Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Decorating With Louis XV Style French Mantles

I love mantles.......all sizes and shapes!! The mantlepiece is an important part of the overall interior aesthetic since it more than often becomes the visual focal point of the room. One of the important considerations when deciding to purchase this old house was whether it was "mantley challenged." It was not, and I am blessed with three fabulous mantles. This blog post features a mantle that I do not have but is one of my favorites, the Louis XV style mantle. This mantle was highly favored during the Rococo period of 18th century France where it was was considered ornate. Today this style mantle is an extremely popular choice for the French home and is found in country chateau and rustic style French interiors as well as classical French spaces.

The Louis XV style mantle is characterized by the lively and curved shape of that wonderful serpentine arch. This graceful and understated design from the era of Louis XV embodies the refined architectural detail that is the heart of French Rococo.

If you are considering mantles, the Louis XV style will certainly add a sense of history and charm to  your interior design.

Music from the Rococo period.

source unknown

Rococo artists and architects used a graceful approach to design. Their style was ornate and used light colors, asymmetrical designs and curves. 

The Louis XV French mantle was at the heart of Rococo with it's sensuous curves and splendid carvings. This style mantle had a more feminine look.

The word 'Rococo' is derived from the French "rocaille", a word used to describe the rock and shell work of Italian and French grottoes. Many Louis XV mantles as well as other 18th century carved furniture were richly decorated with sculpted shells.

Chateau de Deulin, Luxembourg, Belgium

Mirrors are often used to enhance the space above the Louis XV mantle. 

Alexa Hampton

Ted and Lillian Williams restored Chateau de Morsan

French trumeau mirrors compliment the Louis XV mantle beautifully.  Mirrors tend to make the space look grander where pictures, another lovely choice, usually give a room a more casual elegance.

Corbis Images via Pinterest

The Louis XV mantle was developed in the early 18th century Rococo period in Paris, France. Rococo came to the forefront of interior fashion as a reaction against the symmetry, and strict regulations of the Baroque style.

Hélène Rochas's House in Paris via 

Classic Louis XV style mantle with generous curves and  exquisitely carved  legs that rise up to end on a serpentine console. 

Chateau de Varennes - Bourgogne - France

The Louis XV French mantle is somewhat lower and deeper than an English mantle and usually displays an exuberant Rococo style carved central cartouche.

Charles Faudree

The graceful lines and proportions make these mantles appropriate for numerous room settings.......

from sophisticated French Country......... the more Contemporary style like that in the home of musician Lenny Kravitz.

The choice of material for the mantel includes such rich materials as marble,limestone,granite, or fine woods.

Timothy Corrigan

Certainly the most luxurious of materials is marble. In the past only the finest of rare colored and white marbles were used.

Mario Buatta

This mantle features the lines that characterize the movement of Rococo design.

Jeffry Weisman

Typical of the reign of Louis XV, this mantle shows a classic profile, its simple uncluttered lines combined with generous carving.

More than the material, it is the quality of the carving that defines the quality of the mantle piece thus highlighting the magnificence of the room.

Nicky Haslam

The Louis XV French mantle can give any style interior a grand presence.

And yet they can maintain a delicate and understated elegance like this beautiful carved French limestone mantle.

Susan Gutfreund's Paris Apartment via

Lavish , curvy, richly carved, and flamboyant, the Louis XV French mantle never goes out of interior fashion.

Louis XV mantles are very aesthetically pleasing mantels because of the detailed carvings on the legs and console sections.This frieze features a beautiful carved inverted shell with foliage in the center

The look fits well into both country houses and elegant, old chateaux.

The Louie XV mantle will also be right at home with the French Country style of decorating, with its warm and casual feel.

I think the Louis XV mantle is most beautiful when used with a stone chimney piece. This room is marvelous with it's understated yet refined French flair.

via Pinterest

Phoebe Howard

Give the Louis XV consideration for your mantle needs. It's a great feature for any room!

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Decorating With The X- Shaped Curule Seat

Curule: (pronounced "CUE rool"):ancient seats supported on an X-shaped frame that trace their roots back to the folding stool of the Egyptians, c.2000-1500 BC. The Curules or X form of seats and stools can be seen through the medieval period used by authority figures such as kings and high ranking church officials. Latin curulis ‎(“of or pertaining to a chariot”)this elaborate ceremonial X-shaped seat was used by the highest magistrates in ancient Rome.

As the Curule Seat evolved, it flourished in it's popularity across Europe after the 15th century. In the early 1800's the X-shaped chair came to America as part of this country's fascination with French style and furniture. 

The versatile x-shaped Curule Seat is an easy accent piece that can add flair to any interior.

The x-design of the Curule Seat remained popular with various modifications throughout the centuries

From the Medieval and Renaissance periods and throughout the baroque periods of the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s these seats were constantly in use.

Suzanne Kasler via Veranda Magazine

These curule seats grace many well appointed homes today as well.

Curule Seats descended from stools reserved for high-ranking officials of the Roman Empire. The Curule seat was not comfortable to sit on for extended periods and was to be a reminder to governing officials that their office was temporary and not permanent.

The Curule Seat is a great aesthetic accessory but becomes easily accessible extra seating when needed.

Howard Slatkin

The X-shaped seat is so multi-functional. You can add a tray and use the seat as a small table.

Designer David Easton via

You can tuck them under a console table for an appealing aesthetic.

Photographer Andreas Trauttmansdorff

Curule seats are also ideal for an entryway. They work equally well in modern or old world style foyers.

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Curule Seats with their iconic shape make great coffee tables. One is lovely but a pair of x-shaped Curule Seats.........fabulous!

Design by McAlpine Booth Ferrier 

A pair of these versatile seats are perfection at the end of a bed. Pull them apart when extra seating is needed.

via pinterest

These little x-shaped seats can add a touch of glamour to any room.

Embrace the classical past! Curule Seats were dubbed Roman chairs and have been a mainstay in stylish interiors.

via Pinterest

Sitting in a Curule Seat like this would give you the instant feeling of royalty.

Luis Bustamante

There are Curule chairs, benches, stools, and even foot stools like this one.

Hallberg & Wisley via

Curule seats are always nice to have around for extra seating when guests pop in.

Frank Babb Randolph

Evergreen Antiques via Country Living online

The retro glamour of Hollywood's golden age comes to mind when I see an x-shaped Curule Seat, especially pulled up to a vanity.

While the Curule Seat can be a more serious and glam accessory in some interiors........

The Inn at Hastings Park Lexington, Massachusetts

........these X-shaped benches can be lots of fun as well. There are many wonderful fabrics to choose from and don't forget they look great in pairs.

Actress Brook Shields has a splendid painted Curule seat in her apartment.

This modern x-shaped Curule Seat draws inspiration from classical design and is embellished with nailheads. This style seat fits in well with other vintage pieces.

Cute and colorful bedroom with Curule Seats at the end of each twin bed.

KuDa Photography

The chrome X-shaped base of these button tufted, contemporary Curule Seats creates a bold, clean look. These are great seats to add to your collection of contemporary pieces!

source unknown

These gorgeous Curule Seats feature a classic Greek Key design.

As you can see, it's simple shape allows the Curule Seat to work in all sorts of interiors with just a change of finish or fabric.

X does mark the spot and Curule Seats are definite treasures for your interiors!

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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