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Furniture Style: French Chic

Heritage Furniture - Sunday, January 15, 2012

What is it about the French that makes them eternally chic. Whether, personal style, you know, the perfect little black dress with just the right Hermes scarf, or the casual elegance of entertaining, they encompass a certain je ne sais quois…translation: that I don’t know how they do it and make it look easy besides, kind of French chic. Perhaps it is the effortless combination of time and style fostered over centuries and an affinity for fashion, from Louis XVI to Louis Vuitton.

 

The French have a history of furniture style with fine fabrics including toiles, cut velvet, jacquards and for antiques, handed down generation to generation, so it is not uncommon to see a lovely gold gilded opera chair among the crusty crackle, worn to perfection, finish of a country farmhouse table. The juxtaposition of these two distinctly different personalities is the right combination to create a layered nostalgic environment seeping in tradition and rich in heritage.

 

The word souvenir translated from French is to “remember”. The French call to mind the past while interpreting fashion and style in a modern way. It also describes the leisure past time of strolling the French Flea markets in search of the hidden treasure, a “piece du resistance” , the call of a unique piece that intrigues and speaks to you. You know, the “I’ll know it when I see it” kind of beckoning. It is remembering the journey and the joy of a special find, the likes of which are preserved in the fine reproductions from French Heritage and recently inspired in the Sanctuary collection by Hooker.

 

 

 

French Chic furniture style is closely related to the little secret every French woman knows about her wardrobe. Less is more, buying fewer, better pieces. This philosophy bodes well for her furniture style and has served the French well for generations, heirloom quality furniture, proudly handcrafted and handed down generation to generation creating a reputation for enduring style and elegance that are inheritly French Chic.

Furniture Style: Urban Sophisticate

Heritage Furniture - Sunday, January 08, 2012

The up tempo pace of the city influences not only the fashion sense but also urban sophisticate furniture style. The often hectic lifestyle impacts urban sophisticate in series of contrasts. They may be timed starved, juggling career and social calendar, therefore monochromatic dressing makes decision making simple and easy. Shades of gray or black on black dressing has sophisticated ease. Punch up the look with an avante garde necklace, which is not only an accessory but a conversation piece. The same is true of her surroundings, a place where often” less is more”, a clean canvas with a stroke of color create a signature look uniquely hers and embellished pillows found strolling around Soho on the weekend, add a touch of personal style.

 

In addition, like the melting pot of most cities there is often an eclectic nuance in her style and home. She may mix an heirloom with a distinctly modern accent chair. She is fearless in her approach to fashion and can easily cross cultures for an enticing compliment to her wardrobe or décor where each accent, not to be blended in but as a focal point, is reminiscent of a museum exhibit, treating each find as an artifact worthy of conversation. You can hear the “ooh’s and ahh’s” punctuating the “where ever did you find it” admiration of her cocktail companions.

 

There is a no nonsense approach to creating order in chaos, where simplicity reigns. Symmetrical lines create a graphic look and mirrored spaces create the illusion of grandeur. White backdrops also add to appearance of larger space and lend a feeling of openness in this sophisticated urban setting.

 

Furniture Style: Ethnic Chic

Heritage Furniture - Sunday, January 01, 2012

Life is the journey. Simply stated this is the life and furniture style indicative of the woman with an affinity for ethnic chic. Her bags and passport are always at the ready. She can pack for two weeks in a Travelpro and mix a wardrobe from black and khaki basics and finish the look with a terrific hat for a day of exploration.

 

Her home is a like a road map of the places she’s been, an old chipped urn from the trip to the Great Wall in the sun room, the rug from the market in Istanbul and a lantern from the street markets of Marrakesh. Her home is rich with color and culture and ethnicity.

 

The road once less traveled now leads to her home. Like the Silk Road that brought fine silks and tapestries in rich colors indicative of the spices brought back to Europe, curry, cinnamon and nutmeg describe the color and flavor of countries that influence her furniture style.

Like the Zen Gardens of the Pacific Rim or the granduer of the castles dotting the European country side a montage of history woven in fabrics reflects generations of artisans hands in elegant Damasks and Suzani patterns from Schumacher, which are reminiscent of the art of the region of its origin, creates in itself a tapestry of color. It wouldn’t be out of character to see these patterns in a cotton skirt hanging in her closet found at the boutique shop known for its Bohemian sensibilities or in the folk art hand bag that is the right look to finisher her own ethnic chic style and is the perfect compliment to her favorite, familiar blue jeans.

 

Travel has opened the door to different cultures and traditions from which the emersion affords us a touch stone to our history and ultimately even our heritage and ethnicity. It captures our imagination and recalls memorable moments we found in the escape and makes the world a little smaller and ultimately more familiar. Like her home, it’s the journey.

