Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Decorating With Deer Mounts For A French Chateau Look

I hesitated in even putting this blog post together because I knew it could cause controversy and may be upsetting to some. I fully understand because I am an animal lover, almost to a fault. Also let it be known that I am against hunting as a sport, always have been and always will be. I can understand that there was a time men had to hunt to feed their families and I am OK with that because people come first. But now that this country is well served with grocery stores full of meat, to me there is no reason for hunting. However, I live near a reserve where local hunters are invited in periodically for hunting purposes (bows and arrows only I believe). They do this because the deer population gets too crowded with not enough food etc. for the animals to maintain good health. The undernourished animals become weak and their health suffers. I can accept this and like the fact that it is done with bows and arrows instead of guns (which in my opinion show no sign of being a sport).

While I would never encourage anyone to hunt an animal for a trophy, I do like the interiors of French chateaus that were known as hunting lodges, and the time-honored use of antlers and mounts as a decorative element. I think this look is very classic and tasteful when done right.

This week-end I found a beautiful deer mount in the back of an old thrift shop and after debating for a bit, I decided that this was no place for such a beautiful creature and that I would purchase it and give it a place of prominence in the entry hall of my European inspired home. I would encourage you to do the same if you like the look.There are many deer mounts already out there that could be given a place of honor instead of being relegated to walls and bins in thrift store or tossed out in garage sales. I am sorry if you are offended by my decision, but I feel like now my deer is being honored and for that I feel good.

The deer mount has always been a popular decor element in French interior design. Here they flank the gate of Pavillon de la Lanterne. Once a hunting lodge overlooking Versailles built in 1787 for the prince de Poix, Louis XVI's chief bodyguard, the home is now the summer residence of French President François Hollande.

An exterior wall at Versailles features a plaster deer mount that contains the actual antlers of a deer once killed by Louis XIV. At one time there was nothing at Versailles except a small medieval hunting lodge. It was later converted into a magnificent chateau by Louis XIV. By the high-middle ages hunting, no longer means of survival, was considered more a relaxing activity for the idle royalty and nobility. Deer mounts adorned the the walls of hunting lodges as the style became popular with the aristocracy.

There is something about deer mounts and French chateau decorating that go together. Here. European elegance meets rustic country and old-world character.

John Saladino

In the French chateau, an elegantly mounted deer head or skull would be a means to show off the owners skill and perseverance. The French culture is rich with hunting stories and legends.

Deer mounts in designer Timothy Corrigan's circa 1700's Château du Grand-Lucé in France's Loire Valley.

A deer mount will provide you with a large, dramatic art piece which you can use to create a focal point in your space.

via Pinterest

Halls and foyers are perfect spaces for displaying a deer mount.

Accent a beautiful entry and stairway with deer mounts. Even on a smaller scale it can look elegant.

Deer mounts and antlers provide a sophisticated approach to decorating a home that still inspires us today.

Deer mounts or antlers and crystal chandeliers screams French chateau style. It is rustic meets elegance at it's best.

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There are many great fakes out there so choose a resin deer mount for your space.

A fabulous French chateau dining room with assorted deer mounts. They add such a chic and elegant touch. If you try this look on a smaller scale in your home, be sure to pair them with hunt scenes either in the form of paintings or tapestries. 

Château de Brissac kitchen via Pinterest

Add a deer mount to an old world style kitchen for instant European flair. 

Château de Montgeoffroy kitchen with deer mounts. Limestone walls are a great background for mounts and antlers.

Even if you can only cover a section of the wall in limestone, it will lend to the chateau look and set off your deer mount.

Lisa Farmer Designs

Or you can create a faux limestone wall like I did in my hall.

Lisa Farmer Designs

Here is my recent purchase placed in a prominent location.

Lisa Farmer Designs

Believe me, it sure beats where he was when I found him.

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Antique furniture, a collection of antique white dishes, and a deer mount all work to enhance the European character of this room.

We seem to have a love affair with decorating our walls with deer......even finding them painted on the walls of cave dwellers.

What a gorgeous piece of French furniture and window. The deer mount gives this buffet vignette even more refinement.

Charles Faudree

Try incorporating antlers or mounts to achieve the graceful and inviting style of French Provincial decorating.

Charles Faudree used them in some of his fantastic French Country designs.

An elegant traditional setting using deer mount and canine art. Proof that your home doesn't have to be huge to still pull off the look.

These wall art pieces are an easy fit for both elegant, country, and cottage interiors. Antiques are an important component of the decor and a well placed deer mount (even a plaster one like this) goes a long way towards chic.

Great vignette with deer mount, French table, and lots of books!!

via Pinterest

The white deer mount is perfect for a room decorated in French grey and white. I guess the deer is painted or whitewashed.

Remember that a deer mount needn't be strictly associated with the American lodge look that many people automatically think of when they are mentioned. They can be quite an asset to your decor when used is a stylish way.

An iron deer mount makes a great patio accent and brings European flair to your outdoor entertaining area. This one graces Ralph Lauren's restaurant in Paris.

