the Empire style in the interior. The rooms should be visually voluminous, high ceilings, large windows. Well, of course, you should pay special attention to color.

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Empire style in room interior

bright Empire style bedroom design

Empire style room design

beautiful interior in the Empire style apartment

Modern apartment design in Empire style

It's all about color

Empire is, first of all, a luxury. Therefore, colors in this style need rich, vibrant, but at the same time calm and proud. The classics of the genre are golden. This is a symbol of power and wealth, therefore, as a decor, you can feel free to use gold finishes.

As the base colors in the Empire style, it is best to choose noble, rich colors: blood red, deep blue, sky blue or white. However, using color combinations is neat. In order to not get the avant-garde instead of the empire style, you need to maintain the premises in a certain color scheme, avoiding tricolors. Walls floor and ceiling should be in harmony with each other.

Features of the Empire style in the interior

In the Empire style, walls play an important role. They occupy the lion's share of the space of the room and capture their eyes at the entrance. Therefore, silk or brocade fabrics are most often used as wall decoration.

unusual interior in the Empire style living room

Empire style in the interior

light Empire style bedroom design

Empire Style Design Idea


Given the progress in modern interiors, expensive fabrics can be replaced with textured coatings that mimic woven materials. Wallpaper decorated with African motifs or military-inspired symbols will look best. If you want to create a more rigorous atmosphere, you can use texture coatings for walls with a simple, monosyllabic ornament.

Also, walls, decorating premises in the Empire style, as a rule, are decorated with blank arcades, Roman columns, medallions, frescoes and bas-reliefs. Artistic decor elements decorating the walls must certainly intersect with the military theme. Mandatory attribute are large mirrors.

unusual decor in an empire style room

Empire style in room interior

bright design of an empire style apartment

Empire style room design

Empire style beautiful living room interior

Modern apartment design in Empire style


The ceiling is no less important. For its design, you also need to use only natural and expensive elements. Strictly in the center you need to place a large crystal chandelier. Around the main part, the ceiling is decorated with gilded stucco. Kohler, most often, is white, but it is possible to allow liberty, to use materials of milk or light beige color for painting.


If we are talking about the Empire style, then the choice of flooring is not too large. You can use either mahogany parquet or marble mosaic, with motifs from Greek or Roman artwork.


Windows, depending on the purpose of the room, can be decorated with silk curtains or multilayer heavy fabrics with fringe. The color palette of the curtains should be designed in the style of the imperial palaces - purple, red base with gold embossing and bordering.

original decor of the empire style room

Empire style in the interior

unusual interior in the Empire style bedroom

Empire Style Design Idea


Empire-style furniture is heavy objects made of mahogany, decorated with carvings and gilding. The surface of the furniture in the interior of the Empire style is always smoothly polished, the legs are most often made like the legs of a lion, Egyptian sphinxes or Roman columns. Choosing furniture for a modern living room, it is best to give preference to antique samples.

The rooms decorated in the imperial style will perfectly complement the old dressers, sideboards, round tables, elegant couches with soft forms. By the way, the Empire gained smooth features after adapting to the Russian public. The French, called up by the nobility, designed the estates of the nobles, softening the military-triumphal forms of the French style.

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Empire style in room interior

beautiful design of the empire style living room

Empire style room design

bright room decor in empire style

Modern apartment design in Empire style

Russian Empire

For a long time, it was forbidden to import furniture purchased in France into Russia. But the "catalogs" with sketches of French architects still get into the country, which makes it possible to make headsets in accordance with new fashion trends.

Furniture in Russian rooms is made not only of mahogany, but also of rosewood or Karelian birch wood. Ash, walnut or linden were allowed in the province. Its forms come out softer, and the effect of “monumentality” disappears. At the same time, the furniture of the capital's salons is most consistent with the French standards of the Empire style, but as you move away from the center, the shapes of the headsets become homely soft and comfortable, lose their formality and pomposity - a mandatory attribute of the Empire style.

Furniture was decorated with gilded overlays, mosaics, upholstered with silk and velvet. Provincial headsets were dispensed with thread and calico upholstery.

original design of the Empire style bedroom

Empire style in the interior

beautiful decor of the Empire style apartment

Empire Style Design Idea

Living room a la Versailles

Most often, design decisions in the "royal" style are used in the design of living rooms. Depending on the size of the room, you can use a full set of decorative tools or use the basic elements of decor.

In houses with a spacious living room, you can divide the room into zones using Roman columns. But apartments that do not differ in large areas, it is better not to load decorative means, so as not to cause a sense of clutter.

Empire style living room furniture should be voluminous, heavy and comfortable. Cheap headsets and fabrics should be avoided. The imperial style obliges to maintain status and nobility in everything, including materials. However, today it is possible to use analogues that mimic expensive wood and fabrics, but you need to choose them with great care, because such products can quickly lose their representative appearance.

unusual design of an empire style room

Empire style in room interior

Empire style bright interior

Empire style room design

bright empire style room design

Modern apartment design in Empire style

You can complement the interior of the living room with ottomans. The color of the upholstery should be saturated: red, emerald, chocolate. In some cases, black is allowed.

Not be out of place will be a wooden bookcase, an elegant round coffee table. The decorative elements on the furniture should correspond to the general style. Embossed gilded overlays are welcome. Empire, with all its splendor, will fit perfectly into a large country house, but it will look no less impressive in an ordinary apartment. At the same time, the correctly planned arrangement of the individual elements will make the space of the rooms lighter, airier.

Principles of Perfect Design

The following tips will help you create royal chic within your city apartment.

  • The design of royal castles is characterized by order and harmony. All elements must be symmetrical.
  • Decor elements must belong to past centuries and extol the greatness of the owner (for example, you can use stucco molding in the form of crossed swords or fragments of the family coat of arms).
  • Gilding will give a higher status to the owner.
  • Empire can be used for the design of everyday premises, choosing softer tones and using less decorative elements.
  • The classic color combinations in the imperial style are white-blue, brown-white, red-brown, blue-white.
  • Mandatory the presence of large mirrors.
  • For guest rooms, it is better to use more saturated and contrasting color combinations; in living rooms, on the contrary, you need to reduce the contrast.

And, of course, any interior will not look complete without decor elements.

light bedroom interior in Empire style

Empire style in the interior

unusual design of an empire style apartment

Empire Style Design Idea

Focus on details

As mentioned above, you need to decorate the rooms with expensive materials - crystal, marble, gold (less commonly silver), bronze, ebony or mahogany, silk, etc. But in order to withstand the style features, details must not be clearly chosen.

A good solution would be:

  • bronze figurines of military subjects (torches, swords, spears, etc.);
  • handmade carpets and tapestries;
  • paintings in massive gilded frames;
  • figurines and elements in the form of pyramids, sphinxes;
  • skins of various animals;
  • large antique grandfather clock;
  • crystal volumetric chandeliers, candelabra and other lamps;
  • painted vases;
  • chests and caskets of light marble;
  • porcelain and silver cutlery.

Empire is a style invented for the emperor and for a long time remained the prerogative of royal palaces. However, you can feel like a persona non grata within a city apartment. The main thing is to choose the right parts and plan in advance all the nuances in the interior.

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