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Learn History & Styles Archives - Letters from EuroLux

Renaissance Style Furniture and Decor

Renaissance style furniture  is one of the most popular styles of antique furniture in our online store EuroLuxHome.com because it has a timeless elegance and nobility and it is easily adaptable to today’s homes. If you don’t know the history of Renaissance style furniture and how to recognize it, here’s your guide to help you decorate your own home with this refined and classic look.

Renaissance Dining Room in our client's home
Formal Renaissance Dining Room

The Origins of Renaissance Style Furniture

The Renaissance period — meaning “rebirth” — emerged in Italy in the 15th century and lasted well into the 16th century. This period was a pivotal cultural movement that marked a huge shift in thinking, science, and art in Europe. The Italian Renaissance is the most well known, but this cultural shift was evident across the world. This exciting period was a bridge between the medieval period and the pre-industrial modern age and amazing Italian craftsmen and artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo rose to fame. The new aesthetic in arts and architecture was inspired by the classical arts of ancient Rome and Greece. Rich aristocrats like the Medici family in Florence flaunted their wealth, good taste and artistic patronage by furnishing their fabulous homes, as well as public buildings, with impressive furniture with ornate carvings in fine wood. The Roman and Greek influences resulted in classical shapes and motifs, including mythological motifs, becoming a common theme in the decorative arts. Many of these works can be still be found in historic places across Europe.

Antique Renaissance Buffet Kitchen Diner
Antique French Renaissance buffet in the kitchen

Renaissance Revival Furniture

The Renaissance era had such a deep impact that even hundreds of years later, craftsmen were still trying to emulate its accomplishments. This furniture style became popular again in 19th century France. People in the newly affluent middle class after the Industrial Revolution were keen to furnish their homes with large, opulent furniture with heavy carving to display their new status. The antique Renaissance style furniture that we sell today is from this Revival period, dating to the late 19th and early 20th century and imported from Europe. This is the same era as the Victorian age (sometimes called the 2nd English Renaissance) in Great Britain, which shared a lot of the same looks, values, and art. If you have a Victorian Renovation home, you can happily decorate with Renaissance Revival furniture!

Antique French Renaissance style server sideboard, with a queen’s face carved into the top and a marble counter.

Typical Renaissance Style Furniture Features

When browsing this style of antique furniture you can expect to see:

When browsing this style of antique, revival style furniture, you can expect to see:

  • Large proportions and sturdy silhouettes are a key part of this furniture design.
  • Mostly hand-carved, heavily-carved ornamentation, and beautiful ornate carving across the fronts of cabinets and buffets.
  • Classical motifs included scrollwork, arabesque designs, flourishes, garlands of flowers and fruit.
  • Greek and Roman mythological references carved into the wood-these include mythic creatures, plus lions, cherubs and human faces, as well as grotesque faces that remind us of gargoyles.
  • Classical era decoration, such as arches, pediments, cornices and columns on furniture hark back to ancient Greek and Roman architecture.
  • Galleries of spindles add to the architectural style and also serve as plate racks on buffets and servers.
  • Finials on buffets and chair backs add a regal finishing touch.
  • Furniture wood is most often dark oak or walnut.
  • Veined marble is used in heavier furniture making, like for tops on buffets, servers and sideboards.
  • Brass or metal handles sometimes adorn the backs of dining chairs.
  • Rich upholstery includes tapestry style fabrics, silks, jacquards and brocades. Also leather and embossed leather upholstery on dining chairs, like this set of six antique French Renaissance Henry II style dining chairs dating to 1900.

Different Renaissance Furniture Styles

Several distinctive styles emerged during this Renaissance Revival period. The most popular with our customers are:

Renaissance Henry II style

With a focus on classical symmetry and architectural influences, the dignified Renaissance Henry II style often boasts carved arches and columns, imposing pediments and decorative finials. This regal style especially appears in dining chairs and in buffets and servers. See more details in my blog post What is the Renaissance Henry II Style of Furniture?

French Hunting Style

Antique French Hunting style furniture was also a key look in this Renaissance Revival era. Our Guide to French Hunting Style Furniture and Decor shows you more details of this trend which was originally designed to furnish royal hunting lodges and chateaux. This French furniture often features carved wild animals that you might see on the hunt, game birds and fish, mythical creatures such as griffins, as well as fruits, flowers, leaves, entwined vines and grapes.

Bring the Renaissance Style Into Your Decor

In addition to heavily carved antique Renaissance style furniture, you can also bring the Renaissance look into your home with decorative accessories (available at EuroLuxHome.com) and interior design elements such as:

  • Renaissance style vintage and new chandeliers
  • Decorative tapestries and wall hangings
  • Arch shaped mirrors to evoke classical architecture
  • Richly hand-woven throw pillows
  • Cherub sculptures
  • Brick or tile floors in earthy brown tones, patterned in geometric style
  • Wallpaper that looks like a mural fresco
French Renaissance Buffet with carving of knight on horseback

Renaissance Style Furniture in Today’s Homes

You can see how some of our customers have added antique Renaissance style furniture to their homes in our “customer spotlight” blog posts:

This style is perfect for a Victorian Era home and for anyone who enjoys traditional decor and beautiful craftsmanship and who wants a comfortable but classical look.

If you are shopping for Renaissance style furniture you can browse our large selection of exceptional antique furniture at the link. 

