Friday, September 21, 2018

My Old World Master Bedroom Suite

Last year, since you were all so kind to ask, I promised many of my Facebook and Eye for Design friends and followers that I would show some pictures of my own home. You have seen blog posts on my living room, dining room, hall and kitchen. That leaves the family room and the master bedroom suite which includes my office. The two bedrooms upstairs became my husband's man cave since our son moved out. Although he has it really nice it won't be on the tour. I have not taken the time to take house pictures for almost a year, so in order to fulfill my promise I thought I would go ahead and feature the bedroom first and sometime before the end of the year I'll get around to the family room.

I thought it would be easier to include the bath and my office since they are actually part of the bedroom suite. The bedroom is eclectic old world in style somewhere in between classic and country manor. There are French influences as well as Neo-classical, and English. I have plans and projects ahead that will tilt things more to the French side. Will update as I finish projects, but for now, this is it. I hope you enjoy.

Looking into the bedroom from the door leading outside. This room is painted in a soft blush tone that is hard to photograph and changes color depending on the time of day. The truest color will be what you see on the lower parts of the walls where the golden incandescent lighting doesn't interfere. I painted this old desk about 15 years ago. The four poster was handmade by a man in Lexington and I have had it through my 80's primitive colonial stage, through English and now into more Old World. My plan is to turn it into a lit à la polonaise style bed and am looking for a coronet. A project for when my back gets better!!

I am so fortunate to have this great window seat in the bedroom. It's one of the things that sold me on this old house. That and the 12 foot ceilings. The old wool tapestry came from an auction in northern Kentucky and is hand appliqued. It is in soft muted colors on a dark green background that simply do not show up well in the camera light. I am planning to change the window treatment soon to something that enhances the many projects, too little time.

I love antique textiles, especially those that are hand made. I try and buy any that I find at prices that don't break the bank. There are so many places you can use them to give your home an old world feel.

Here is a closer picture and you can see the colors a bit better.

You can see the applique work and hand stitches better here.

Just a little vignette in the space in between rooms. I collect old family crests.......any name will do!

Looking through the bed into my office. This room has five doors, a fireplace, and a window box which makes it hard to come up with wall space for some other pieces I an armoire.

You go through this pocket door into my office.

This area is a combination of French and Neo-classical. I love reliefs, Greek key patterns, and other classical elements and think they work well with French furniture.

My desk is a big trestle style with carved legs and feet that you can't really see in these pictures. I found an old watch makers cabinet that sits on top of it. The French phone was a birthday present from Tim. The French girandoles were found in a vintage car parts junk yard. They were apart and in a box.....for $50.00. There is a story like that behind everything I have. God leads me to some incredible finds!!!

I wish you could see the watch cabinet better.....all these little drawers and slots. The piece at right was made by my great grandfather and I have considered painting it but just don't have the heart. Above the desk is an antique needlepoint picture of a young French falconer. A treasured gift from a friend in France is displayed in the cloche.

This room is prettier if you are actually standing in it. It's not that big so it is hard to photograph to get full views. The panels were old Chinoiserie panels that I painted and stenciled with joint compound for a raised Venetian plaster look. This window is one I keep shuttered so I also covered it with a tapestry and framed antique French needlepoint seat cover........pretty muted pastel colors that again just don't show up well.

The little antique bench is where you will usually find a sleeping cat. Sophie, Chanel, and Buddy like to relax here while I am Facebooking or working on a blog. The old pillows are petitpoint and are of French chateaux. I am probably going to paint the slant top desk cream as a winter project.

The closer the camera the more color you can see. There is alot more blue but just doesn't show up well no matter what I do.

I have several crystal chandeliers throughout the house and wanted something different but similar to go in my office. I looked for over a year for one of these antique Italian vine chandeliers. The crystals fit into metal buds so it looks like they are blooming. Found it finally and the price was RIGHT. Tim did have to rewire the sockets as they were Italian and did not fit our bulbs.

This year I purchased this large old unframed oil on canvas that  really impacts the room. Hard to tell here that she is 60 inches tall. My vision was to put an antique French daybed here underneath it. However, my back dictates that it does not want to go up and down basement stairs to wash clothes. So the washer and dryer now sit here instead. Dream has been put on hold until we can convert a covered porch to a mudroom. People say to look on the bright side though an embrace what a pretty laundry room I have.

View from office into bedroom that shows the French screens on either side of the bed. It actually has four panels but I have them split and folded for now.

