French rococo interiors were designed to be works of art. Although formal and elegant, rococo architecture, sculpture, paintings and furniture give the impression of fluidity and movement. Following the heavy, dark look of baroque decorating, exuberant and whimsical rococo was born in 18th-century France during the Louis XV period, and enjoyed a revival in the 19th-century in America. The design subsequently influenced Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture.
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Accoutrements in Interior Design
Choose ivory, pastels and gold for a rococo decor. Use undulating, curving lines in furniture. The fauteuil armchair for instance, with padded and upholstered seat and back, has another distinctive feature: padded cloth armrests. The chair back is usually oval or curved, framed in ornately carved wood with swirls, shell shapes, leaves and tendrils. It may be polished mahogany or cherry, accented or gilded in metallic gold. A pair of antique fauteuil chairs will add a dramatic rococo accent to your decor Marble topped tables with curving legs have that fanciful rococo look, as do light toned ornate carpets and floors. Window treatments can have drapes with elaborate cornices, fringe and scallops.
Rococo influence brings furniture away from the walls and out into the room as showpieces and to create conversational areas. This allows ornate scroll work on walls, ceilings and baseboards to be visible and not blocked by furniture. Look at pictures of historic rococo interiors to see fanciful and elaborate gold leaf designs you can modify and add to your own walls as a backdrop for your rococo room. The free-floating placement of furnishings adds to the light, open and airy look of rococo.
Elaborate tapestries, as well as ornate silver, ceramics and porcelain are appropriate for a rococo interior. To be authentic, find floral motifs, carved shell shapes and lots of gilt bronze to accessorise your rococo look. Use large mirrors with ornate frames to reflect the airy, spacious feel.
To add to the lighthearted yet formal look of rococo, hang a large classic portrait prominently, preferably in a light tonal key, with an elaborate gold frame. Playful nudes, mythological themes and courtship scenes are other good rococo painting subjects. The brush strokes are delicate and the feeling is exuberant. The works of Antoine Watteau and Jean-Marc Nattier serve as examples of the painting style.
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