AimeeAvatar

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

French Hunting Style Furniture and Decor

French Hunting style furniture and decor became popular in the court of King Francis I in the 1500s. Yet four hundred years later, it looks just as good in today’s homes. An impressive yet comfortable and welcoming style of decor, the French Hunting style is a great choice for people who enjoy an elevated rustic look. And no, you don’t have to be a hunter to appreciate this fine craftsmanship.

The Origins of French Hunting Style Furniture and Decor

Antique French Carved Henry II Buffet
Antique French Hunting style buffet in our customer’s home

The French Hunting style was made popular by King Francis I (1515 – 1547) who ruled in France at around the same time as King Henry VIII ruled across the channel in England.

Francis I was a great supporter of the arts, especially Italian Renaissance art and architecture. He even tempted Leonardo da Vinci to move to France to create art in the King’s court! King Francis spent a lot of money building and renovating castles and grand stately homes, including Château Fontainebleau, Château d’Amboise and Château de Blois.

Whatever the king did, the royal court followed. Aristocrats also began building châteaux and hunting lodges in the countryside near Paris in the rural Loire Valley. King Francis established a style of decorating these new buildings in a way that was inspired by the hunt and rural life, as well as noble mythological beasts that reflected the regal power of the monarchy. The aristocrats picked up on the look too, of course, following the taste of their King. Thus the French Hunting style was born. Whether this style is featured on a sideboard, buffet, or any other piece, the charm of this antique French style is truly special.

Antique French Hunting Bed
Antique Hunting style bed in our customer’s home.

Renaissance Revival Hunting Style

Hunting style returned to popularity centuries later in France during the Renaissance Revival era in the late 19th century, when the newly wealthy middle class was keen to buy large, ornate and heavily-carved furniture to show off their rise in status. The Hunting style checked all the boxes, boasting fine craftsmanship in the carved details that was sure to impress. It was a very decorative look adorned with carved foliage, vines and animals, as well as handsome barley twists, yet this ornate style was still practical and comfortable to live with, focusing on dark woods rather than glitzy or gilded finishes.

Antique French Hunting Desk
Antique French Hunting style desk with carved griffins… the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 

Typical Features of French Hunting Style Furniture

To decorate the interior of aristocratic French chateaux and lodges, Hunting style furniture makers turned to symbols of the hunt to create an interesting theme in these luxurious pieces.

  • Carvings inspired by the hunt included stags, fish, birds, dogs, foxes, rabbits and boars.
  • Carvings of mythical creatures included winged griffins, dragons and serpents.
  • Noble lion heads were also frequently used to adorn furniture, with the carved heads roaring out of the wood. Metal lion heads decorated door or drawer handles on cabinets.
  • Carving of flowing forest foliage such as leaves, berries, acorns, fruits and flowers, or maybe even a barley twist.
  • Decoration in the shape of grapes and vines were also popular, as would be natural in this wine-making region of the Loire valley.
  • Barley twists often frame cabinets or serve as support posts on nightstands, adding more visual texture and design interest.
Antique French Hunting style nightstand
Antique French Hunting nightstand repurposed as a side table in our customer’s home.
  • Dark woods such as walnut, oak, and mahogany are featured strongly, and now boast a beautiful patina on the antique furniture.
  • Warm colors
  • The heavily-carved woods were sometimes enhanced by stained glass in the upper doors of cabinets.

Hunting Style Furniture and Decor in Today’s Homes

French Hunting Style antique furniture is still one of our most popular styles in our online store, proving that you don’t need a fancy chateau or hunting lodge to enjoy the look in your own home! Our customers love these hand-carved antique pieces as they add great warmth, character and decorative appeal to a home.

Victorian Home dining room restoration

The lavish carvings of foliage and fruits brings a noble but rustic look to any home, and makes Hunting style a great match for a dining room. Carved vines often trailed down the backs of dining chairs. Today, Hunting style dining chairs with vines and grapes are a great choice for wine lovers who enjoy opening a great vintage when they host dinner parties. For example, our antique French Hunting chairs in the customer spotlight of our customer Sal’s dining room look amazing with their vines and grapes and also barley twists that create a bold silhouette.

Animal lovers will enjoy the realistic carvings of wild animals of the hunt (deer, moose, etc.) that bring a space to life and add tons of personality to a home. For example, carvings of roaring lions and other beasts are fierce protectors of your home! The animal faces are also sure to be a wonderful talking point at your next party.

The carvings of forest animals are the stars on this round antique French Hunting table, dating to 1880 and hand-crafted in oak wood. The vividly realistic details of the fox, boar, stag and hunting dog, all leaping out of the pedestal, are superb emblems of the royal hunt!

Nature is your muse for smaller home accessories too, including animal statues and figurines, or antler mounts on the walls or in light fittings. You don’t have to buy real stag antlers. Our collection of new OK Casting antler wall mounts are hand-crafted in resin, and each one is made in America. They look very authentic and have a nice weight to them.

We also have OK Casting chandeliers and other light fixtures featuring stags, boars, foxes and other Hunting inspired motifs. Bookends and boxes are other nicely crafted pieces to complete the atmosphere.

Mechelen antique furniture is the Flemish version of French Hunting Style, named for the city of Mechelen in Belgium. These rustic pieces are also heavily-carved with splendid lion heads, human faces and figurines. Our blog post What is Mechelen Style Antique Furniture tells you all about this look, including photos.

You can find French Hunting style antique furniture and home decor in our online store, where there are plenty of options to pick a unique heirloom piece to bring this handsome look to your home.