I have tried to change the camera setting so the colors are a bit truer even though now the green is weird. The screens are actually covered in blues, greens, and deep reds on a cream background. Also blues in the needlepoint pillows.

Looking through door leading to the hall.

Another of the MANY doors. This one leads to the bathroom.

I have to tell the story of the mantle. There is an old lady in town that we help from time to time when she comes by needing food or some other assistance. She has a roof over her head but no electricity, water etc. and won't go anywhere else. She is a hoarder as on TV. One day this huge man shows up in a truck, knocks on the door and says "Deborah wants you to have this". I didn't argue with him. Where it came from I don't know. Anyway it went perfect in my bathroom and I am glad to have it.

I will eventually do something different underneath it. Without the camera flash you don't see the stripes so it does look better. Just French script showing.

The crystal chandelier and sconces wash out the green, deep reds, and blues in the pictures and the acanthus leaf boarder under the leopard print. However without them on it is too dark.

I turned off the sconces but it still didn't help. There is a pretty little French demilune table with painted flowers on it that just doesn't show up.

I love lidded garden urns! The red you see in the stair well runs through all these rooms but for some reason it shows up well here but nowhere else.

Looking down the hall.

Usually Chanel or Sophie are the ones interested in getting their pictures taken but today Buddy wanted in on the act. He turned up at the end to say good-by.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Torchères.......Elegant Old World Lighting

Derived from the French word "torche" (torch), a torchère is basically a tall candle stand that would have supported some form of candleabrum. And whether they are standing in corners, on either side of a table, or flanking a corridor, these beautiful pieces bring instant beauty and sophistication to an interior. 

When first introduced in France toward the end of the 17th century, the Italian style torchère usually held only one candle. However the use of ornate candelabras doubled or tripled the number of candles and the improvement was so great it revolutionized the lighting of large rooms.The torchère, while being a utilitarian necessity, sure added an element of elegance to rooms as well.

I hope you enjoy the images, especially the ones that show you how to create the look for your own homes.

Photo by Ganymede2009 - on flickr

The torchère was actually a precursor of the floor lamp.

Surmounted by fabulous girandoles with beautiful ormolu mountings, here are some of the nymph torchères in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.

via Pinterest

Torchères were commonly used to light dark corners of larger rooms.

The combination of a triangular base, turned central shaft, and circular top was developed in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries. They typically either had flat tops to support candelabras or sockets into which candles were placed.

19th century giltwood torchères

Simple but elegant painted Italian torchères.

Beautiful torchère in Hubert De Givenchy's Paris town house on rue De Grenelle.

Hand painted wood and gesso antique torchères with wrought iron candelabras.

Part of the collection of Dr Peter D. Sommer, this beautiful gilded torchère points to a mid-18th-century date I think.....don't claim to be an expert.

Photo by David John

Painted and gilded 18th century Italian torcheres also project their own style of quite elegance. Imagine these with twin girandoles.

Torchères were often used to flank altars in churches and private chapels. Wooden examples like these were generally used.

source unknown

Because they could easily be moved to wherever light was needed, torchères were very popular.

I love the handpainted figural torchères. It is hard to pick a style.....they are all wonderful.

A pair of polychrome blackamoor torchères holding only one candle in the hallway of a historic home. 

Another pair with candelabras.

Two Venetian torchères flank a 17th-century French marquetry desk in the home of Emilio Pucci.

thierry2478 via

Torchère in le Grand Trianon, Château de Versailles.

via Pinterest

Fabulous Louis XV marble torchères.

Torchères don't always have to follow the traditional pattern. They can also be constructed from several different elements of design as you can see in the image above.

Hotel Lambert in Paris

Candelabras can be set upon columns, plinths, etc to create beautiful torchères. I think this style is usually more interesting.

If you have a column, set a candelabra on top and make your own torchère.

Don't forget that marble stands make great torchères.

A unique regency giltwood and gesso torchère c.1820

Torchères are still perfect for providing antique ambiance when placed in rooms to light and decorate. French Provincial, Country Chateau, and farmhouse style can all benefit from the addition of a torchère and girandole combination.

Plant stands are easy to find. This barley twist style would be stunning with a crystal girandole on top. I have a beautiful wooden stand that belonged to my mother that I am searching for just the right girandole to make myself a torchère.

You could make your torchères from bases that fit your interior style.

via Pinterest

Find yourself a pair a fabulous antique candelabras,

ornate crystal girandoles,

or more faded French or Italian beauties to use as you torchère toppers.

via Pinterest

These stands, known as torchères, would have supported candelabra.........but be creative and you can use them in a number of wonderful ways!!

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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