One of the most romantic ways to decorate a bedroom, dining area, or any other space in a house is with French furniture. The style of furniture imparts a beauty and intricacy that is hard to replicate. For example, one of the styles that is used for French furniture is the Rococo style.
Characterised by curved and delicate outlines along with scallop shell decorations, the Rococo style varies from Baroque, which leans more towards attention to symmetry. Rococo type furniture is frequently associated with the excesses experienced during Louis XV’s reign. During that period, French furniture featured more extravagant and ornately decorated wood that was enamelled, gilded, painted, and carved.
Reproduced Rococo furniture features themes and motifs inspired by nature, including birds, rocks, shells, fish, wheat, flowers, waves, and more. The style is also featured in French paintings. Lasting from 1730 to 1760, the period featured furnishings that were decadent in design.
Louis XVI Furniture
By comparison, Louis XVI furniture is characterised by a simple design and construction. This style is complemented with rectangular spaces and flowing scrolls. The furniture is known for its symmetry, classical ornamentation, and straight lines, even a gold console table from the period is played down when compared to the ornate mouldings of the Rococo era.
The increasing desire for luxury during the era of Louis XVI led to new kinds of decorative finishes. The more exclusive pieces integrated Japanese or Chinese lacquer, or were built with decorative panels that were made by the King’s royal porcelain factory.
Sleigh beds are also a kind of French furnishing. Originally called lit bateaux, the beds bear a passing resemblance to an old-fashioned sleigh. Ornate in appearance, sleigh beds are featured in a variety of sizes, including single, double, king, or queen sized. The curved footboards and headboards of the beds are offered in varying heights.
Sleigh furniture was popularised by Louis Philippe in the 1700s. The style, which quickly spread throughout Europe and then to the US, was endorsed by the French upper class. Traditionally manufactured with wood, sleigh beds today are made out of a variety of materials, including steel, iron, leather, aluminium, wood, or upholstery. They may feature tall headboards and shorter footboards, if desired.
French Furnishings Today
Naturally, when French furniture is reproduced for a bedroom today, most retailers like to underscore the use of Versailles-type designs. If you appreciate elegant French furnishings that recall the glory days of the Sun King, then you will love furniture supported by antiqued gilt designs and cabriole legs. Plus, you do not have to spend a fortune to enjoy these types of furnishings.
Plus, you can find a French furnishing that will blend in nicely with any décor. For example, a black glass console table works well in more modern-styled homes. Chrome metal tables or furnishings, made in the Art Deco style, add an urban glamour to either an apartment or home.
Whether it is historic or modern, French designed furniture adds that special touch that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world.