Do you know the difference between a duvet, davenport and armoire? Does your wall decor and table centerpiece have to match the linens? Do you know the difference between primary colors and secondary colors? If you answered ’yes’ to any two of the previous three questions: congratulations, the Bravo network would like to offer you your own television series! But, if words like camel-back, drop-leaf and love-seat bring to mind the pictorial from that certain magazine you’ve got stashed away in the garage, read on.
Know your personal style – Some of us prefer simple and functional furniture that serve its purpose but doesn’t stand out. Others prefer lavish and cluttered styles with bespoke furniture. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, so keep your dining room consistent with the rest of your house in terms of style.
Louis XIV – In the middle of the 17th century, the king of France, Louis XIV, favoured a very grand style of interior. Furniture was heavy and finishings were fussy. Gilding was everywhere – on doors, furniture, mouldings – and yet more decoration was added with boule marquetry on furniture, (using tortoiseshell and brass) and detailed paintings on ceilings.
Napoleon – In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France and his military and political leadership could be seen in everything French for the next 10 years – including France’s architecture and interior styling. The classical Roman and Greek designs remained the core of this era’s style but were advanced, so to speak, with military devices.
Arrangement – It is not enough only to be aware of the size of your room and act accordingly. First you should consider the general space available and how much furniture you need, then you need to choose what furniture should go where and at what angles. This is a difficult task and one that needs careful thought. There are many different philosophies on the subject. Some like to keep a very symmetrical style, while others prefer an organic free flowing style. Experiment with different setups and gauge your guests reaction and their interaction. If everyone is standing instead of sitting down, you may want to change things around!