Friday, March 25, 2022

Decorating With Antique French Barometers

I love the way that centuries ago the most mundane utilitarian objects were still so very beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Take for instance the subject of this blog post, the antique French barometer. A necessary instrument for keeping track of the weather was at the same time a gorgeous decorator piece. The French mindset was "Hey, if you must look at it on a daily basis, why not make it fabulous"! I tend to agree. Fast forward a couple of centuries and well....there are no words.

It is clear that craftsmen of the 17th -19th century were devoted to making barometers of the time in beautiful and intricate cases. Antique French style barometers in particular are extremely lovely with their elegantly ornamented cases. And they are highly sought after today by antique collectors. In fact, take a look decorating magazines, social media platforms, et cetera, and you will see just how popular decorating with these beautiful barometers has become.

Evangelista Torricelli is credited with inventing the first barometer in 1643. A physician and mathematician, Torricelli had moved to Florence to assist Galileo. While performing various experiments concerning the nature of air and vacuums, he uncovered the basic principal of the barometer and set in motion the use of mercury in the measurement of atmospheric pressure. Soon, his principles were accepted by scientists throughout the continent. Then in 1843, the French scientist Lucien Vidie invented the aneroid barometer, aneroid meaning without liquid.

So, there you have a bit of history of the barometer. Now let's get down to how to decorate with these beautiful antiques. I hope you will enjoy the images and take away an idea or two of how to make an antique French barometer the center of attention in your home.

Highly decorative, this French antique barometer would certainly enliven any wall beautifully. With its ability to foretell weather changes, the barometer became a common tool for mariners and the aristocracy who were the only ones that could afford them as mercury was incredibly expensive. Plus an elaborate case would only add to the price.

The French barometers, like most everything made for royalty and rich aristocrats, were unique and of the highest quality imaginable.

Carolyne Roehm Interior

However, by the early 1800's many homes had a barometer hanging on the wall. They were trendy but most home owners had no idea what to do with them. High tech for the times!!

"Oh, the perfect wall accessory for a study, or library" you might say. And you would be WRONG. The antique French barometer can become a stunning focal point in every living area space you chose to display it!

Try "floating" a French barometer on a mirror. The dining room can be a great place to show off your treasure.

This style antique French barometer (and those in images above) are the aneroid kind. As you can see there is no mercury used.

We may not use them in the way they were intended, but the antique French barometer can absolutely be repurposed into a gorgeous work of art!

The fragile glass tube holding the mercury on this style barometer is usually mounted to pieces of wood. Then the cases around the French barometers are often heavily carved, ornamented, and gilded.

Another popular type of antique barometer, first produced in the late 17th century, is called the stick barometer. Those made in France are usually gilded and can be extraordinary. This is a style that I really admire. I prefer the French to the English stick barometer which featured natural wood cases.

via Pinterest

Because they often incorporate a dial and have a similar shape, the antique French barometer can be mistaken for a clock.

 Sometimes they were sold as sets. For more information and images of the French cartel clocks visit my blog at

Lisa Farmer - Eye For Design

I recently found this antique French barometer at an estate sale. This one features a bronze case featuring a man holding a flag and a bird and is similar to a clock.

Owning a French barometer in the early Georgian period was considered a basic necessity. Barometers appeared in the retail shops of clockmakers, instrument makers, and even cabinet makers.

Antique barometers as wall art can be warm and charming in a casually elegant French country interior.

They are equally at home in a classically elegant Old World interior.

An antique French barometer will instantly add sense of history and elegance to any home.

Paolo Moschino Ltd

These gorgeous French gilt barometers pair extremely well with antique tapestries.

As you can see from this image of a Charles Faudree dining room, adding a French barometer to your wall décor collection will definitely enhance the space.

When reading a barometer, remember the following: falling pressure denotes stormy or rainy weather, rising pressure indicates a return of fair weather and steady pressure means there will most likely be no significant change. Since the late 17th century, barometers were marked with the following (or similar) indications, which remain accurate today: Very Dry, Settled Fair, Fair, Changeable, Rain, Much Rain, or Stormy (or a variation of these).

