Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Decorating With Swedish Gustavian White Painted Desks

If you love the relaxed and quite charm of the Swedish Gustavian or even French Farmhouse home, then you already know that adding a piece of white painted furniture is one of the quickest ways to to give your room a Scandinavian face lift. White wood is very common in Swedish Gustavian designs, however all white is not created equal. Let me get this out of the way......I don't mean brilliant white. The white I speak of is a creamy white or one that is slightly grayed.

While I adore the tranquil beauty of all Swedish pieces I am partial to the white painted desks. This blog post features antique desks and secretaries that have been painted white and have that wonderful distressed patina that only time (or a truly gifted faux painter) can accomplish.

Hopefully these images will titillate your treasure hunting taste buds to look for a great Swedish Gustavian desk for yourself or get your creative juices flowing to create your own version. Just make sure you find a tutorial that teaches you how to really accomplish an authentic looking faux finish. This isn't about painting a desk white, beating it up a bit, and then calling it distressed. There is more to it if you want the great patina on an object that creates so much character for a room. But you can do it.......just take time to learn the right way.

The future King Gustav III of Sweden, upon returning home from the French court of Versailles, was so inspired by what he had seen there that he set about to create his own "Paris of the North." The resulting Gustavian style is a pared-back, lighter in color version of French rococo with neoclassical influences and was adopted by the aristocracy of Sweden as well as the common man as the new trend of decor.

The white painted Swedish Gustavian secretary desk is a charming, multipurpose piece of furniture that can be used in infinite ways in every room of your house.

Typically secretaries come in one of two heights, low or high. They both are gorgeous it's just a matter of which style works best for you. The Gustavian white painted desk is elegant and refined yet very rustic and cozy.

White painted desks in the Swedish Gustavian style are the darlings of the antiques show circuit.

The country cousin of Louis XVI style furniture, the white painted Swedish desk has the same great bone structure minus all the fuss.

Cupboards & Roses

This beautiful Gustavian white painted desk is a perfect combination of Swedish restraint and the French decorative style. It is an elegantly calm piece that is very easy to live with in any style interior.

 Furlow Gatewood 

Your Gustavian style white painted desk need not be huge. A small desk like this will add character to a corner or small nook.

To a country that spends a large part of its year with limited daylight ( in December, the average day has 19 hours of darkness) few qualities are desired more than light. The pale colors of the Swedish Gustavian interior with it's white painted desks, furniture, walls and floors are in direct response to this need.

The Swedish aesthetic focuses on a neutral color palette, painted furniture, and a mix of formal and informal elements. This fabulous painted white secretary desk has a much sought after Mora clock built into the side.

A stunning two part Swedish Gustavian white painted secretary desk with soft blue interior accent. Another element that influenced Gustavian furniture history was the Rococo Style. Swedish artisians used some of its design elements, but kept it simpler in design.

Gustavian furniture is often recognized by its carved and tapered legs. If you're not sure what pieces to start with for a Swedish Gustavian style interior a white painted desk is a good choice.

A great patina on an object creates so much character for a room.This Swedish white painted writing desk has a lovely patina and great grey stenciled decoration.

Suzanne Kasler

Antique painted white Swedish slant front writing desk with bracket brace, early 19th Century. The wonderful patina of painted furniture is one reason why the Gustavian look is sought after and desired by many. If you find a piece like this, it is OK to clean it but don't strip or repaint it. The pattern of wear is part of the much desired aesthetic that dealers and decorators swoon over.

via Pinterest

A painted Swedish Gustavian table can easily double as  a desk. White painted furniture (especially distressed furniture) looks great in a vintage farmhouse room.The popular shabby chic style owes it's origins to Gustavian painted furniture.

Although the Gustavian style was initially gilded and reserved for royal palaces in and around the capitol city of Stockholm, the style quickly gained popularity among the general population. A secretary desk like this painted white one would have been a prized possession.

via Pinterest

Pared down and calmly elegant, popularity for white painted furniture like this 18th century Gustavian writing desk spread from the town houses of the well-to-do to rural Swedish country homes where you would see beautifully carved furniture white-washed, or painted in soft greys, blues, or butter yellow.

Add just one white distressed piece like this great secretary desk to your interior and bring instant charm with the look of age.

Charles Faudree

This lovely white painted desk shows how Swedish Gustavian is a restrained interpretation of the French Louis XV and Louis XVI style.

The large secretaries are fabulous but sometime a small, unique, white painted desk speaks volumes and adds a ton of warmth and character to a room. Fluted legs like these are typical of Swedish Gustavian furniture.

Another small white painted desk in this charming Gustavian style bedroom by Lars Bolander

via Pinterest

White and cream distressed furniture gives you the vintage feeling of a room that has been around for centuries. The soft creamy white and palette of soft colors, like the quite gray you see here on the interior portion this desk, is the reason why these Swedish Gustavian painted pieces have the ability to fit within most any home decor.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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