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Indulge your love of French styles at The Crown Collection antique emporium

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“Nous sommes amoureux des styles français”  – we are in love with French styles. (It only seemed appropriate to start this blog in French). There is no denying that when it comes to French food, wine, perfume, and fashion, the French flair and penchant for refinement are unmatched. And that quintessential “je ne sais quoi” seamlessly translates into their timeless interior decor trends. 

French styles of interior design tell a story that has been inspired over hundreds of years by culture, history, landscape and lifestyle. That is why it works in any home and why we cannot get enough of French furniture and accessories. 

The effortlessly chic way the French decorate their homes brings together the iconic character and elegance of the space with practical luxury.”  – Betsy Kasha

From a “pied-à-terre” (small apartment) to a grande maison” (large house), curating your space – French style – will always add a sense of casual sophistication. The allure is captivating and irresistible and it is so easy to bring the signature elements and lived-in warmth into your own home. 

If you are ready to start your hunt for antique French pieces, we highlight some of the key elements of three French styles

#1 French Farmhouse 

If you are looking for the epitome of rustic charm, then the French Farmhouse style is it. Exterior pastel shutters usher you into a welcoming interior with stone floors, light wood tones and simply shaped furniture. 

French Farmhouse Style with antique bird cage

Decorative bird cages, rattan storage baskets and rattan chairs will be casually placed to create a soulful balance and weathered comfort. The spaces almost look un-decorated and yet there is harmony and a subtle curated intent. Although the overall palette is muted and monochromatic, colour beckons under a glass cloche in the form of macarons or petit fours as well as oversized blooms randomly placed in glass vases.  

The French celebrate age and tradition which celebrates distressed furniture and scratches. And a faded or fraying Aubusson rug is the perfect floor covering in a French Farmhouse aesthetic. 

#2 French Provencal

 Anyone who has travelled to the region of Provence cannot depart without leaving part of their heart behind as fields of lavender and olive orchards weave their magical spell.  That landscape is beautifully translated into a French Provencal style aesthetic that includes exposed stones, whitewashed walls and a dreamy colour palette of ochres, lavender blues and olive greens. The overall finish is warm, friendly and cheerful – much like the people.

French Provencal Style furniture

intrinsic to the Provencal decor style is the blending of the French countryside with the Parisian elegance and dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when the peasant classes wanted to decorate their houses with furniture similar to the kings but on a smaller budget. This featured elements such as console tables, writing desks and ornate mirrors. Bleached wood is one of the signature elements of this style.  

Wrought iron is a material that features strongly French provencal decor – from beds and outdoor furniture to lanterns. Ceramic pottery, pitchers and concrete urns and planters are also key elements of French Provencal style decor. 

French Provencal antique style furniture

#3 French Chateau

Although all French styles are characterised by a relaxed and eclectic simplicity, the French chateau-style (aka Chateauesque) adds a touch of luxurious and ornate whimsy. The decor story originates in grand houses furnished with bronze accessories, crystal chandeliers and walls with mouldings, wallpaper, portraits and tapestries. 

Decadently patterned upholstered gilded armchairs, chaise lounges, clawfoot tub baths, elaborate mirrors and silver candelabras finish off the French chateau design brief. If you are going to go all out on French chateau-style, then quality antique pieces have to play a role and be centre stage. 

French Chateau style antique furniture

Visit the Crown Collection for some French-style inspiration

Your French-style decor passion – be that natural materials, muted colours, toile fabrics, extravagant lighting, touches of gold gilding on mirrors, chairs, settees or tapestries – will easily be satisfied at The Crown Collection

Whether your French look and feel is Farmhouse, Provencal, Chateau or an eclectic mix, we have the largest selection of antique French furniture, wall decor and accessories.  

Choose your items and buy them online or visit the store @ 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. We deliver to your door.

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The Iconic Antique Furniture Styles of 3 French Kings

Categories: Articles, Blog, Style|Tags: , , , |

The French influence on food, fashion and furniture is unmatched. From chateaus and castles to bijous apartments and villas, the history and romantic allure are hard to resist. We’ve escaped to the chateaux and now it is time to go regal and explore the antique furniture lineage that characterised the reigns of three iconic French Kings. 

No matter how minimalist or simple your design personality may be, there is a deep longing in each of us to own a decadent piece of French antique furniture that is just a touch OTT and super-luxurious. 

From the ornamental and cluttered interiors of Versailles, the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI lasted from 1643 to 1793 (when Marie Antoinette lost her head), giving us a design legacy that speaks to French culture, imperialism and political power. Antique lovers are grateful that furniture design and influence from this period has lived on, gracing interiors. 

“You can see the influence of the Kings Louis in Art Nouveau, Art Deco, multiple Victorian revivals and even in 20th-century designs.” – Dennis Harrington, head of Sotheby’s English and European Furniture Department. 

When it comes to the three Louis’, it is all about the chairs. So let’s familiarise ourselves with the basics of their signature styles and explore exactly what makes antique furniture chairs and sofas, named after these kings, so desirable:

Louis XIV – The Sun King

Louis XIV-style antique chair designs are a reflection of the Sun KIng’s obsession with power, influence and style. The chairs are grand in scale, sumptuous and symmetrical. Even with the addition of upholstery, they are quite masculine and throne-like. Louis XIV’s reign is referred to as “Le Grand Siècle” (the Great Century​), and the high linear backs, rectangular designs, elaborate carvings and strong arms and legs are associated with a monarch who favoured absolute power. 

If you are able to get your hands on an antique Louis XIV chair, add some opulent drama by letting it take pride of place as a head dining room chair or a gentleman’s chair in a study or whisky room. 

Louis XIV French Antique Furniture

Louis XV – The Beloved

Instead of power, Louis the XV pursued pleasure. He moved his court from Versailles to Paris and the chair designs reflected the more intimate social settings of the nobility. 

The scale of the chairs was much smaller and the designs more fluid with gently curved lines and slightly asymmetrical and decorative meandering floral carvings, mouldings, gilding and s-shaped cabriole legs. To satisfy the Nobility’s craving for comfort and upholstery, seat springs were added and upholstery had a lighter, feminine charm. The romance and comfort of a Louis XV chair is a delightful addition to any boudoir or sitting room. 

Louis XV French Antique Furniture

Louis XVI – The Restorer

Louis XVI-style antique chairs celebrate neoclassical style. As the French were influenced by the Enlightenment, they started venturing beyond Paris and frivolity was set aside. 

Furniture styles of this era started mirroring neoclassical architecture, emphasizing straight lines, geometric forms and classical motifs. Chairs still retained the smaller scale of Louis XV’s influence, but the backs of Canapé sofa settees evolved into controlled arcs instead of the voluptuous curves from the previous era. Chair legs were tapered and fluted in the style of a Roman column, and Greek palmettes replaced carved flowers. 

The clean aesthetic and elegant pared-back ornamentation of Louis XVI chairs and sofas fit any interior design narrative. Your home deserves a few of these beautiful accent statement pieces. 

Louis XVI French Antique Furniture

The Crown Collection – The royal treatment

There is no doubt as to the enduring appeal of any of the Louis-style chairs. As an Antique furniture lover, it is worth it to say you own one. 

For those who love and appreciate all things French-inspired, sourcing quality antique furniture, tapestries, chandeliers and objet d’art is literally on your South African online doorstep at the Crown Collection. 

Visit us in-store at 20 Ballyclare Drive Bryanston or shop online and have your order delivered to your door.

 

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