Friday, September 22, 2017

My French Style Dining Room

This is second in a series of posts that provide a small tour of my home and concentrates on our French style dining room. Many of you have asked for a tour and we have made some changes recently since both of us have retired and have more time to treasure hunt and curate our home. I promised I would take pictures and post them this year so I hope you enjoy.

I love all styles of French decor from rustic farmhouses to contemporary Paris apartments. However, as I have said before, my own favorite style is French Chateau. The chateau was designed to provide a private country residence for the family away from Paris but was formal enough to receive visiting luminaries. The traditional styles were softened, making the lines less rigid and the overall feel of the home more rustic. The overall result was a country house that was relaxed and inviting while retaining many of the delicate features of the French influence. This old house is certainly not a chateau but it does have alot of character and tall 12 foot ceilings which give it a grand feel. 

I enjoy the warmth and beauty of living with antiques and I try to make the interior space a place where everyone, I hope, feels very much at home.

For some reason yellow rooms are hard to photograph and get a true color. My dining room never shows up as warm and lovely as it really is because the butter yellow walls never are really captured in a picture. You can look at this picture and see three different yellows. This room always looks smaller in pictures than it actually is because it's hard with my camera to get the width and the height of the 12 foot ceilings at the same time.

The table is oval with a matlasse cover and small scrunched section of yellow and cream buffalo plaid that sometimes is also used as a flat overlay. I like banquette seating so I'm using a cane settee and rush seated French provincial chairs. My mom did the needlepoint pillows when I was a little girl. The border is actually fabric and has a French Gothic look, the pattern a bit hard to distinguish in these photos. The tapestry is French. The screen has a fabric bottom and chicken wire top and is used to keep marauding felines out of the dining room when it is being used to entertain. There is a door that can be shut and one opening leading into the hall that has no door, thus the need for the screen. 

I recently picked up a pair of beautiful carved wood architectural fragments depicting various fruits and foliage, such as pomegranates (symbol of life, marriage and rebirth). Decided to use them on my screen to spruce it up a bit.

A close-up of the finished product.

An old poplar cupboard is now displaying the antique dinnerware I have started collecting. When I changed the dining room my old Limoges sadly didn't work anymore.

I have started collecting some different antique China patterns for use in the dining room. I don't care for matching sets and would rather opt for a cohesive mis-matched look. These are discontinued of course and hard to find so patience is required. This is Copeland Spode, Raeburn pattern...........

and this is Royal Cauldon, Jessamine. The soup bowls are Spode Vienna Bird pattern. If any of you dealers and booth owners have any please let me know!!!!

 This is Chanel, striking a pose as usual. A great old oil painting of a castle ruin is above the window. An old poplar cupboard and antique red painted table fill up this corner.

My favorite French style is the country chateau look when the home was a place to escape to from the city for rest and relaxation, picnicking, hunting, and frolicking about out of the stuffy costumes associated with court or Parisian dress. I love this old picture of French nobles doing just that.

This is looking in through the family room door and is probably my favorite view of the dining room. I love a French hunting lodge look (even though I would never kill an animal) and the hunt tapestry, trophy mounts, and hunt inspired carved wall decor give the effect. All the mounts have been found in antique stores here in the US and some from Europe. I feel like displaying them honors the animal more than letting them waste away in some shop. The entrance of the house is also in hunting lodge style and leads into the dining room.

I am searching for a French bombe chest to go here under the tapestry and foolishly let a painted one slip through my fingers recently for which I kick myself regularly. There will be another though....just waiting for an auction or Craigslist find.

French clock, girandoles featuring shepherds, and an old framed hunt tapestry.

The view looking from the dining room out into the front hall which I painted in a faux limestone technique.

Trying to take pictures from all angles so you can have a panoramic view and not claiming to be a good photographer. I was going to have some professional pictures taken for my website but now that I'm retired it just doesn't seem that important.

This door has always perplexed me because it never really seemed to belong in this room. I recently bought a great old screen at auction and the place I wanted to use it would only accommodate  three of the four panels. We decided to hang a panel on the old door and it works for us.

The screen is gold burnished leather with oil painting of swags, bouquets, and architectural elements. Hard to see in the picture but lovely in the right light.

The French trumeau mirror was an unbelievably great find. Also my Sophie posing in the hall. You can count on my cats to show up when I have a camera in my hand.

This old etching of Louis XIV on horseback during the Carousel of 1662 is interesting. The Carousel was an event celebrating the birth of the Dauphin and 25-year old Louis XIV wanted to make the most of it. It was held on June 5, 6 and 7, not at Versailles but between the Louvre and the courtyard of the Tuileries, now called the Place de Carousel. Close to 15,000 people gathered to watch the grand spectacle.

