Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Design Trends: Beach Cottage

Today we discuss a fourth summer interior design trend – the beach cottage! It’s relaxing and cheerful with pastel ocean colors, weathered finishes, and natural fibers. It’s a great way to take yourself to the beach, even while staying home!
Open views and soft hues make this a wonderful getaway

Classic beach homes typically have pale palettes, generally white on white. Layer walls, furniture, and accessories in shades of white accented with pale beach hues (think aqua, sea foam, or seashell pink). Use varying shades in your color scheme to add depth to your rooms. Incorporate antique and vintage furniture with beachy accessories for a look you’ll love.

Rustic antiques and great lighting make this the perfect gathering point
When considering textures, go for natural, earthy fibers. Add a woven rug and a piece of bamboo furniture. To really complete the beach theme, add furnishings with weathered finishes (sand and salty air quickly corrode finishes). These also provide a laid-back feel you expect at any vacation house. Soon you’ll have your own coastal getaway without leaving home!
A weathered farm table and Louis XVI chairs, accented with bright seahorses

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 09:01:00 PM
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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A History of French Styles: Directoire

Directoire – 1790 to 1805

French Directoire period buffet

Following the French Revolution and execution of Louis XVI there was a natural break from the lavish royal style. The monarchy was gone and France was governed by the Directoire executif (executive directory), from which the name of the style derives.

French Directoire solid walnut boiserie mirror

The Directoire period is much more subdued and austere (although many of the themes of the simpler late Louis XVI furniture continued). Geometric patterns were less extravagant. Motifs include arabesque and Etruscan themes, wreaths, torches, and other warlike emblems (reminiscent of the Revolution).

French Directoire style chairs in fruitwood

Overall, the circumstances of the war led to a decline in furniture quality and the availability of materials. Brass was often used in place of gilt-bronze and imported woods such as rosewood and mahogany were scarce. Most Directoire pieces were made of walnut and other fruitwoods which could be found in France.

French Directoire chest of drawers in solid walnut

See examples of Directoire style furniture in our inventory.

Posted by Jean-Marc Fray French Antiques at 04:20:00 PM
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