AimeeAvatar

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Hollywood Regency Style Furniture and Decor

Everyone feels like a movie star in a room featuring Hollywood Regency style furniture and decor! This cool, classic and classy style looks as good in today’s homes as it did when it first emerged during Hollywood’s heyday. It is closely related to the Art Deco style, as you can see in my Guide to Art Deco Style Furniture but it is a distinct decor style of its own.

Hollywood Regency is a luxurious look that sparkles with glitz, glamour, and opulence. This type of furniture piece features a focus on clean lines, geometric shapes, glossy surfaces, and opulent textiles. The dramatic style has a sense of the theatrical, creating a chic stage for people to socialize and look fabulous while doing so.

What are the Origins of Hollywood Regency Style?

It is not surprising that Hollywood Regency style has an Art Deco feel as it developed during the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, the same years when Art Deco was a major new trend in interior design.

Movie-goers across the country were star-struck by Hollywood’s leading ladies and gentlemen, and were influenced by their opulent homes. Interior designers such as Dorothy Draper and actor-turned-designer William Haines were two of the taste-makers who established the look, which stayed popular through the 1950s. This photo of a foyer in the Greenbrier Hotel, designed by Dorothy Draper shows exactly why the style grabbed people’s attention!

Hollywood Regency at The Greenbrier

Typical Features of Hollywood Regency Style Furniture and Decor

Typical features for Hollywood Regency style furniture and decor include:

  • Sleek and streamlined shapes are a hallmark of Hollywood glam, with a clean look to the silhouette. No fussy frills!
  • Glossy and reflective surfaces and finishes, including lacquer, gilding, crystal and mirrors galore. The minimalist lines of the furniture let the shine do the talking!
  • Lots of metals continue the sharp-edged and glamorous shine, including chrome, gold, brass, and polished nickel.
Mirrored Console Hollywood Regency
Volos Mirrored Console Table by Cyan Design
  • Patterns include blocks of contrasting color, animal prints, bold and oversized florals, chinoiserie, and also geometric patterns such as zig-zags. The Greek Key design is especially important.
  • Color schemes of Hollywood regency decor usually have a base of black and white or other neutrals such as ivory, cream, warm beige or camel, accented by pops of pure and vibrant color.
  • High contrast colors and a bold pattern (picture a cerise pink sofa against a black and white checkerboard floor) add to the drama.
  • Opulent fabrics soften the hard-edged mirrors and metals. Velvets and plush fabrics such as faux fur invite the touch. Sensual satins and crepe-de-chine are buttery soft and slinky, and fringes and tassel trims add to the lavish mood.
  • Spaces are intended for socializing and entertaining, so floor plans are open and furniture arranged so that people can gather for a gossipy chat, surrounded by fine Hollywood glamour.

Hollywood Regency Interior Design Tips

Hollywood Regency style furniture and decor lets you bring out your creative side with an elegant but lighthearted look that puts people at center stage. This style doesn’t take itself too seriously and you can go brave and bold. Life is a cabaret, old chum!

  • The living room is an easy place to start for this style but the look is also great for a bedroom to create decadence in the boudoir! Or glam up a powder room where you can make maximum impact in minimum space.
  • Start with a neutral base for your color scheme: black and white is always a winner, or elegant creams or beiges. Then choose one bold jewel color to create a bold contrast in soft furnishings, sculptural pieces, lighting or other home accents.
Tobi Fairley Ellison Cocktail Table
Glossy black and white Tobi Fairley Ellison cocktail table
  • Choose glossy and lacquered surfaces to create lots of shine and reflection.
  • Add a beautiful mirror then add a couple more mirrors! One way to amp up the shine is in mirrored furniture, which can also create the illusion of a larger space as it reflects the room back to you. If you place a mirrored chest against a wall, it looks as though the floor extends further.
  • Soften the clean lines and hard edged mirrors and metals with sensual fabrics such as velvet or faux fur.
  • Hang a large black and white print of a famous movie star on the wall, or pick a statement piece such as a big sculptural vase or a statue as a focal point.
  • Keep the space clutter-free to maintain focus on the dramatic silhouettes and contrasting patterns and colors. Only use one or two patterns such as an animal print or Greek Key design, so it doesn’t look busy and kitschy.
  • Keep the floor plan open so it’s easy to circulate and socialize, and focus on smaller scale furniture with low lines so that the emphasis is on the people in the room, not the mammoth size furniture!
John Richards Wiggins Bench
John Richards Hollywood Regency style Wiggins bench

Have you taken a shine to Hollywood Regency Style furniture and decor?  If you want to shop the look, browse our EuroLuxHome.com website for the perfect piece.

AimeeAvatar

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Guide to Art Deco Furniture

Art Deco furniture is a style so timelessly chic, it’s hard to believe that a whole century has passed since the Art Deco look first burst onto the design scene. As we enter the new Roaring Twenties, let’s look back at the original 1920s and see why the sleek Art Deco style is still popular among international designers.

The Art Deco Era

Vogue Art Deco Magazine cover 1928

The Art Deco movement became prominent in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was the perfect match for the modern thinking of the Jazz Age. After the ordeals of World War I, many people were looking to a new future, rejecting the fussy and elaborate Victorian and Art Nouveau styles of the early 20th Century. Out with elaborate shapes and ornate carvings, and in with streamlined silhouettes, metallic accents and sleek glossy lacquer surfaces, hallmarks of Art Deco design! 

Amazing new technologies, materials, and methods of communications and transportation informed this brand new aesthetic too.

It was a very exciting time, and the younger generation was swept up in the energy. The “bright young things” had new ideas about society and they were forward-looking in every way.