The theme for this event was a tribute to the five most exotic countries at the time and each was represented by a quadrille. In turn each quadrille was headed by a member of the court and each quadrille had its' own color scheme, theme, etc. associated with that country. The five quadrilles would perform mock charges at each other where they fired small, scented balls in bright colors to amuse to spectators. Not only the courtiers were clad in lavish costumes. Their followers wore helmets shaped as dragons, fish and parrots and even the King's horse was dressed to impress.

My favorite time in the dining room is in the evening when the walls take on a wonderful new color and the light from the chandelier and girandoles make it kind of magical.

If you would like to see more you can visit My French Style Living Room by clicking on the following link:

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Decorating With Multiple Layered Mirrors

You can really maximize a room's style with a well-placed mirror. That being said, imagine the impact with three well placed mirrors that just happen to be layered one upon the other. Layering mirrors has been around for a bit but there are few blog posts about it so thought I would publish one for those of you who may not be that familiar with the trend. I hate to call it a trend because I think this one can be considered timeless style and a wise investment. Enjoy the images and try this easy uplift for yourself.

Louis XIV knew the visual importance of a mirror or two and how they can make a space look ever so grand!

No home should be without at least one this case two or three.....strategically layered upon each other. I know many of you may have a hard time letting go of the one centered mirror hung on the wall look. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!!! I just encourage you you to try sometime new, think outside the box a bit, and go for unique and interesting. You might be surprised with where it leads you. 

Multiple layered mirrors bouncing around light in small rooms will help make the space seem larger and more grand. Plus the effect will give you a unique and old worldly tabletop vignette.

The look of layering mirrors goes hand in hand with all French styles whether classical, farmhouse, provincial, or chateau. And it doesn't matter whether they are hand-carved, gilded baroque or painted rustic farmhouse mirrors because the styles are interchangeable.

Multiple layered mirrors give depth, intimacy, and variety to a room.

Grouping multiple mirrors is a great way to make an impact that may not be possible with just one.

I think a few antique gilded mirrors with the right aged patina adds a little polish to even rustic French farmhouse style interiors.

I think a collection of ornate mirrors of multiple sizes can even have an eclectic, edgy look that works well with more modern interiors.

Image from "The French Room" by Betty Lou Phillips

Another pretty way to layer mirrors is by hanging a smaller one from the ornate top of a larger mirror. This mirror has been hung on the wall but the same look can be created with leaning them.

via Pinterest

Layering ornate mirrors will really maximize a French room's style. Lean them instead of hanging!

There are two choices you can make when layering mirrors, either stagger them like in this image......

.......or center one large mirror and layer them accordingly like on this gorgeous French console.

This vignette with centered layered mirrors is in my office. I had a couple of mirrors left over from a recent redo and decided to layer them on top of this four drawer highboy chest handmade by my great granfather. There is really only room on the narrow top for two even though I would like a third. The large one came from my grandfather's barber shop in Oxford, Ohio. I keep my antique petitpoint compacts in the gray display cabinet. 

Aidan Gray Home

Layered mirrors look great on all the traditional places like mantles, dresser tops, and on hallway consoles and other antique pieces throughout the house.

A vanity is another great place to layer small mirrors.

via Pinterest

Try layering a fabulous sunburst mirror over a large square one. Don't be afraid to mix ornate with weathered. The look is beautiful!

Lisa Luby Ryan

If you have a collection of oval frames, make mirrors, layer and display them where you can really enjoy them.

A layering of ornate painted mirrors adds just the right touch if you are into the all white French cottage decor. Make sure you age them properly and don't just paint them white. They will look too flat just painted.

If you are trying to create the weathered and faded French look, remember the more aged your layered mirrors are the better. By all means do not replace the old mirrors with bight, shiny new ones. No kidding, I have seen it done!

Layer a variety of mirrors, place your choice of a fabulous focal point, and then manipulate a stack of books or other items to just the right height to balance out the vignette.

Use a few layered mirrors to reflect the light as well as all the gorgeous things you've collected.

via Pinterest

Another example of layered mirrors in an all white French cottage setting.

via Pinterest

Layered mirrors add a dramatic and luxurious effect in this great eclectic space.

Photo by Tracery Interiors

A multi-dimensional layered sunburst mirror collection looks wonderful in this transitional style room and really pops on the navy wall.

Sunburst mirrors are a good choice for layering over large mirror walls and is perfect for this eclectic interior.

Bathroom vanity mirrors can also be a good place to layer a mirror.

Heather Scott Home & Design

Don't forget how pretty layering mirrors can be in Christmas displays. Christmas might be a good jumping off place for you if you like the look but can't take the plunge. You will have a month to get use to the idea and then might not be able to part with them as the new year rolls along.

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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