Gustavian Style

Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture - The Swedish Furniture
Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture – The Swedish Furniture

Gustav III of Sweden became inspired by the neoclassical style he found in Versailles after visiting France for a few years. After his return the French style arts exploded in Sweden, as seen the overall style in interior design, furniture, and architecture.

The Gustavian era stretched from the reign of Gustav II (1771-92) and his son Gustav IV Adolf (1792-1809) during which time Sweden was greatly inspired by French manners and taste. The generous elegant lines of found in the Rococo styles became more streamlined and boxy in their Gustavian development. Straighter lines allowed cabinet makers like Georg Haupt and Gottlieb Iwerson to use more inlays.  Other masters from this era are Jonas Hultsten, G.A. Ditzinger, Nils Petter Stenström, Anders Lundelius, Fredrik Scholin, Karl Fredrik Ekström to name just a few.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate the Gustavian Style into your home:

1.  Go With An Overall Un-cluttered Look For Your Home

Gustavian style is all about pairing down, and really showing off the nicer things in your home.  One way you can do this is to take a good look at your home, and donate some of the less important things to your overall floor plan. Less is always more, and quality is always better.

Collections really make a presence in a room, it is just a matter of how you present them.

Limit collections to groupings.  You can do this by buying wall display cabinets, plate racks,and corbel shelves for your collections.

Consider collecting and showing off the best of what you have, rather than just collecting for numbers sake.   In this photo, painted bookshelves show off a beautiful simplistic glass collection.  The glasses are evenly spaced, allowing the opportunity for each item to be appreciated.  In this photo, a series of frames sit in a set of 9 on a cabinet.  Push frames closer together in this grouping by Suzanne Rheinstein.

Besides gray interiors with gilt wood furniture, the Swedish were also well known for their country looks.  If you are after something a bit more detailed, consider this post “Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture” in which details hand painted walls, with folk art often seen in the 18th century Scandinavia.

Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse Featured in Southern Accents Cathy Kincaid Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse

Featured in Southern Accents,Cathy Kincaid Interiors

Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse Featured in Southern Accents Cathy Kincaid Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse

Featured in Southern Accents Cathy Kincaid

Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse Featured in Southern Accents Cathy Kincaid Master Bedroom From The Dallas Showhouse

Featured in Southern Accents Cathy Kincaid

18th-c_-Breakfast-Room-Of-de-Bottons-Home-500x676Janet de Bottons 18th Century China Room

Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People is a compilation of homes and gardens that have appeared in Vogue over the past ten years or so.

Swedish-Accent-Chair

Stunning Swedish Styled White Painted Accent Chair

Neoclassical Swedish Styled Accent Chairs Sold In Pairs $983

2.  Invest In Antiques, Or Fake It With Some Pieces That Have The Overall Gustavian Look

Lets face it, Swedish antiques can be very costly, and out of the budget for most people.  Although if you can invest in a few great pieces, and make them the focus of a room, your home’s style will be better off with a minimal approach that eclectic. On our site The Swedish Furniture we are always listing dealers inventory of genuine antiques.  Places like 1st dibs, or even googling terms like “Swedish Furniture”, or “Gustavian furniture”, you will find plenty of dealers.

Solid raw wood furniture is a mark of the Swedish style.  Consider decorating around birch, alder, white pine and beech.   Although it is common to find Swedish furniture painted, raw furniture is just as beautiful to look at.  Classic Swedish furniture often has furniture that featured detailed edges with beads or carving. Sofas or settees are typically wood-framed with upholstered seats.  Slipcovers have become quite fashionable in the last couple years, but have been around for a long time.  Aristocratic wanted to find ways to change up their interior often without buying new furniture.  Slipcovers allowed them to change the color schemes regularly.  Loose cushions also make it easy to change your homes look inexpensively.

My philosophy is:

1. Invest in what you love, because you won’t get tired of it,

2.  If you cannot afford it, buy pieces that will look great, and trade up when you find something better.

Don’t be a design snob!

The Swedes are very much into recycling whatever they have on hand. There are  no limits to what their imagination and design sense can come up with. They’ll use antique or vintage furniture, and shop at rummage, yard-sales or second-hand stores to get their hands on inexpensive, ugly,  unwanted furniture and accessories, and transform them into elegant shabby chic pieces.

Here are some articles I put together, which show some furniture pieces that will pull together the Swedish look for less:

Inexpensive Unfinished Furniture

Inexpensive Mora Clocks

Birdcage Stand Ideas From Amazon

An American’s Guide For Getting The Swedish Country Look

Do It Yourself Upholstery

Affordable Painted Furniture

3.  Decorate Around Lighter Color Tones

The Scandinavians seem to do white interiors to perfection. Swedish interiors are for the most part bright, and crisp with accessories ranging from washed out pastels to rich tones.

Nordic style designs stay in-tune with today’s wish for calm, uncluttered spaces, making them easy to live in and for this reason they are admired all over the world.  Some areas of the Nordic north see entire months of near total darkness, so the trend of lighter colors was an overwhelming need to create light and invite in the missing sunshine.

White doesn’t necessarily mean one color.  Decorate with a variety of white hues, from the brightest white  towards the palest creme, with touches of neutral and grayed pastels. Throw in bright-colored accessories, such as embroidered table runners, striped rugs, Scandinavian cross stitch art and pillows.  Decorate with colors ranging from washed out pastels to rich, vivid tones.

Classic Swedish Interiors, by Lars Sjoberg 1

 “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

Classic Swedish Interiors, by Lars Sjoberg 2

 “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

Lars Sjoberg “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

 4.  Decorate With The Pastel Colors

Swedish style became very fashionable in America in the mid-1800s, when many  Scandinavians immigrated to the United States. Many of the Swedes settled in the Upper Midwest, such as  where the climate came closest to what they knew in  Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.  The availability of low cost,high quality farm land in the upper Midwest, and high paying jobs in mechanical factories in Chicago, Minneapolis made it appealing to leave Sweden for America. Naturally they brought their heritage with them. To decorate around this style, think pale colors with darker accents.  Pair together a pale blue wall, with a black painted desk.  If your room is based around red, consider adding white paint to your red, and choose a soft coral colors for the walls with red accessories.  Consider colors such as pale greens, lavender, yellow and coral.

Check out – How To Bring The Swedish Style Into Your Home

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

 Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem- See More Of This House Here

5.  Install Wood Flooring

Floors, like Swedish furniture, were kept plain and without much decoration.  In some homes, stencils may have been used to create borders or stripes, but most often were found plain or painted a solid color. Flooring was usually wood, because the forest industry made it inexpensive to design around wood.  Flooring was found distressed, bleached, pickled or whitewashed.  Area rugs can be used, and can be  simple in design, natural or striped.

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 1

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 2

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 3

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 4

Gustavian Wood Flooring – Here

 "Classic Swedish Interiors," by Lars Sjoberg

 “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

 "Classic Swedish Interiors," by Lars Sjoberg

 “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

 "Classic Swedish Interiors," by Lars Sjoberg

Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

"Classic Swedish Interiors," by Lars Sjoberg

Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg

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