Furniture Style: Make Mine Country

Heritage Furniture - Sunday, December 25, 2011

There’s much to be said about country furniture style that reflects the general feeling and attitude of country life. It’s clean, simple and uncomplicated. Country style speaks to carefree attitude about not only the way we dress, but the way we live. For the woman with an affinity for country style, it says she’s as comfortable with her hair pulled back and in a pair of blue jeans as she is in a cotton summer sundress, which either, by the way, is naturally suited to her favorite pair of cowboy boots.

 

These casual sensibilities are indicative of country furniture style. They mirror what is important to those who choose life in the country like good solid craftsmanship, heirloom quality, and comfort indicative of the laid back, sit on the porch and set a spell kind of life. Think Stickley, known for mission style furniture easily identified by its iconic clean lines or the rough hewn characteristics of Charleston Forge, Made in the USA sensibilities with an artisan quality uniquely hammered out of the Appalachian range.

 

 

It is natural… cottons, washed denim, linen, woven fabrics that breathe, in a neutral palette occasionally punctuated with no nonsense color, like red, white and blue or inspired by nature to include, marigold yellow or forest green. Her style and home much like a patch work quilt, mixes fabric pattern and textures from plaid to ditsy florals with the likes of leather and may include a favorite hand me down flannel, both familiar and comfortable.

If your style is country, know that it is as diverse as your landscape. Whether dwelling in the desert southwest, the mountainous high country, or the heartland, country style has a layered look put together in a casual unpretencious manner that is warm and welcoming.

Furniture Style: Beach Living

Heritage Furniture - Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beach living is not so much a style but a way of life. It is a place where flip flops and beach cover ups that made Chico’s fabulous folk art inspired sarong not only famous but a wardrobe staple, and can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It’s a toe’s in sand casualness that focuses on ease and compliments all of the senses. Who cannot recall the smell of the ocean, the warmth of sand, the taste of fresh citrus the sun setting on the horizon. Beach lifestyle calls to mind paradise found.

 

There is a rhythm to beach living driven not by time but by when the tide comes in or goes out, a place where you can lose yourself in the tide and where sun, sand and surf rule. Colors associated with beach living take their cue from these influences. Warm earth tones like the dunes create a neutral canvas where cool ocean inspired colors add a splash of color (think sea glass in it many hues from spa to azure blue, emerald green and even topaz or brown have a worn to perfection feel) and juicy citrus colors with the likes of tangerine, mango, kiwi, and pineapple add a delicious pop of color and like the intense colors of a sunset are warm and inviting. Accents, whether those you adorn or the ones your surround yourself with, look to nature for a tactile element and include coconut, tortoise shell, coral and the rough hewn characteristics of bamboo in its many colors can add character and interest.

 

 

Beach living furniture style is more eclectic, a place where a drift wood accent table is adjacent to a relaxed slip covered sofa, indicative of Shabby Chic style, and wicker or rattan add just the right relaxed feel and whether woven white and more refined or leather wrapped bamboo, either is interchangeable in this unpretentious environment. It is a place where you can take the traditional linear interior decorating rules and throw them out the window. The carefree beach attitude allows a surf board to do double duty as either cocktail table or wall décor, ready to take down anytime the surfs up. It’s a carefree attitude that combines the best of relaxed, casual flare and furniture style into casual beach living.

 

Furniture Style

Heritage Furniture - Monday, December 05, 2011

Furniture style? What furniture style? My surroundings were an accumulation of hand me downs and garage sale finds (which oh by the way I can now correctly identify as “heirloom” furniture and “antiques” which are neatly displayed in an “eclectic” surroundings), tres chic. I had no idea just how fashionable my apartment was until I began relentless pursuit of ideas for our first home in the many shelter magazines on display at Lowes®, you know “you can do it, we can help.

Well I wasn’t so sure I could do it without help! So I tuned into HGTV, turned the pages of the magazines, and Googled my way on to what became my favorite blogs. Now bookmarking and learning about furniture was a kin to learning new language where definitions of furniture, “how to’s” and ideas for home décor began to fill my folders on line and in a top file of my desk drawer. This is how I began to uncover my own furniture style.

After months of exploring there began to be a pattern in the style of furniture I was drawn to…exotic, rich dark finishes contrasted by vibrantly colored pillows and throws. Hmmm, sounding suspiciously like my wardrobe. Then it started to make sense. My furniture style was a reflection of my personal style, and why wouldn’t I want to create a room as comfortable as what I was accustomed to wearing?

 

I am comfortable in a red skirt and silk blouse topped off with a intricate Indian silver bangle and accented with a leather belt! No reason a great leather sofa, reclaimed wood accent table and soft chenille toss pillows suit my furniture style.

 

The upcoming series of entries will explore finding your furniture style in your wardrobe. So whether you are country casual, urban sophisticate, French Chic or a combination of Ethnicity, we will help you recognize your own personal furniture style.


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