Women started wearing knee-length skirts and dresses – this was scandalously short at the time! These women, dubbed Flappers, cut their hair short too, drove cars, smoked in public, partied and drank alcohol, and generally enjoyed themselves in ways that had previously been considered quite unladylike! They were the perfect icon for the rebellious, shiny, adventurous Roaring Twenties.

Art Deco Flapper Girl

Art Deco Inspired Design

Art Deco Oval Chest by Jonathan Charles
Art Deco Oval Chest by Jonathan Charles, faux macassar ebony veneer and faux shagreen with nickel handles. Based on original French designs of the 1920s.

Art Deco style was very inspired by the Age of the Machine, as the new technologies of airplanes, automobiles and transatlantic travel on cruise liners captured everyone’s imagination. This ‘streamline moderne’ look of Art Deco was very inspired by visual art, aerodynamic design, and geometric motifs. Furniture and architecture was designed with clean, dynamic, curved, and sweeping lines to create the feeling of speed.

Picture the soaring curves of the Chrysler Building in New York City and you’ll have a good idea of both the optimistic feeling of the early Art Deco era and the distinctive look of Art Deco style.

In the 1930s, more rectilinear lines and geometric shapes, including fragmented looks, were added. These reflected the Cubist influence of artist Pablo Picasso, who revolutionized modern art.

Why is it called Art Deco?

Do you know why it’s called Art Deco? It was named for the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925. This was a showcase of exciting new design trends and the sexy new French Art Deco look made a great impact. In Paris of course the show had a French name: Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. That’s quite a mouthful, so thankfully people picked out the “Arts Décoratifs” piece and then shortened it again to Art Deco, although the term did not become widely used until the 1960s.

Antique 1920 French Art Deco Buffet
Antique French 1920 Art Deco Buffet with mirror back, glass door and marble top, with carved flowers.

The Look of Art Deco Style Furniture

Sleek, chic and not at all meek! That’s the Art Deco look, which relies on well-defined curves and lines. Geometric designs are sharp and streamlined, and applied decoration is also important to the look, including sunbursts, geometric patterns and stylized floral designs. 

Jonathan Charles Opera Art Deco style side table
Jonathan Charles Opera Art Deco style side table

Influences include the design of modern ships, trains, planes and motor cars. Ancient Egyptian, Aztec and Central American art also creeps in, while ancient Greek designs emerge in Greco Deco.

The streamlined silhouette of Art Deco style furniture is simple, but when emphasized by the use of glossy and shiny materials it looks glamorous and opulent. With the unfussy shapes and lack of ornate carvings, all the luxury comes from the materials and finishes. For example, you will often see a gorgeous slab of marble topping a sideboard, buffet, nightstand or table or Art Deco pieces made from an exotic wood like macassar ebony.

Woods are dark to add to the sense of substance and exotic woods are beautifully grained to give a surface decorative effect. Gleaming mirror and glass gave a reflective and modern feel too. Chrome finishes and marble top buffets and sideboards are typical of the era. In Art Deco land, it’s always time to shine up your chrome cocktail shaker and start the party.

Brentwood Art Deco style bar cart
Brentwood Art Deco style bar cart

Early Art Deco furniture designers used colors that were quite muted, including pastel pinks and greens, contrasted with black. But after the 1929 stock market crash in the United States, brighter colors were used for mass producing Art Deco home decor, to cheer everyone up. The popular Fiestaware dishes are a typical example with their bold yellows, reds, oranges, greens and blues. Famous Art Deco furniture designers include Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jules LeLeu.

Typical Art Deco Style Furniture Features

  • Inspired by the architecture of the time, a standard art deco piece features Curvilinear shapes, think sweeping curves, and rectilinear shapes, with straight lines set at angles.
  • The look avoids fussy curlicues and ornate silhouettes. It’s all about the clean lines to create a bold profile.
  • Geometric shapes and patterns, zigzags, trapezoids, chevron, nautical portholes and sunburst patterns.
  • Applied decoration is important. Motifs include female figures, and stylized flowers and animals such as gazelles and birds.
  • Glossy, smooth materials create reflective surfaces, including marble, glass, mirror, and lacquer finishes.
  • Polished metals were also important for the reflective look, including nickel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, gold and especially chrome.
  • Dark and exotic woods created a sense of substance and luxury, often with beautiful grains to create surface pattern. Popular woods include rosewood, walnut, teak, maple, macassar ebony and zebra wood.
  • New man-made materials included Bakelite, plastics and other composites which were considered the bees’ knees at the time! 
  • Neutrals are chic, while pale pastel colors including pink and green, are accented with black.
  • Upholstery is typically a solid color. If pattern is involved, it might be a geometric or an animal print.
  • Velvet and leather are popular options for upholstery.
  • Shagreen and leather look combined with wood and chrome.

We love the Art Deco period and our renovated 1920s vintage bungalow dates to this era. The streamlined style is a kind of interior design royalty, eternally popular because it is so striking to look at and easy to live with. It works in many types of space to create an upscale and sophisticated feel that balances retro appeal with contemporary tastes. For example, the updated “streamline moderne” Art Deco look in the Architectural Digest photo above checks all the boxes for a home today.

Whether you are looking for original antique Art Deco furniture or high-quality new Art Deco inspired pieces, Greg and I hope you have enjoyed our guide to Art Deco style furniture and that you will check out our other blog posts aboutArt Deco interior design.

