Designer Suzanne Rheinstein
How To Accent A Room With A French Chair
French chairs are great accent pieces because they look so distinctive. At the same time, you need to know how to use them to properly balance the room.
Choose A Color Theme
Most French chairs have the upholstery color and the trim’s color. The trim is usually wooden, but there are a number of modern French chairs that have a metal trim. You can choose either a neutral wooden color to bring more attention to the upholstery, or you can use a daring paint or metallic color to make the trim the center of attention. Both ways work fine, but you need to find a balance.
The upholstery is very dynamic because you can easily change it. You can choose a solid color, a pattern and dozens of other options. The color should somehow go with the room. It can either match the color of the walls, or it can contrast it to make the chair more distinct and dramatic.
If you want the chair to really stand out, then use contrasting upholstery with a dynamic trim color. If you want the chair to fit into the room without taking it over, then choose colors that are neutral or soft.
The Size Of Your Chair Matters
The size of the chair is very important because it will determine how much presence the chair has in the room. A larger chair is obviously more commanding, but a smaller chair can be a beautiful accent. You also need to consider the size of the room. A smaller room can handle more statement pieces along as it isn’t overly cluttered.
Theme Looks With French Furniture
Even modern versions of these chairs can lend themselves to look like antiques. Designate one section of the room as a sitting area. Many magazines show rooms split off into two sitting areas instead of one. Consider what you can place in your room without it feeling stuffy and overdone.
Pair Chairs Together
This may not work if you only have one French chair, but pairing one chair with others will make the chairs look like they have more of a presence. Go for a small table between the chairs, as there has to be some where to place your afternoon tea, or morning coffee.
French chairs look absolutely amazing. They have a beautiful design aesthetic that makes them look instantly antique, and they can be visually striking due to their wonderful curves and distinct appearance.
Using a French chair to accent a room is actually very easy, and you typically don’t need to do much work to incorporate it. Just consider the color and size of the chair, and also put some thought into how you can use the chair to enhance the room.
8 French Home Décor Tips
Elegant and chic, yet simple and clean, French décor has a timeless quality about it that never seems to go out of style. Whether it’s classic-traditional, country, contemporary, or a combination of styles, incorporating French-inspired decorating techniques, furnishings, and accents can transform your home into something of a masterpiece. If you like the idea of mixing old world beauty with modern-day chic when it comes to the interior of your home, you can achieve the perfect look with the help of the following French home décor tips.
Incorporate Antique Pieces
Antique furnishings are a must if you’re going for a French-European feel in your home. An oversized, upholstered chair, a larger-than-life canopy bed, or a beautiful armoire can serve as a focal point, one that you can use as the inspiration for the entire room. If you’re having a difficult time finding French antique furniture that fits within your budget, check out antique consignment shops and flea markets in your area to find some affordable pieces. You may even find some fixer-uppers that you can repair and refinish yourself–after all, French style favors shabby-chic and distressed furnishings.
Choose Colors Wisely
If you want a more traditional French décor, stick with neutral colors like white, cream, or gray for the walls. You can paint with a solid color, or consider adding a stripe or simple design in black to add a touch of class. While the walls should remain neutral, you can add color to the room with decorative accents and fabrics in shades like sage-green, plum-purple, sunflower-gold, or lavender-blue.
For a French country feel, give your walls some color without going overboard. Light, creamy yellows, softly muted blues, and other pretty shades drawn from nature are appropriate choices.
Add Texture to the Walls
Texturizing your walls is another way to add some French flavor to your home décor. Texturizing techniques range from simple to challenging–and factors to consider when deciding the best method should be based on your budget and whether or not you will do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you. The easiest way to add a textured look to walls is to paint them with a special paint that gives the illusion of texture, or use faux-painting techniques to get the look. If you’re confident in your handyman skills, you can also add texture with plaster. Plaster not only gives walls a texturized look–it gives them the true feel, too.
Mix and Match Patterns
Mixed and matched patterns are very popular in French décor, so don’t be afraid to use a variety of them all in the same room. Fleur-de-lis, stripes, gingham, and toile can be very complimentary to one another as long as they come from similar or complimentary color pallets.
