Volume 2, Issue 8

February 2004

18th Century Traditional Styles
Splendid and luxurious, traditional style creates a bedroom fit for royalty. It's reflected in a bed piled high with pillows in regal fabrics, formal draperies expertly tailored to crown a window and finely crafted furnishings.

The works of cabinetmakers as Chippendale, Heppelwhite and Sheraton live on in fine reproductions made today. Thomas Chippendale suggested that chairs be covered in leather, damask, tapestry or needlework. Chinese painted silk is another upholstery choice used by Chippendale. Sheraton's designs included elaborate drapes, usually fringed, that hung from under the seat rail. Heppelwhite sofas and settees were delicate and most constructed in mahogany, but some were painted to co-ordinate with the room. Similarly, fabric patterns from generations ago are lovingly reproduced in fabrics and wallpaper, giving today's homeowners their own rendition of classic 18th-century designs. Traditional style is regal but uncluttered, incorporating a touch of personal artifacts against the backdrop of history.

Create a traditional look in your bedroom by following these tips.

  • Purchase furnishings in classic European or American designs and wood finishes, mixing them if desired. Look for furniture trimmed with a single or double row of gilt or brass nails.
  • Choose formal botanicals, landscapes, portraits or hang mirrors in gilded or fine wood frames for your wall accessories.
  • Select sumptuous patterns for fabrics and wall coverings in large florals or traditional European designs, mixing them for a layer-upon-layer effect. These styles include silk damasks, tapestry and needlework designs.
  • Rely on tailored upholstered pieces for benches, reading chairs, fire and folding screens and ottomans.
  • Introduce 18th-century-style accessories, such as fine porcelain, crewelwork pillows or a silver- or gold-color vase.


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