Sunday, July 20, 2014


The French Neoclassical design period was during the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, in the eighteenth century.  I have been romanced by the beautiful details and color palette of this period.  (Yes, unfortunately the political situation wasn't great...).  The Palace of Versailles and Le Petit Trianon are wonderful examples of this style.  I don't even think examples are the right word- they are the style!

Portraits- Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

Le Petit Trianon, France

I love the pastel palette, like Marie Antoinette blue.  This is when the royal court powdered their hair, wore beautiful gowns, rouged cheeks, and ribbons and feathers in their hair.  If you can't make it to France, or haven't yet like myself, I highly recommend watching "Marie Antoinette" to see the beyond beautiful design and fashion of the period.  The filming of the movie, direct by Sofia Coppola, was actually filmed onsite at Versailles!

Feathers in her hair, "Marie Antoinette" 

The French Neoclassical period is known for several elements.  The Louis XVI chair has fluted legs, blocked rosettes under the seat, and a square or oval back.  It is stunning in a gold finish with a damask patterned fabric.  Sometimes you will see a bow detail at the top of the chair, a nod to Marie Antoinette's style.  Classical elements, garland motifs, balustrade details, flowers, columns, inset paneling, and settees are also popular.  Straight lines and geometric shapes are a primary way to distinguish this period.

Settee with damask fabric

Oval Back Chair with garlands and classical motifs

White room in Palace of Versailles, "Marie Antoinette"

The white room above is so elegant with beautiful moldings with gold gilding, swags of drapery, florals prints and crystal chandeliers, but is this a room you can realistically live in every day?  Sadly, no it's not.  Even Marie Antoinette had her private chamber to socialize with her friends, as well as her "country life" she escaped to.  Besides, if you created a room like this in your house it would look like you were trying to create something of the past, which you are!  The best way to honor this French Neoclassical is to mix it into your space.  Let it shine against furniture from another period.

The most distinguished element from this period is the Louis XVI chair.  This is a piece of furniture that has lived on for several hundred years.  Whether it is more casual with a vertical stripe or a check pattern in a summer house, or it's painted black with a bold fabric.  Take a second glance at my logo, and you'll see the same chair with a modern zig zag (I love this chair, can you tell?) .  Philippe Starck has even used it as inspiration for his Louis Ghost Chair, which I'm sure you've all seen.  It's a modern interpretation of a classical piece of furniture.   I've seen it used for weddings and home interiors alike.  

Living Room

Work Space

Black Chair, Photo by Shannon Ho



I hope one of these images have inspired you to 'missmatch' some French Neoclassical design into your space- let me know how you choose to do so! 

Let them eat cake...



Portraits - Media Freak by Nature
Le Petit Trianon - Wikipedia
Feather's in her hair - Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide
White room- Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide
Settee - The Paris Apartment
Oval back chair - How to Make Anything
Living room - Pinterest
Work space - Pinterest
Black chair with floral - Whiteney English
Office - Tiffany Leigh Interior Design
Wedding - Splenderosa

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