AimeeAvatar

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

English Regency V. French Regency Style Furniture

People sometimes get confused about the difference between English Regency style furniture and French Regency style furniture. That’s no surprise when they sound so alike, but they are actually quite different in the way they look. Our Guide to Regency Style Furniture tells you all about the English Regency period and its influence on interior designers. Today we’ll talk about the French Regency period too, and show you how to tell the difference between the two furniture styles. One thing is sure- both of these movements resulted in the creation of countless pieces of beautiful antique furniture.

The one thing that both English Regency and French Regency style furniture has in common is that in both countries the term Regency referred to a period when a Prince Regent stood in for the monarch. Let’s start with La Belle France!

French Regency Style Furniture

The French Regency or Régence years were in the early 18th century when King Louis XV was too young to reign and so Philippe d’Orléans governed in his place as Prince Regent. The fine furniture and decorative arts in this period were in a transitional style. It shows the shifting tastes between the previous Baroque styling that was popular during the reign of Louis XIV, and the rising Rococo look that would become fashionable during the reign of King Louis XV after he took the throne as an adult.

French Regency Chest
Bombe shape French Regency Chest by David Michael, with walnut inlays, rosewood, marble top

Furniture design in this transition style Régence era started to develop the curved lines and ornate feminine details that would later flourish into full-blown Rococo styling. Rococo furniture was very graceful and full of lavish carvings and sensuous shapes. Embellishments drew on the natural world, with flowery, frilly and watery carvings including swirling shells. Furniture designs were often asymmetric, which was an exciting new development at the time.

Louis XV Rococo Bed French Regency
French Regency Louis XV Rococo Bed, hand-carved, bookmatched flame mahogany

Typical French Regency Style Furniture Features

  • Furniture boasted curved lines and corners, and sinuous lines including bombe shapes and serpentine fronts on cabinets.
  • New motifs included shells, mythological beasts, and masques.
  • You also see a lot of flamboyant scrolls including C-shaped scrolls and S-shaped scrolls, and leafy scrolls known as foliated scrolls.
  • Curvy cabriole legs, and hoof feet.
  • Woods included walnut, rosewood and oak, often featuring beautiful surface veneers and marquetry.
  • The wood was accented with marble and with regally gilt bronze or gilded metal ormolu ornaments.
  • Seating in French furniture became much more comfortable in general, including curved backs rather than rigid straight backs. Cane chairs became popular too. It was all an invitation to encourage you to draw up a chair for some elegant conversation… and gossip!
Rococo Regence Shell Carving on Antique Cabinet
Beautiful shell carving on an antique French cabinet

English Regency Style Furniture

About a century later, across the channel in England, the English Regency era occurred in the early 19th century. During those years George IV served as Prince Regent on behalf of his father George III who wasn’t well enough to govern. But the term English Regency style usually refers to a longer time span than just those 9 years, continuing through to around 1837.

This was at the end of the Georgian period, a booming time for beautiful Georgian furniture design, created to suit the classically proportioned Regency architecture.  

Jonathan Charles English Regency Sideboard Buckingham
English Regency style sideboard by Jonathan Charles for the Buckingham collection

Typical English Regency Style Furniture Features

  • Furniture design retained the Neoclassical look of the Georgian era, inspired by ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian design.
  • Straight lines and clean edges are a staple of regency period furniture.
  • Furniture makers in this period emphasized symmetrical and streamlined designs in contrast to the ornate flourishes and carvings of the earlier French Regency furniture.
  • Dark woods including mahogany and dramatic decorative veneers were the focus to create a sense of majesty and luxury, often accented by gold and metal accents.
  • Ornamentation such as classic decorative motifs included rosettes, laurel wreaths, acanthus leaves and lyres, which are U-shaped harps. Lion masks were another decorative accent.
Theodore Alexander Regency Armchair
Theodore Alexander Regency style Armchair with classic Greek key pattern and gold accents on ebonized wood

English Regency Versus French Regency Style Furniture

As you can see, there is quite a contrast between the clean and straight-lined Neoclassical look of English Regency style furniture versus the curvy shapes and decorative flourishes of the French Regency style. Both styles are wonderful, it just depends on your own personal taste and what works for your home and lifestyle.

An English Regency interior design scheme will work terrifically well in a dining room, where the classic and elegant style is sure to impress when you are entertaining friends. A French Regency look is perfect for a living room or seductive bedroom where the curvy lines create a sense of lavish comfort and decorative allure.

Browse our website for furniture in both styles, whether you are tempted by English Regency or French Regency furniture design.

AimeeAvatar

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Regency Chairs History and Style

If you’re curious about Regency chairs’ history and how to identify this style of chair, Greg and I are delighted to tell you everything you need to know. Our photos will also show you how these classic chairs continue to be an elegant choice for today’s homes. Our Guide to Regency Style Furniture tells you all about the Regency period in general, and how it inspired interior designers. Today we’ll talk specifically about Regency chairs’ history and style.

Mahogany Sheraton inspired Regency Chair
Mahogany Regency Chair inspired by Sheraton

The Regency era refers to the years 1811 – 1837 at the end of the Georgian period. It is named specifically for the 9 years before King George IV took the British throne. In those years he was Prince Regent, or acting monarch, on behalf of his father King George III who was too sick to do his duties.

These were exciting times for furniture design, and Regency chairs, tables and sideboards were the perfect match for the classically proportioned Regency architecture. Imagine the graceful rooms that you see in a Jane Austen movie and you’ll have a good idea of the look!