Use Plenty of Fabric
French décor favors fabric–and from drapes and upholstery to linens and plush accents, be sure to incorporate plenty of it. Like different patterns, it’s not unusual to find several different types of fabric together in one room. Toile, cottons, linens, silk brocades, Chantilly lace, and even wool are just some of the types of fabric that you can incorporate together in French décor.
Make it Symmetrical
Symmetry is another important element in French design, so keep it in mind when arranging furnishings such as chairs and accent tables. If possible, mirror an arrangement on the other side of a focal piece to give a clean, symmetrical look to the room.
Bring the Outdoors In
Bring a touch of the outdoors into your French décor with fresh floral arrangements, floral patterns, and splashes of color similar to the ones found in a French garden or rolling countryside. Make a pretty centerpiece for your kitchen table by filling a French vase with an assortment of bright flowers and greens or adorn your walls with French artwork depicting nature at its finest. French impressionist art, such as a painting by Monet, is a great way to add a garden feel to your home.
Accent with Old World Treasures
French plates, timepieces, linens, and other antique treasures displayed throughout your home add a touch of the old world that is essential in French décor. Find unique trinkets and accent pieces that fit in with your French theme by browsing online auctions and classifieds, antique shops, consignment stores, flea markets, and even yard sales. Interesting pieces that represent France’s rich culture will bring just the right amount of French flair to the rooms in your home.
If you want your home to embody the splendor and charm that is so abundant in French décor–use these tips to help make it happen. With a few French décor ideas to spark your creativity and a little interior design know-how, your home can go from oh-so-blah to ooh-la-la in no time at all.
French Style Painted Folding Chair, 19th-C. French Folding Chair From One Kings Lane
Folding Iron French Chairs
Folding chairs can be one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you own. They store easily, are relatively cheap, and can be placed nearly anywhere. Whether you need to bring them out for a large party you are having or take them somewhere, they are right at your fingertips. The only question is whether to invest in wooden or metal folding chairs. While they are both equal in terms of function, there are some differences to be aware of.
You will want to pick out chairs that last a long time so that you don’t have to replace them constantly. While both can last a long time, metal folding chairs tend to stick around longer. This is because people overlook the dings and dents that they get over time. The wear and tear on the wooden folding chairs is more visible. However, if the wooden chairs are taken care of and stored properly, they can last just as long as their metal counterparts.
Generally, basic metal folding chairs are the cheapest. They can get more expensive if they are padded or colored, but they are usually less expensive than the wooden folding chairs. However, if you shop around or shop in bulk, they can be about the same price. This all depends on what types of features you want the chairs to have.
Nearly all consumers will agree that the wooden folding chairs are far more appealing to the eye then metal folding chairs. They do not rust.
Generally, wooden folding chairs are more comfortable than metal folding chairs. They offer a bit more support without being too rough on the bones and joints. There is a slight give in the material so that it conforms to your unique body. While it will certainly not be as comfortable or supportive as a lounge chair, your guests can sit comfortably for an entire evening in the wooden folding chairs. If you invest in good rustic furniture, you do not have to feel guilty making people sit in them when they come to visit your home.
Decorating With Iron Furniture For A French Provence Look
2 Tips to Clean Old Outdoor Resin Furniture- Provincial Furniture
3 Easy Old World French Elements To Add To Your Home Part 2
Painting Classic French Chairs
While it is usually not something you think about sometimes painting your French chairs is the way to go. Perhaps the wood is damaged or has been stained in a way that makes it impossible to repair. Or maybe a painted chair would simply fit your décor better. Whatever the case may be, there are many ways you can paint your French chairs. Here are a few:
1. Classic – The classic paint for a French chair means keeping it simple. Beige or white or cream color as a base with maybe a subtle stripe of country blue or demure grey. This style of painting fits in with classic French décor and makes any home looked lived in.
2. Bold – If your décor leans more towards bold and beautiful then you can paint your chairs in stunning red, shiny black, or stark white. These three colors are well within the modern décor palate and fit well with contemporary furnishings. Painting your French chairs one of these shades is a great way to bring classic and modern together.
3. Pastel – For children’s rooms, kitchens, or floral decorated rooms pastel colors work well. Not only are they soothing and gentle looking, but they also add a bit of lightness to your French chairs. Perfect for a baby’s or little child’s room, a French chair painted pastel is a great accessory.
