Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Decorating With French Demilune Chests And Tables

After you have viewed the following images I know you will agree with me ......you just can't go wrong by adding an elegantly curved demilune chest or table to you interior. Pronounced "dem-ee-loon", which translates as half moon in French, these lovely tables and chests are designed withe curved sides and a top that is shaped in a half circle. A typical demilune chest has four legs, and the demilune table can have three to four legs depending upon the design. The way they are made allows them to be flush with the wall.

The Demilune table and chest reached a height of popularity in France during the 1700’s. Originally carved from mahogany, satinwood or walnut, these ‘half-moon’ tables and chests were painted or left natural featuring stunning inlaid patterns.

Classic French demilune furniture with clean, smooth lines, is the perfect example of how a piece can be functional, yet graceful and stylish at the same time.

The French definitely do have a way with elegant, refined furniture as you can see by these stunning painted demilune chests. The demilune form is feminine and can really add romance to your interiors. Let's start with demilune chests and then take a look at the tables.

George III Demi-Lune Jardiniere Cabinet, C. 1775 - Attributed to Mayhew & Ince via invaluable.com

You can also count on a demiune table or chest to add instant old-world charm to any room you place it.

Lyons Demesne, country house and estate in Lyons Hill, County Kildare, Ireland

Demilune pieces are especially pretty when placed under a large wall mirror or piece of art.

The size and shape of a demilune chest or table makes it the perfect piece to fit between two windows.

The demilune's half size top has just enough space for a few of your favorite objects.

This demilune chest is the center of an intimate little seating area.

Louis XVI demilune dresser via Parino Antiques

These painted chests and tables usually have the most exquisitely minute and detailed accents.

via Pinterest

The eye-catching side silhouette of the demilune chest shows it's shallow profile and lack of sharp corners. This makes it the perfect choice for a small hallway or entry.

You might want to try a demilune chest in your bedroom. It takes up less space than a traditional dresser and I love that it is designed with no hard corners to bump into. Flank it with a couple of pretty chairs for a soft elegant look.

Two chairs on either side of a demilune adds symmetry.

A lovely demilune chest in your entry will assure you of a great first impression.

Antique Hand-Painted Adams Style Demi Lune Commode Cabinet | 1stdibs.com

In 1748, the discovery of the ancient city of Pompeii caused a resurgence of the popularity of Greco-Roman antiquities which carried over into the Louis XV period and made the transition to Louis XVI. The resulting style is known as neo-classicism and demilunes as well as other pieced were decorated with landscapes, scenic ruins, and architectural elements as well as more Grecian style figures.

During the reign of Louis XVI console shapes became more bowed and round so it was a perfect fit for demilune furniture. Also a typical feature was the medallion motif.

via Pinterest

Since this style of the demilune chest did not have drawers and compartments it was easier to paint these lovely scenes.

A floral marquetry demilune commode, Louis XVI

When left unpainted the demilune chests and tables were often embellished with veneers of precious woods and inlay.

via Pinterest

Even with their marble tops demilunes seem to carry a light petite elegance.

Cathy Kincaid Interiors

These distinctive pieces bring graceful style and can be used in so may ways in every room of the house.

Yes, even in the kitchen. I love the demilune shaped island!

Since a demilune chest is so valuable at providing style within a limited space, they are a good choice for the bathroom.

Leslie Hayes Interiors via Houzz

The size and shape are a big plus too.

Using demilune chests in the foyer is a good idea. The drawers provide the perfect place for tossing keys and mail.


Add one or two shallow demilune tables about midway down the hall to break up the space a bit. Plus look what pretty flower arrangement stands they make.

via Pinterest

Or a demilune table can add just the right finish to the end of a hallway.

The shape of the demilune table works perfect in smaller spaces where a round table might not. Try using them in the bedroom as a nightstand or as a petite writing desk.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

During the reign of Louis XV the salon became the social gathering place and people became far more concerned with convenience and comfort. This resulted in the demand for smaller armchairs, sofas, and portable tables. The demilune table was light and easily moved about.

Demilune tables were usually made of mahogany or satinwood and were left natural, painted, or gilded. Fine examples would also include beautiful marble tops.

I love how the light and airy demilune tables can be decorated in such a feminine manner.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

Have a look around your house and I am sure you will find a small space just begging for a demilune table. I have one in this little nook by my living room window.

They are so lovely tucked into a space in the foyer. Ornate and gilded demilune tables adorned entry halls in 18th century France. In fact the foyer is the spot where demilunes first earned their name. 

 If you are fortunate enough to have two matching demilune tables you can have the best of both worlds. These can be used separately or pushed together to create a circle.

via Pinterest

An ornately painted and partial gilt George III demilune table via Hyde Park Antiques, Ltd.

