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. 

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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.

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.

Florida Road Trip 3: Antique Henry II Dining Chairs

After Greg and I decided to take a road trip to Florida to make a delivery to the Orlando area, Katrina in Alva, FL, purchased this handsome set of six antique Henry II dining chairs in our Etsy store. We were delighted that we could include this delivery to the Ft. Myers area on the way to visit my home town of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

This style is one of our absolute favorites. From 19th century accent chairs to circa 20th century Louis XV and Louis XVI seating options, this style is great. Whether you’re in the market for Italian, Regency, or French Dining Chairs, the solid oak or teak construction is sure to impress.

antique French Henry II dining chairs

We love this style of antique Renaissance Henry II dining chairs and buy as many sets as we can find during our antiques buying trips to France. We recently sold a similar set to the television show, Ozark. You can read about that delivery trip here.

This particular set of antique Henry II dining chairs is especially nice. The scale is a bit larger than most. These antique chairs are carved in walnut and they show the patina of age on the wood frames. This is the kind of finish that you cannot buy in new furniture. The dining chairs date to around 1890 so they have certainly earned their patina!

embossed leather on antique Henry II dining chairs

The original embossed leather featured was especially detailed. There are scrolls, floral elements, roaring lion faces and even dragonflies!

A Lovely Estate

When we pulled up to this amazing estate right on the river, we were stunned by the absolutely beautiful location! Katrina explained she is the caretaker of her brother’s estate. The whole family lives on the compound – her children were out mowing the grass when we pulled up. There is a huge pool with a water slide and waterfall on the side of this palatial home that faces the river.

And what a stunning view indeed! It seemed like paradise to us. Katrina explained that her brother had won the lottery after much hardship in his life and he has given her free reign to decorate the estate. Luckily for us, Katrina loves heavily-carved antique furniture – our specialty.

embossed leather on antique Henry II dining chairs

We ooohed and ahhhed over several pieces in her home on the way to place these regal chairs. We put them at a wrought iron table in the middle of the great room, right off of the kitchen. They fit right in with her Renaissance style decor!

antique Henry II dining chairs in dining room

She had recently painted the wall black and it really does create quite a dramatic effect with the marble floors and ornate, hand-carved built-in bookcases and mantel. The dark leather on the antique dining chairs blends in nicely with the black leather upholstery on the sofas in the great room.

Greg and I reminded ourselves to stop and buy a lottery ticket as we drove out of the compound gates! Next stop was my hometown of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida!

As we drove away from the family living in their beautiful estate, we were delighted to know that the set of French antique Henry II dining chairs had found such a happy home.

Quality Dining Chairs at EuroLuxHome.com

Whether you’re looking for upholstered, faux leather seating to surround your dining table, or some comfortable rattan pieces, EuroLuxHome.com has you covered. Our selection of wood dining chairs is immense. These solid wood pieces demonstrate excellent craftsmanship. Styles including Windsor, Bistro, Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, Victorian, Chippendale, Mid-Century Modern and more. We also offer armless and dining armchairs. Other seating options include bar stools, side chairs, dining benches, leather dining chairs, wingback and upholstered chairs and many more dining room chairs. These pieces are so lovely you’ll even want to put them in your living room, entryway or home office! From high back modern dining chairs to antique ladder back seating, our new arrivals are sure to impress. Add some extra glam to your extra seating, and enhance your home decor today.

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.