Pair of Turquoise Louis XV Chairs Timothy Corrigan Antiques
4. Neon-Go really crazy with neon painted French chairs. Bright and beautiful, neon colors add a punch to any room. Pair with black and white to stand out or make it a part of your décor by adding additional neon elements. Great in teen rooms and artistic areas.
5. Basic –Browns, subtle blacks, greys, cream, and other basic shades help your French chairs to fit in with your decorating style. Instead of taking a bold step, help your French chairs to become another part of the whole with a basic paint color.
6. Patterned –Patterns like chevrons are very popular in modern décor right now and fit well with French chairs. You could also do animal prints for a walk on the wild side or a floral pattern for a garden theme. Whatever your choice, hand painted patterns add a touch of class and expense to your French chairs.
These are just a few of the ways that you can paint your French chairs. There are many other things you can do to help your French chairs become a part of your home and décor. Take a look around your home and see what would work best for you.
Author Byline: Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. He is a regular contributor of “www.gonannies.com/“. You can get in touch with him at kmyers.ceo (at) gmail.com.
Belclaire House and Kwikimages.com are credited for this beautiful living room by an unknown interior designer who has created an elegant room based around French furniture.
Louis XVI Style Settee , Antique Dealer Spurgeon Lewis Antiques
Sloan Mauran’s House | House & Home
Antique Louis XVI dining chairs are upholstered in a traditional manner,
with contrasting fabrics — silk plaid and taupe linen — on the seat
backs and seats. “I had already collected most of the antiques on my
travels in Europe, but the mahogany table had to be custom-made to fit
the large scale of the room,” says Sloan. A contemporary leather-bound
sisal carpet enhances the traditional aspects of the older, more formal
pieces, she adds. Plain white dinnerware keeps the focus on the
A Collection of Busts sit on small shelves in this dining room. Consider playing around with an all white scheme, by painting your French chairs white. Picture Credit – Cote de Texas Blog
A Home Located In Sweden with painted antique French Chairs
Antique Gray French Country Low Back Corner Occasional Chair
If within your broken and aged French chair you still see a glimmer of old world charm, consider it an antique chair worth rescuing. Although a restoration project such as the one featured below does require some time and patience–the end result will be a rewarding one.
(Picture Credit Dutch Connection)
Conduct a Thorough Inspection
Before you get to work on your antique chair, remove any surface dust so that you can examine it more closely. A soft, damp cloth can be used to wipe off larger areas, while an old toothbrush will make it easier to get into carved areas or smaller crevices. Once you’ve cleaned off your chair, it will be much easier to inspect. Make note of any repairs that you need to make, and what products or replacement pieces you’ll need to get the job done.
Disassemble with Care
Care should be used in handling and disassembling an antique chair–especially one that’s fragile or broken. Remove the padded seat if there is one, take out all screws, and gently pull each piece apart. If you’re having a hard time taking it apart, use a soft-headed mallet to tap pieces out. Be sure to label each part that as it’s removed using marked pieces of masking tape–or take it a step further and sketch a quick diagram. That way you’ll know what goes where when it’s time to put the chair back together. Put all screws in a small, clear baggy–and keep them in a safe place where you won’t lose them.
Remove the Finish
Using a medium-sized paintbrush, apply an even layer of paste-stripper to each part of the chair that you need to remove the finish from. After a few minutes, you will notice that the finish will start to bubble, a clear indication that it’s ready to be scraped off. Use a putty knife to remove finish from larger parts of the chair, and try using a small piece of steel wool to take off any finish located in small tight areas that are difficult to get at.
Once you’ve successfully stripped the finish, apply a coat of lacquer using a damp rag. The lacquer will neutralize the area you just stripped, as well as remove any stripper residue that was left behind. Wipe each piece with a slightly damp cloth after neutralizing so that it’s ready for any repair work.
Make Necessary Repairs
There’s a lot of room for variation when it comes to antique chairs, and depending on when, where, and from what materials your chair was made–you may or may not be able to repair the chair yourself. Conduct some online research on your chair before you start repairing it so that you’re prepared with the right materials and some troubleshooting tips in case you run into any unexpected challenges. The following are some repairs that you may be able to handle yourself.