Use you antique French barometer as part of a charming vignette.

Angel Studio (@angelartlife) on Instagram

Here the antique barometer is used in a classic French bedroom. Why not! These lovely instruments will look stunning as well in today's French, vintage, or old world style bedroom.

via Pinterest

A French barometer is perfection when used with other old world antiques. Be sure to toss in some antique books......the two just seem right for each other!!

Via The French Tangerine

These elegant barometers have enough presence to stand alone on a wall.

A delightful 18th Century French Louis XVI Barometer.

Brian J McCarthy

An antique French barometer is 3D art that looks marvelous when used with other works of art like paintings.

Whether you purchase one or collect many antique barometers to form a nice display, they will give your space that Old World charm.

I think the gilded French barometers are beautiful when used in a tone on tone interior.

Lauren DeLoach Interiors

Especially a neutral French interior à la Provence.

Although they can be quite expensive, often times you can find these beautifully gilded French barometers at estate sales and auctions.

These beautiful antique barometers are certainly an asset to the Belgium, Swedish, and Nordic French style interiors.

Designer, Kara Childress

Even though you may not actually NEED a barometer, their form and craftsmanship make them a desirable objet d’art for decorating interiors.

What a fabulous antique barometer!!! I love how it is hung on the library shelves.

A wonderful French barometer from the 18th century.

Carolyne Roehm

For centuries beautifully designed barometers have graced the walls of palaces, chateaus, and manor houses. Today they are still at home in the simplest, casually elegant French country interiors adding a sense of history and sophistication to any home

Click below to see the previous blog post.

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

In the event that I have not credited the correct source of an image, please contact me at and I will be glad to correct it.

Friday, March 18, 2022

How To Create Stylish Formal Dining Rooms......Yes They Are Back!

Yes! Yes! Yes! I have always been an advocate for the separate dining room and have maintained a formal one through the ebb and flow of their popularity. I like classic dining rooms and think they should be decorated in such a way that it is a definite treat to be invited for a dinner party. And YES, I love dinner parties, boardgame night parties and entertaining in general. Unfortunately it is harder to get people together these days so I don't have the chance to entertain as often as I use to.

For years now homeowners have been opting to forgo the formal dining area. I am so pleased that the trend of converting the dining room into every kind of room imaginable is a thing of the past. Finally, with sit-down family meals making a comeback, people are once again wanting to stay home to cook, entertain, and foster a better connection with the ones they love. Architectural Digest reports that more and more young buyers are requesting a separate dining area to entertain family and friends. Good for them I say!

During the past decade people have opted to go out to a great restaurants. However now couples are realizing that the same kind of atmosphere can be achieved in your own dining room. The restaurant is being abandoned for old-fashioned dinner parties as people are wanting to create a room for a grand celebration for friends and family

With the formal dining room undergoing a current revival perhaps it’s time for you to bring back one of your own. Remember that "formal" has a different connotation today than it did in the past. Today's dining room is generally much more comfortable and casual while still maintaining a chic, elegant style. Below are some images of dining rooms in various styles that hopefully will convince you to embrace the fact that dining rooms are back, and help you create a stylish one of your own. 

The formal dining room like this one in Waddesdon Manor, was considered a symbol of wealth and privilege in the past. This is the room where you wanted to "wow" your guests.

Miguel Flores-Vianna

While I have always loved old world dining rooms, most people today simply can 't decorate in THAT grand of style. However, even today, you can create lovely dining rooms that will still provide the "wow factor".

Today's homeowners desire spaces unique to their use, and we're seeing more separated dining rooms.

Recently there has been a bigger push for families to come together around the dining room table again to actually sit down for a meal.

It is nice to have a room free of TV screens or computer monitors. Just a place for family, friends, food, and good conversation.

