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The Paleolithic time period occurred about 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 B.C.1 It is also called the Old Stone Age2 because it was during this time that our human ancestors first used modified stone tools. These early humans were also the first to leave behind art – carved statues from bone and antlers as well as monumental art such as cave paintings. When designing your home in this style, this art is going to be the focus.

Adobe Stock Image: Petroglyph Mexican cave painting reproduction

Characteristics of a Paleolithic Home

People of the paleolithic age were hunters and gatherers, living nomadic lives in huts, teepees and caves. The center of these homes would’ve been a hearth – pretty essential during the Ice Age! When trying to replicate this idea in a modern home, a cozy stone fireplace should replicate those feelings of warmth and light. Because these people lived so long ago, we don’t have a lot of information on their daily life or layouts of their homes. However, since these homes were temporary, they had to be quick to put up and take down and would not have separate rooms. Although not having a separate bedroom sounds incredibly inconvenient by modern standards, it makes it perfect for a romantic getaway cabin. And, as always, feel free to take inspiration from the design but add all the modern functionality you want!

Materials and Colors

As there was no metal at this time, you will want to stick to naturally occurring materials such as stone, clay and wood. Your color palette for a paleolithic home will be earthy tones like browns, tans and grays, as well as some dark orange for a pop of color to represent the ochre used in cave paintings.

Adobe Stock Image: Cradle of Forestry and trails thereof

Furnishings and Decorations

Not a lot is known about furnishings at this time, but they would have been sparse and functional. Don’t clutter your home with knick-knacks, but use functional pieces.  For instance, simple clay pots and vases are not only beautiful but functional as well. Stone figurines are another way to add some art to your paleolithic home. Of course, the biggest leftover from the paleolithic design book are the beautiful cave paintings. If you are feeling brave, try and replicate some on a designated accent wall in your house – use red or dark orange for ochre and black paint for coal. However, if you would rather not paint on your walls, find some prints with animal motifs to hang up, as animals were a popular subject for people of the Old Stone Age.

Adobe Stock Image: Animal skins in fur, fashion accessory and coat, textures detail
Adobe Stock Image: MATAMATA, NEW ZEALAND – APRIL 2, 2016: Hobbit home in the movie set for the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, original filming location

Design A Great Day!

1 https://www.history.com/news/prehistoric-ages-timeline

2 https://www.britannica.com/event/Paleolithic-Period