Regency Style Furniture

Regency style furniture included chairs for the dining room, living room and hallway and these chairs reflect the general tastes of the Regency period. Furniture design continued the Neoclassical feel of the Georgian era, drawing on ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian design.

  • The focus was on stately and clean-edged looks with straight lines.
  • The unfussy furniture designs were symmetrical and streamlined, without any ornate carved detail.
  • Beautiful dark woods and dramatic decorative veneers gave a sense of luxury and added to the design appeal.
  • Gold and metal accents were a high-quality accent against the gorgeous wood.
Regency style chair
Classic Regency style black painted and gilded chair by Jonathan Charles, based on an original of c.1820.

Regency Chairs

Typical features for Regency chairs include:

  • Dark woods and exotic veneers including mahogany and rosewood to create an imposing and monumental look.
  • Straight lines or classically rounded lines and arcs.
  • Gilded accents and brass or metal accents.
  • Classic decorative symbols such as rosettes, laurel wreaths, acanthus leaves and lyres, which are U-shaped harps. Lion masks are another decorative accent.
Lyre Back dining chair Regency Style
Lyre Back dining chair in the Regency Style.
  • Chair legs typically are saber legs, concave legs, turned legs, and legs with classic column looks, sometimes joined by X-shaped stretchers.
  • Claw and ball feet also give a majestic feel, and decorative paw-shaped feet are sometimes covered in metal.
  • Arms are set high on the uprights of the chair, creating a formal look.
  • The chair backs are often topped with broad and flat crest rails for a noble appearance.

Sheraton Chairs

Sheraton Arm Chair
Inspired by an 18th century original by Thomas Sheraton, this arm chair is newly crafted by Theodore Alexander.

The neoclassical furniture designs of the famous 18th century English furniture maker Thomas Sheraton became popular during the Georgian period and his timeless designs were still heavily influencing chair design during the Regency era. 

The cabinet maker and chair designer Thomas Sheraton left a legacy so powerful that people still seek out his beautifully proportioned chairs today. The original antiques are very rare and expensive but we are very happy to offer many high-quality reproduction Sheraton chairs on our website.


Regency chairs are a great choice for the dining room, but they also look wonderful in any room of the house, whether as occasional seating in a bedroom or hallway or as a side chair in a living room. Interior designers love these chairs because they work well in our 21st century homes despite their historic origins. They have a classic look that gives a sense of history and upscale traditional elegance, but also a streamlined silhouette that suits our contemporary lives.

We hope you enjoyed this post on Regency chairs’ history and styles! If you are shopping for Regency chairs then please browse our large selection at the link, with competitive prices that include free shipping!

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Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Guide to Regency Style Furniture

Regency style furniture is an elegant choice for today’s homes. Here’s how to recognize this popular and unique style of furniture design and see why it is so timelessly appealing.

Whether you are looking for antique furniture or newly crafted antique-inspired heirloom pieces, Greg and I hope you enjoy our guide to Regency style furniture.

The English Regency Period

The Regency period is named for the time in British history when George IV served as Prince Regent, from 1811-1820. As Prince Regent, he was the acting monarch on behalf of his mentally unwell father George III. But the term Regency style has stuck to describe a longer period than the 9 years when he was Prince Regent. It continues through the decade of George IV’s own reign from 1820 to his death in 1830, and sometimes even through to 1837 during the reign of his younger brother William.

This was at the tail end of the Georgian era, which was already a flourishing time in Britain for Georgian furniture design. During the Georgian era, furniture designers such as Thomas Chippendale,  Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite rose to fame. The Regency period continued England’s reputation as an inspiring player in European art, architecture and aesthetics, including furniture design.

The Inspiration for Regency Furniture Design

George IV’s impact on architecture, fashion, and furniture design was huge. Dubbed as “the Prince of Pleasure” he had fine taste, championed the arts, and enjoyed living the good life. He influenced interior design through his own personal tastes and choices, as well as through his royal commissions such as the building of the Royal Pavilion and the remodel of Buckingham Palace.

Theodore Alexander Regency Armchair
Theodore Alexander Regency style Armchair with classic Greek key pattern and gold accents on ebonized wood

The furniture crafted during the English Regency period developed the existing Neoclassical feel of the Georgian era. The Neoclassical look drew from ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian architecture and design. In some ways it was a British interpretation of the French Empire style, with its monumental look, ornate gold ormolu mounts, and classical and military motifs. But, as the Encyclopeadia Britannica points out, Regency style showed more “purity of detail and structure” than the earlier Neoclassical style or the French Empire style.

The Look of Regency Style Furniture

Imagine a period drama adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, and you have the perfect picture of a Regency style dining room, living room or other interior.  The Jane Austen Society of North America tells us that Jane Austen’s famous Regency novel Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813. The air of elegance and refinement that we see in all her books and the movie adaptations of her novels are a great example of the arts and design that flourished during the era.   

Jonathan Charles Regency nightstands
Jonathan Charles Regency style nightstands or side tables, newly crafted for the Buckingham collection, with mahogany veneers, crossbanding, floral marquetry and a pierced brass rail.

Regency style furniture is stately and monumental, with a streamlined and symmetrical look that is not frilly or fussy. It is not covered with heavily-carved detail. The ornamentation instead comes from beautiful and exotic woods, dramatic and decorative veneers, and gilded hardware or metal accents.