To fix a broken spindle, drill a hole into each of the broken ends. Using a brand of glue recommended for the type of wood you’re working with, fill each hole with a generous amount of glue. Insert a small wooden dowel into one of the broken spindle ends and then put the other part of the spindle onto the dowel. Apply a small amount of wood glue to the area where the two parts of the spindle meet, gently push the pieces together, and clamp to dry.
Wood that’s been chipped can be easily repaired, no woodworking skills required. Just fill them in with wood putty and smooth out the surface.
If you need to replace a broken piece of wood, first smooth out any rough edges by sanding them down. Take exact measurements of the piece you need to replace and sketch or trace it on a sheet of paper. If the chair has another part identical to the one that needs repair, use it as a model. Identify what type of wood your chair was made of and do your best to find a piece of the same wood or one that is similar enough to be a good match. Cut the replacement wood to match the piece you need, glue it to the part it snapped off from using wood glue, and clamp it together to dry. Once the glue has dried, you can sand the newly repaired piece to perfect the shape.
If you don’t feel comfortable working with wood, you may be able to find a replacement piece for your chair. Look online or check with antique dealers located in your area–you may be able to find a replacement part eliminating the need to fashion one yourself.
Reassemble and Refinish
When all repairs have been made, carefully reassemble your antique chair using labeled markings or your diagram. One assembled, the chair can be refinished. Starting at the top of the chair and working in one area at a time, use a paintbrush to apply the stain. After allowing a couple of minutes for the stain to soak into the wood, wipe each area to remove any surface stain then leave the chair to dry overnight. Next, apply a very thin layer of shellac over the stain, leaving it to dry for at least a half an hour.
If you want to reduce the amount of shine on your chair so that it looks slightly weathered, go over the surface of your chair with a piece of very fine steel wool. Give the seat cushion of your chair a thorough cleaning or reupholster it altogether if needed. Tack down the seat securely and sit back and relax–your work is done!
Don’t give up on your French antique chair if it’s in need of attention–give it a makeover instead. By repairing and refinishing it, you can breathe some life back into your antique chair–restoring its beauty and elegance so that it can be treasured for many years to come.
Guest post from Jean Clark.
If you secretly wish that you could take in the city of Paris, tour through Louvre, D’Orsay, and Versailles, and you just might be able to.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend who lives in France who just so happens to take their camera along with them as they tour the city on the weekends? On instagram you can find people in the region, so why not tag along for the ride?
If you enjoy looking at detailed antiques found in French chateau, admire sculpture, art and French architecture, then you might just enjoy following Remi.chp’s intagram page.
Annie Brahler’s French Home
House Beautiful showcased Annie Brahler’s home bathed in white with absolutely drop dead gorgeous French antiques. Antique gilt wood mirrors line the stairway, and are grouped together to make a statement.
1. Like Annie Brahler did, consider layering two mirrors that are like one another together above a fireplace, or on the wall behind a sideboard.
2. It has been fashionable to paint mirrors white, although the original giltwood often looks quite rich. 17th and 18 century gilt wood was fashionable, and stately. Gold is still rich today when paired with muted tones such as gray and beige. Gold is also the perfect accessory for bold colors such as Kelly green, and lemon. Gold is the perfect accessory in any interior.
3. A gilt wood mirror in the kitchen or bathroom automatically dresses things up. Consider putting gilt mirrors anywhere that you need a punch of design.
4. Mirrors open the room up, like nothing else. The perfect way of adding light into a dark painted room is to add lots of mirrors and fresh vibrant oil paintings.
A French parlor’s daybed sits in the living room with a gilt table with a white marble top used as a coffee table. On a mantel two gilt wood mirrors and an over sized empire chandelier are paired together to make a big impact. A massive empty picture frame, propped against the mirror, along with antlers her children collected on hikes. Glass domes shelter antique taxidermy.
Here she grouped linen-covered Belgian bergères and a Louis XVI side table with a 19th-century French gilt settee and Dutch footstools. A gilt neoclassical mirror hangs above a mantle with white washed antlers. A Belgian crystal chandelier and sconces sparkle against walls. A beautiful magnolia flower sits on Annie Brahler’s coffee table adding to the white palette that her house is based around.
See more of Annie Brahler‘s home in House Beautiful.
French Style Walnut Oak Antique Blue Chest Dresser