Despite being 20-plus years into the 21st century, we're seeing a major resurgence in ancient Greek-inspired decor. In fact, according to Pinterest's 2022 trend report, searches for Greek statue art, Corinthian columns, ancient Greece aesthetic are majorly on the rise.
"Whether a simple meander, an acanthus leaf, or a Corinthian column, ancient Greek motifs continue to show up in modern day design," designer Elizabeth Benedict shares.
If you love the look and are searching for some simple ways to incorporate ancient Greek decor into your own space, we've got you covered. Read on for six designer-approved tips that will help you transform your home in no time.
MEET THE EXPERT
- Elizabeth Benedict is a designer and the owner of Elizabeth Home, a design store in Boston.
- Emilie Munroe is the founder of San Francisco design firm Studio Munroe.
- Georgia Zikas is the founder and principal designer at Georgia Zikas Design.
1. Break Out a Bust Sculpture
If you've only ever seen a bust sculpture at a museum, you may find this trend a bit perplexing, but displaying Greek busts on bookshelves, console tables, dressers—really anywhere—is ultra popular in the design world. And don't worry, you don't need art collector's budget to get your hands on a chic bust sculpture or two; they've become ultra accessible and are sold at a wide range of prices. While these figures are quintessentially Greek, they're now available at a number of retailers, including big box home stores and antique shops alike. If you have a green thumb, you may even wish to purchase a Greek bust-shaped planter, like the one pictured below in a space designed by Emilie Munroe. Such an arrangement may allow a Greek-inspired space to look more contemporary, too. "A great way to modernize the look of a traditional Greek item is by seeing a version with unexpected functionality," Munroe explains. "This traditional bust takes on a fresh and contemporary feel when it is utilized as a vase for a sculptural flower arrangement. New world and old world collide!"
2. Consider Architectural Details
You can most definitely introduce Greek design into your home without going full-on historic, we promise. This means saying yes to arches, for one, designer Georgia Zikas says. "Ancient Greek design doesn't have to be so on the nose. You can create a similar feel through subtle architectural details and color, without the room feeling too literal." In the home above, Zikas incorporated Greek key print, shades of calming blue that remind you of the ocean, and yes, arches. "The arches you see here also adds that Greek, more classical element to the room given that arches were—and continue to be—such a huge architectural detail throughout Greece and Europe," she explains.
3. Display Some Vessels
"Anything that brings in culture or history is very in demand right now. We get many requests from clients for pieces that tell a 'story,' designer Eilyn Jimenez says, citing vessels in particular. "We see pieces like these being used in areas with layered accessories to add height and to bring some old-world feel to modern spaces."
The great news is that such vessels look stunning no matter where they're placed throughout the home. "When oversized, amphora vessels look amazing on their own, on either a side table or dining table," Jimenez adds. "They are great for displaying flowers and greenery. On a smaller scale, the vessels look wonderful on bookcases when layered with other items. These pieces are very versatile items and can easily be incorporated into any space."
4. Incorporate Columns
Take a cue from the Parthenon and other famous Greek buildings. Columns are an extremely important feature in Greek architecture, and you can bring them into your home, too. "Local garden centers are a great place to find fragmented pieces of Greek style columns to set in a lucite stand," shares designer Gray Walker. Greek style columns are also available for purchase online and can double as sculptural artwork or function as plant stands.
5. Decorate With Greek Key Print
Greek key print, which we highlighted briefly above, can be used in all sorts of ways—you can choose to incorporate curtains bearing the pattern, as seen in the space by Walker above, who believes the design adds "a classic, modern vibe." Alternatively, opt for a bronze coffee table with a Greek key motif around the edges.
6. Keep it Simple
There's no need to go overboard when filling up your ancient Greek-inspired space. After all, Walker notes, "Classic Greek style is not over decorated, incorporating soft lines and elegant curves. The simplistic approach the Greeks took towards furniture design blends effortlessly with modern interiors."