What Is French Style Furniture?

Perhaps you’ve seen French Furniture in the glossy home décor magazines, on Pinterest, or in the lavish homes of one of your acquaintances. However, what is French-style furniture exactly? It can be many things – from its ornate details to top quality. If you have been interested in purchasing French furniture, read on to get acquainted with the “French” style.

What Is French Style Furniture

French furniture is not just stunning, but also full of rich cultural history – from neoclassical design to the opulence of Rococo style. Its style is timeless as well as aesthetically varied and historically fascinating. French furniture makers have a rich heritage that has lasted for over two centuries. As a result, the French furniture style has dominated the Western world. There isn’t only one style of French furniture. There are several variations of styles from a distinctive historical period. To this day, French styles still influence designers.

Louis XIV – 1643-1715

Perhaps one of the most well-known kings of France was King Louis XIV, who was also the longest-serving monarch in French history. He was known as the “Sun King” and his reign was known as the Le Grand Siècle (“the Great Century”). This period ushered in a golden age for the arts, which was personified by the lavishly adorned living spaces such as the court he presided over in Versailles.

This style of décor and furniture embodied his absolute power and it showed in his palaces and the objects that it contained. While this style was very luxurious, there was also a focus on craftsmanship and the quality of the materials.  The style of King Louis XIV also took heavy inspiration from the Italian Baroque period.

Characteristics
  • Luxury materials – brass, bronze, precious stones, ivory, exotic woods
  • Classical motifs – garlands, cherubs, satyrs, and dolphins
  • Bold, symmetrical proportions and straight legs

Régence | 1715-1730

The era preceding King Louis was the Régence period.  Louis XV, who was then only five years old. Due to his young age, the kingdom’s rule was given to Philippe d’Orléans (a nephew of Louis XIV of France), who ruled as prince regent until Louis reached the age of 13 in 1723.

Characteristics
  • Materials including walnut, rosewood, and oak, accented by marble or gilt bronze
  • Exotic motifs – shells, pagodas, mythological beasts, and grotesque masques.

Louis XV | 1730-1760

Louis XV developed his own taste and style, which leaned more towards Rococo flair. Furniture from the  Louis XV era is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all furniture periods. It combines creativity, comfort, and elegance. Rather than the opulence of Versailles, there was more of a focus on the intimate settings, as this was a time when the royal court returned to Paris.

The bold forms from the Louis XIV period became lighter, smaller, and more functional. Louis XV’s furniture pieces were known for their superior craftsmanship and functionality. The Rococo style was predominant – which embodied romance, and its furniture showcased undulating curves and natural forms. There was a wider focus on comfort, which gave rise to the card table, and chaise lounges, and bergère armchairs.

Characteristics
  • Materials such as walnut and oak are occasionally painted or lacquered and accented by marble, gilt, bronze, or veneers
  • Excessive decorative objects with motifs such as stylized flowers, doves, dolphins, acanthus, and oriental themes

 About French Furniture Orlando

French Furniture Orlando is a family-owned and operated French and Italian furniture store, carrying French provincial design styles. We are your destination for the finest furniture in Orlando.  Our showroom is located at 9320 South Orange Blossom Trail Orlando, FL 32837.  Can’t make it to our showroom? Browse our online catalog. See something you like? Call (407) 270-1111 or send us an email at Nathan@frenchfurnitureorlando.com.

 

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