A demilune table can double as a sideboard, especially in a dining room that is limited to space. Plus it's pretty and different.

Carolina Herrera

A pretty painted demilune table flanked by chairs in this Chinoiserie style foyer. These pieces work well with any style.

Even a more rustic demilune console gives a wall presence. Add in a couple of chairs, if your space allows, for a conversation area.

A simple style painted demilune table that looks amazing in a Gustavian or French Nordic interior.

The design of the demilune chest and table is timeless and is an ongoing decorating element that continues to enhance interiors even today.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Friday, July 5, 2019

Decorating With Antique French Altar Candelabras

If you have picked up a decorating magazine or looked on any of the social media decorating sites you have to notice that religious icons are no longer just meant for personal use. In fact they are increasingly being sought out and used as design elements in homes. The interest in collecting religious artifacts started a few years ago and is still very popular with no signs of letting up. It's not a trend but a way of life if you enjoy old world aesthetics. Many high end auction houses now even have Christian religious antiques and art departments. 

This blog post spotlights one element of antique religious decor which I simply adore and that is the French altar candelabra. While you enjoy the images of them, I thought you might like to know some history behind these amazing French altar candelabras.

Years ago these altar candelabras were brought to French churches, usually around Thanksgiving or Easter, for offerings of thanks and for prayers.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

French altar candelabras should have the wheat, grape, and lily embellishments plus an intricate and highly decorative spray of foliage. All these elements are symbolic. This is a large pair I found a few months back that have all the elements.

via Pinterest

The clusters of grapes on the altar candelabras signifies the wine of Holy Communion.  The grapes and vine also represent the church.

whiteandfaded on instagram.com

The sheaves of wheat symbolize the blessed bread used for Communion.


A French altar candelabra should have seven holders. The seven candle candelabra was used in the Old Testament tabernacle for generations as a symbol of light. In the New Testament, it symbolizes Christ as the light.

The white Candidum Lily (Easter Lily), found wild in what is now Palestine, Asia Minor, and Syria, is symbolic of our Risen Lord.

via Marcel Troganowski on Pinterest

These lovely candelabras come in several designs and in all shapes and sizes. The images you have seen above are what is generally associated with French altar candelabras. This look you see here is accomplished by bending two tall ones to form a sort of arch and topping it with a crown.  I think they are so pretty like this too.

Even though most of these wonderful furnishing come from older Catholic churches, you don't have to belong to the religion to embrace their beauty.

via Pinterest

Another pretty arched altar candelabra effect.

Home altar with lovely candelabras.

These French altar candelabras are highly collectible for brocante chic decor.

K&Co. Antiques. www.k-co.dk

via Pinterest


A close up of this altar candelabra focuses attention on the branch design that features decorative white milk glass lilies throughout.

Having once graced the altar of a French church, these stunning candelabras look fabulous today displayed on mantles, desks, buffets, tables.........

and chests of drawers.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

These candelabras are generally used more with the painted French Nordic/Gustavian style but you don't have to paint all your French pieces before you can reap the benefits of the ambiance they  bring to a room. This vignette is in my bedroom and features one of a pair of French altar candelabras.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

In my living room I use more creamy whites so the other French altar candelabra works well on this painted piece.

Another images that shows these candelabras look fantastic in more formal interiors as well as the simple brocante style spaces.

Sometimes the altar candelabra will only have the milk glass lily embellishments.

And altar candelabras can also be found with only five candleholders.

This French altar candelabra pair is loaded to the hilt with milk glass lilies.

You can also find altar candelabras with green lilies..........

Via Tatiana Lijbaert on Pinterest

via Pinterest

Other times the lilies will not be milk glass but will instead be made out of metal.

According to antique dealers the increase in demand for these beautiful pieces have them working tirelessly to find more inventory.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Still another style of altar candelabra. These are smaller and would probably be used for personal home altars instead of on the altars of churches.

via Pinterest

I like the curved design of this French altar candelabra. For some reason this holds nine candles instead of the usual seven.  Still manages to maintain a faded elegance even with chippy and distressed surroundings.

Some altar candelabras have porcelain roses and chrysanthemums. Probably for personal altars. The lilies hold religious significance and would have been used in churches.

Lovely mid sized altar candelabras. 

via Pinterest

all images via Pinterest

As far as I'm concerned they are all beautiful. Even the smallest of the small are delightful. 

Even though there is a big demand now for religious art and antiques and the prices have risen dramatically, collectors can sometimes get lucky at flea and antique markets, thrift stores, and estate sales. I certainly did!!

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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