The dining room style is a matter of personal preference. All sorts of possibilities present themselves, but let's look at some examples that might pique your interest if you are considering jumping on board the trend. The French dining room normally has a comfortable elegance that makes a room interesting and chic without the overdone matchy, matchy look Americans, especially, have come to expect in a dining room. Tip....start out with some great chairs.

You don't have to be "formal" to breathe new life into one of the most important rooms in your home. Two French looks, the farmhouse and the chateau, are extremely popular today because they are naturally loaded with a quite, elegant, charm that is very appealing to homeowners. 

A rustic farm table, used with more elegant tableware and beautiful flowers, makes a grand statement for any dinner party. 

And whether the casual elegance in the dining room is French......

or English in style, the rustic farmhouse style dining room is still very popular.

You can choose to show off your lovely table........just remember you can choose to match or unmatch the chairs and table. No longer are dining room "sets" popular. 

These chairs are certainly not matched to the table but the look is stunning. Cane back chairs, popular for use in 18th century country chateaus of the French aristocrat, bring a light airy look to any modern dining room.

via Pinterest

Or you can choose to dress your table in layers of cloths for a warm chateauesque style. 

Lisa Farmer - Eye For Design

I have just changed to this style myself after years of keeping my table au naturel. Also I have opted to use an antique cane back sofa and country French rush bottomed seats together for a casual French look. Guests love sitting in the settee, something they don't normally see at the table.

Keith Irvine, Designer

Learn to think differently about the definition of a the dining room chair. For an elegant dining room look simply pull up a couple of wingback chairs for the ends of your table.

Make your dining room table interesting by using contrasting materials and styles. Here a rustic wooden top rests on a couple of classic faux architectural salvaged stone columns. Today's dining room look is all about contrasts.

Today's dining room calls for a playful sense of style. Shiny stone surfaces, dressier finishes, and glass tops are more popular than ever.

Understand that the only furniture in a dining room need not be a table and x number of chairs with matching china closet. Other seating and interesting pieces can be added for charm and interest as well an functionality. Since it's a space that sparks conversation that might not happen in any other room of the home, why not include more seating.

images via Pinterest

Creating beautiful table settings has become popular again, 

as traditional formal tableware for the dining room is also making a comeback. Ask anyone!!!

Thomas Jayne via Architectural Digest

Update your dining room using contrasting materials and styles. Try using contemporary furnishings with rustic or antique pieces.

source unknown

My favorite thing about the desired look for the new dining room is the feeling of casual elegance. Gone is the "all pieces must match, go to the store and by a dining room suite" mentality. Now it's all about mixing pieces and using them in different ways. 

Designer, Mario Buatta

Make your dining space traditional with a single table but also consider setting up two restaurant type tables.

Via Victoria Magazine

Since we are seeing the return of wallpaper from the scorned and rejected area, try adding a beautiful pattern to your dining room walls.

Leta Austin Foster, Designer

Or consider a beautiful mural or trompe l'oeil painting on the walls of your dining room.

Atlanta Homes Magazine

Since the new dining room design is all about eclecticism and using interesting pieces, it should be decorated........and that doesn't mean you just add a table, chairs, and traditional serving pieces and then stop. It means bringing excitement and personality into your dining room.

A dining room is the space where you can let your personality shine no matter which style décor you prefer.

Look for alternative spaces for your dining area. This is so cozy......just tucked away on a landing.

Tara Shaw

As for dining room lighting, a classic chandelier is always glamorous.

A French style crystal chandelier is a good investment and will always survive the trends.

However, with a plethora of stylish lighting out there, your options are unlimited. 

via Pinterest

Consider an interesting industrial fixture,

or lanterns for your dining room space. There is something for everyone.

Susan Ferrier via House Beautiful

Although a big bouquet is still gorgeous, your centerpiece doesn’t have to be a vase of flowers.

 Here sea shells take center stage.

In olden times, dining rooms used to be just for.......well, dining. This is now an outdated trend as more and more homeowners are choosing to combine their dining rooms with a home library or study space. I like the idea of a "double duty" dining room.

The return of the formal dining room is major interior trend.

Catch the fever!

Click here to see the previous post

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer
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