Done roman? get the villa look

Undated Handout Photo of hand-crafted limestone floor, starting from �375 per square metre, Lapicida, www.lapicida.com. See PA Feature INTERIORS Museum. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Museum.
Undated Handout Photo of hand-crafted limestone floor, starting from �375 per square metre, Lapicida, www.lapicida.com. See PA Feature INTERIORS Museum. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Museum.

An airy, elegant home with decorative tiles and nature-inspired murals, where the outdoors blends seamlessly with the indoors, would be an enviable property by today’s standards.

But those fashionable ingredients are contained in a Roman villa of 2,000 years ago, the centrepiece of an exhibition focusing on a latter-day tragedy, the eruption of Vesuvius.

Life And Death In Pompeii And Herculaneum, the exhibition at the British Museum until September 29, brilliantly lays bare the lives of the residents of the two cities who were smothered under a blanket of burning volcanic ash.

While it’s fascinating to view the perfectly-preserved remains of a lost world, it also demonstrates the enduring and classic appeal of Roman style.

Mosaic tiles, frescoes on wooden panels, busts and replica artefacts from Pompeian homes are among the most popular buys from the collection of products available at the British Museum shop.

Here’s a guide to conjuring Pompeii’s style:

Imperial ambition

Pompeii Luxury Wallpaper Panel, from £40, featuring a trompe l’oeil effect of Italian plaster-style columns, Decor Wallpaper (www.decorwallpaper.com/0845 056 5435).

Palatial floor

Lapicida’s custom-made floors, from £375 per square metre, can be made in a variety of stone, including limestone which is hand-cut by water jet and the pieces painstakingly hand-crafted.

Lapicida has showrooms in London and Harrogate (www.lapicida.com/020 3012 1000).

Ann Sacks has intricately designed mosaic tiles, Piccolino Fishscale Mosaic, £1,329.52 per square metre (www.annsacks.com/0203 0550 802).

Majestic mirror

An Ephesus full-length floor mirror, £495 from the French Bedroom Company, has a shape reminiscent of an archway to a Roman temple (www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk/08456 448 022).

Roman baths

Maximus bath, from £4,750 from BC Designs, is an impressive example of a modern-day interpretation (www.bcdesigns.co.uk/01206 827 100).

Set the scene

Fresco of a garden on wood by Bottega Artigiana Tifernate, £199, from the British Museum shop (www.britishmuseumshoponline.org/0800 218 2222).

Magic of mosaics

A large tile-design mosaic, £55 from the British Museum shop, comes in a range of designs including birds and a heart, inspired by those found in Pompeii and Herculaneum (www.britishmuseumshoponline.org/0800 218 2222).