Typical Regency Style Furniture Features

  • Shapes and motifs inspired by ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian architecture and design. You might see Egyptian heads, images of ancient Greek and Roman gods, and mythological beasts including the Egyptian sphinx and griffins.
  • Clean and symmetrical profiles whether masculine straight lines or classical arches and geometric shapes.
Lyre Back dining chair Regency Style
Lyre Back dining chair in the Regency Style.
  • Decorative motifs draw on classical symbols like laurel wreaths and acanthus leaves as well as lyres, which are small U-shaped harps. You will also see rosettes and masks.
  • Lion heads are a repeat motif, especially in brass or metal accents to give a touch of royal pomp to the furniture. Lion heads with rings also serve as handles on drawers.
Regency style Lion head handles
Lion head handles on a Regency Style Scarborough House sideboard
  • Dark woods create a majestic and imposing feel. Mahogany wood was especially popular with furniture makers at that time, and this strong tropical hardwood was in fashion throughout the Georgian era. The woods were left with a natural and deliciously polished finish to draw attention to the beautiful grain.
  • Exotic wood veneers add a decorative surface effect and include rosewood and zebrawood, perhaps in classic inlay and banding designs.
  • Regal gold ormolu mounts and classical and military motifs.
  • Brass was a popular choice of metal, providing that noble and monumental look and serving as accents and inlays to contrast beautifully with the dark woods.
  • The styles of chair legs include turned legs, x-shaped stretchers, saber legs and legs with classic column looks. 
  • Claw and ball feet look majestic while brass or other metal paw feet on chairs and tables also add a decorative touch.  

Antique-Inspired New Regency Style Furniture

While antique English Regency style furniture is expensive to buy, many of today’s furniture makers create exquisite pieces that pay tribute to the originals. Often these pieces are scaled down in size to suit the smaller scale of today’s homes compared to the huge rooms in the stately mansions and palaces that King George IV spent time in!

Regency-dining-table
Regency style dining table in mahogany wood with brass paw feet, extending from round to oval to seat 6.

These high-quality antique-inspired pieces by exceptional furniture makers such as Jonathon Charles, Scarborough House, and Theodore Alexander might be smaller in size, but they often use the same traditional hand-craftsmanship techniques as the ones used by the Regency furniture masters 200 years ago.

Regency Style Furniture for Today’s Homes

You can see how some of our customers have added Regency style furniture to their homes in our “customer spotlight” blog posts:

If you are shopping for Regency style furniture check out our large selection at the link. If you want the traditional appeal of Old World furniture but without excessive fussiness or heavily ornate decoration, this is a terrific choice for you. The elegant style is sure to impress with its emphasis on clean-cut lines, high-quality materials, and eternally classic silhouettes and motifs.

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Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antique Renaissance Dining Chairs Look Great in Today’s Homes

Antique Renaissance dining chairs look great in today’s homes! We buy many antique French Renaissance chairs from Europe and bring them back to the USA. Our customers are so delighted that they send us pictures of how amazing the chairs look in their dining rooms. For example, these antique Renaissance dining room chairs dating to 1900 feature regal lion carvings and metal handles and they look terrific around our customer Susan’s dining room table in Metamora, IL. See more in my Renaissance Dining room blog post here.

antiques and decor blog post

If you don’t know this style, you can check out our full description of the Renaissance Revival style of furniture on our website.  But as a quick guide, the original Renaissance era dates to 15th century Italy, when furniture and architecture was inspired by the classical arts of ancient Rome and Greece. The Renaissance Revival style then flourished again in 19th century France, when the newly wealthy middle class wanted large, ornate and heavily carved furniture.  These pieces have a dignified opulence, and they are perfect for people who enjoy comfortable but noble decor.

Antique French Dining Chairs

Here is another great example of four antique French Renaissance dining chairs in our customer Iris’ home in Texas. The brass handles on the chairs create a nice silhouette and the spindles set in the backs of the chairs also make a decorative statement.  Here’s a better view of the beautifully carved chair backs.

Antique French Renaissance Dining Chairs

This shows you just how handsome the chairs look when your guests sit down for dinner! The oak chairs are carved in the Renaissance Henry II style, which is is very regal, emphasizing classical symmetry in details like arches, columns and finials. If you like this look, my post called What is the Renaissance Henry II Style of Antique Furniture? is a must-see!

antique French dining chairs Renaissance

Rich surface decoration in upholstery as well is in carvings is also a feature of Renaissance style dining chairs. We love the way our set of six French Renaissance dining chairs look in our customer Lenore’s dining room in Sapphire, NC. The vintage chairs were made around 1930 and they are beautifully upholstered in red and cream brocade. The spiral turning on the oak legs adds another decorative detail. See more about the Vintage Renaissance chairs in Lenore’s charming country cottage.

Some extraordinary antique Renaissance Revival furniture emerged in Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and we have the luck to be able to cross the Atlantic and choose our favorite pieces to bring back to the States for you! If you want to see the antique Renaissance dining chairs for sale on our website right now, just follow the link!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

What is the Louis XV Style of Antique Furniture?

The Louis XV style of antique furniture is a romantic and lavishly decorative style of furniture that emerged in the reign of Louis XV, also known as Louis Quinze in French. The style is forever popular and for a very good reason.  It is beautiful and ornate but light in spirit and in form. This style is all about the curve! Sensuous lines and intricate carvings create an impressive decorative effect, but they are not so overwhelming in scale or opulence that they overwhelm any space smaller than a palace!

