If You Love Drama, You're Going to Lose It Over This Design Trend

Marked by ornate decoration and extravagant details, Baroque architecture proves that being "extra" is definitely a good thing. Begun in late 16th-century Europe and thriving until the 18th century, Baroque art, music, architecture, and design reflect both the richness and the turbulence of the era.

Though most famously tied to Italy (hello, Bernini), it also flourished in countries like England, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain (and their former colonies), with some regional distinctions. Overall, the Baroque period arose out of the violence of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe, which speaks to the emotional motifs and interplay between bleak shadows and light in the structures themselves. That's also why most of the notable examples happen to be Catholic churches.

Whatever the goal, the result is always the same: When you enter a Baroque building, you will be awestruck by the sheer drama and beauty of it. Notable Spanish poet Luis de Gongora captured it perfectly in this stanza: "Wavelike is the breeze that flows/ With fine gold, in illusory elegance / Stirs the green leaves of dense poplars." Slightly ostentatious, packed with emotional intensity, and full of complex syntax and metaphors, there's just something so honest and expressive about the Baroque period that's worth channeling at home.

So we gathered examples of Baroque architectural feats with a breakdown of the defining characteristics and modern renditions of Baroque-inspired interiors so you can learn how to bring the look home with you. They're not at all gaudy, but rather full of old-school opulence with a contemporary-cool twist, just in time for Leo season.