Large antique Paris Porcelain coffee pot featuring a deer. Deer inspired decor is another way to bring the look to your interiors.

images via Pinterest

Or look for a beautiful deer mount embellished crystal chandelier.

You will find many deer inspired items to choose from.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Decorating With The French Bergère Chair

Two iconic French armchairs, the bergère and the fauteuil, are frequently misidentified. Although they are similar, they are two totally different chairs. My last blog post focused on the fauteuil. Now the spotlight is on the French bergère which came into vogue as comfortable seating quickly became all the rage in 18th century France.

The bergère (ber zher'), French for “shepherdess”, was first seen in the Louis XV period. Louis XV enjoyed conversation and commissioned his chair maker (Jean-Baptiste Tilliard) to create a comfortable chair that would be well suited for conversation areas. He created the bergère around 1725 at the end of the Régence period. It is a low, upholstered chair with enclosed arms thus distinguishing it from it's open armed close relative, the fauteuil. The bergère was fitted with an upholstered back, padded armrests, and a loose, tailored seat cushion that provided lounging in comfort, while the enclosed arms and back helped to keep out drafts. Cabriole legs were often used on this chair.

In my opinion, a French bergère can add a sense of history and elegance to any style of room. Even though it has a timeless design, this chair can benefit from a bevy of upholstery fabric options that can take it easily into more modern settings. This style is still as popular today as it was in stylish European homes centuries ago.

Here in this French salon, you can see the difference between the two fauteuils and the striped bergère.

As French intellectuals developed a fondness for salons, where they would gather to discuss art, literature, and other important events of the time, more comfortable seating became imperative. French furniture designers began to design more comfortable suites of furniture that allowed for comfort and well as aesthetics.

A royal Louis XVI giltwood bergère which was made for Marie Antoinette by François II Foliot. A French bergère like this was more than likely used in the drawing room and was often part of a suite with accompanying settee.

The bergère catered to the needs and comfort of users, particularly women, whose wide dresses could make sitting very difficult. To accommodate the opulent fashions of the day, chair arms were shortened to give more room and chair backs were lowered so the backs of huge coiffures would not get mussed.

The bergère was the favorite chair of the most fashionable women of the day.The fanciful name, "shepherdess chair", was coined in mid-eighteenth century Paris.

Kara Childress via architecturaldigest.com

It was the lightness and style which made the French bergère chair so popular as an occasional guest chair.They were light enough to move around making rearranging easy.

The bergère is a perfect chair for the bedroom. With a slightly reclined back they are pleasant to sit in making them ideal for reading and relaxing before bedtime.

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Gilded or painted the Bergère frame looks even more fabulouly French when upholstered in toile.

Betsy Speert

These antique French curved chairs typically featured carved wooden frames that were gilded or painted and exposed to view.

via Pinterest 
French bergère backs can be high or low, square, round, curved, or conical (flowing without a break into the arms) in shape.

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These chairs look spendid together and offer symmetry, however a solitary bergère or fauteuil can stand alone beautifully.


I love the French Provincial bergère covered in cream fabric. There is such a quite elegance about them.

Bohemiennes on Etsy

Because of the lower backs of the bergères, they are great chairs to place in front of a feature window and not have to worry about your view being obstructed.


At home in a classical French bedroom, this bergère would look just as good in a toned down rustic French farmhouse. These chairs are chameleons.


French bergère chair upholstery was often done in silk and a brilliant color but a wide variety of other fabrics and patterns can be used, along with materials like leather.

The bergère is an excellent accent chair in almost any room.

via Pinterest

All styles of bergère chairs are lovely whether they are medallion back, serpentine back, or square back like these.

Joseph Minton, via Southern Accents

Another fabulous room in which a pair of French bergère chairs elevate the interior to a higher level of sophistication.


via Pinterest

Several different styles of bergère chairs are represented in this French salon.

via Pinterest

If you want more of a French Country look, you might prefer a cane bergère.

I adore these French chairs in cane.

The wood of a bergère chair may be left untreated, or it may be stained, painted, or gilded. Some people like to antique the wood, giving it a distressed patina so it blends into a room with an aged feel.

Classically, the chair is oversized and very well stuffed, making it a comfortable and inviting place to sit. There are many stunning reproductions available today with a wide variety of upholstery fabric from which to choose. This classic style French bergère chair has a look that is fresh for today.

Taylor & Taylor Design Firm

Unique upholstery gives these comfortable chairs an elegant edge.

French bergère chairs are right at home in an eclectic interior. These are covered in a trendy ikat pattern.

The French bergère remains a popular decorating choice for interior designers. Like most classic decorating pieces, it has stood the test of time.

Whether you paint them, gild them, or leave then au natural, bergère chairs will definitely have you saying OUI, OUI!

To learn more about French chairs be sure to visit http://eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com/2016/07/decorating-with-french-fauteuil.html .

Click here to see the previous post


This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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