Vintage Louis XV chestThese looks can easily translate to our homes today, whether you decorate an entire house or room in Louis XV style, or simply add a few antique pieces to bestow a romantic and feminine touch on a more eclectic design scheme. For example, the above bedroom at a customer’s home in Sarasota includes a vintage Louis XV vanity chest of drawers that they bought from us, which gives a very pretty look. You can read more about the Louis XV Vanity Chest of Drawers in this Client Spotlight blog post.

French Antique Buffet 1890

This lavish look rose to popularity in the 1700s, and it was also influenced by the king’s favorite mistress Madame du Pompadour. During this Golden Age of decorative style in France, the new look was attractive to the king’s court.

Typical features of this French Rococo Louis XV style include ornate carvings including shells and wavy or watery shapes that look almost like frills. The shell is probably one of the most famous motifs of this period, often seen crowning a buffet or a bed headboard or on a chair rail. Read my Antique French Louis XV Buffet Client Spotlight to see more about this stunning 1890 beauty pictured left, which we found in France at the request of a customer in California.

Flowing scroll shapes and flourishes often look like the letters S and C.   Carved Acanthus leaves are also common as well as birds, flowers and fruit. The carvings on Louis XV furniture were often asymmetric, which was refreshingly new in this period of design.

Louis XV Vintage French Rococo Chairs Curves are again important in the S-shaping of cabriole legs on chairs and tables. (You’ve got to love the cabriole legs on this set of vintage French Louis XV dining chairs!) Chair backs were often shaped like a cartouche, which is basically a rounded oval, topped with carvings.

A greater emphasis on comfort in this era led to seat backs being very slightly angled, allowing the user to relax back, rather than having to sit bolt upright! Antique Louis XV style furniture invites people to relax and chat in comfort.

Convex curved shaping on the front of sideboards, cabinets and consoles added to the wavy sensuality, and this new innovation became known as the bombe shape. Marquetry, gilding, lacquering inspired by Chinoiserie, and other painted finishes added to the ornamental appeal.

Louis XV Bed in this French Country style guest bedroom. EuroLuxAntiques.com

if you want to see more Louis XV furniture in our customer’s home,  check out this Client Spotlight about a Louis XV antique bedroom suite that Sandy and Brent bought from us for the guest room in their home in Alabama, including an armoire, full-size bed, marble-topped vanity, and nightstand. It looks fabulous and gives the guest room a cohesive and charming look.

We hope that this gives you an idea of the Louis XV style of antique furniture. If this romantic look has seduced you, as it does so many others, then check out our Louis XV antique, vintage and new furniture for sale on our website. If you’d like to learn more about the finer points of antique armoires, check out our guide here!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

What is the Renaissance Henry II Style of Antique Furniture?

If you are looking for a handsome carved antique buffet or dining chairs for your traditional dining room or great room, then you will definitely want to know about the Renaissance Henry II style of antique furniture. You can also check out some regal Renaissance Henry II furniture for sale on our website.

Antique French Buffet Henry II Renaissance BuffetThe Henry II style of antique furniture was influential for much longer than the brief twelve year reign of this King of France from 1547 to his death in 1559. This important furniture style lasted through the reigns of five French monarchs. But the antique Henry II furniture we sell today in this style actually dates to the Renaissance Revival period in the late 19th century, when this very traditional look returned to favor.

Antique Henry II Dining ChairsFurniture in the Henry II style displays the values and aesthetics of the Renaissance, which means rebirth. This rebirth of classical arts and philosophies of ancient Rome and Greece arose in Italy in the 15th century and spread across Europe, influencing architecture and the decorative arts.

Typical decorative details evoked Greek and Roman mythology and architecture, with an emphasis on classical symmetry. You can see the symmetry in these lovely antique Renaissance Henry II style dining chairs crafted in wood and dating to 1900.

Furniture is also adorned with carved arches and columns, stately pediments and attractive finials. Figurative carvings include male and female figures, faces and heads. For example, this gorgeous antique French Renaissance Henry II sideboard or server boasts a crowned Queen carved at the top.

Antique French buffets or servers in the Henry II style are often crafted in beautiful oak or walnut wood, with a rich patina from more than a century of age. The typical buffet will boast columns and spindles, including spindled galleries to serve as plate racks. However, there are many varieties of decorative designs on these unusual pieces.

The furniture also was influenced by the Hunting style, which was led by the French fashion to furnish hunting lodges and chateaux with furniture carved with images of rural life.

Creative antique decor: antique French nightstand in the kitchenHere are some piece of furniture in this style that customers have bought from us. They sent us some wonderful photos showing the furniture in their homes for our customer spotlights.

Our customer Kathleen in Oklahoma bought this French antique nightstand in the Henry II style and she made the clever decision to use it as a kitchen cabinet, providing extra storage and display space.  The geometric walnut marquetry and lovely turned legs are nicely set off by the gray marble top and it looks terrific in her kitchen! See more photos and Kathleen’s full story here.

Henry II style buffets often have bas-relief figures or scenes on the doors. This is a great example, from our client spotlight: Renaissance Chairs and Buffet in Chateau Home, Illinois.

Bob H. in Prairie Grove, Illinois, bought this buffet for his French Renaissance chateau style home. The beautiful buffet is carved with a knight on horseback on the doors. Bob decorated the marble top with a vintage porcelain figure of an apothecary and antique mortar and pestle sets. Can you guess he worked as a pharmacist?

Antique French Dining ChairsIris in Texas bought these oak Henry II dining chairs from us, featuring carvings of birds, and a pair of lions gazing out from the finials. The attractive brass handles are also typical of this style. Renaissance Henry II style antique furniture is all elegant and classically appealing, showing the high quality taste of kings!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.