Modern decorators and designers - even those who only design within their own homes - incorporate
Country French furniture in the pursuit of "shabby chic" style.
CAPTURING FRENCH HISTORY IN DESIGN
Country French design is a patchwork of design styles that encompasses furnishings popular
since the early 18th century. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Enlightenment brought about French furniture design that was decidedly feminine and ornately carved or hand painted, with curving silhouettes and attention to detail. The pieces feature extravagant extras,
such as lavish veneers, asymmetrical lines, secret compartments and complex moving parts.
After Louis XVI came into power, the discovery of the city of Pomeii brought about a resurgence of
Greco-Roman style in French furnishings, which led to design that was steeped in natural themes
but also featured more powerful motifs from the animal kingdom. Artisans began creating accent
furniture that was purely for design value. Such as decorative seating was was never actually used.
The Directoire Era of French furniture design featured simplified lines, fewer embellishments
and an affinity for geometric shapes or Egyptian accents. With the coronation of Napoleon, the French began to prefer heavier, darker pieces made out of mahogany and ebony, often with
marble tops and traditional brass hardware. Country French furniture also includes pieces from the
Louis Philippe Era of French history, which catered more to the simplistic and functional decorating styles of bourgeois class, while still including marble accents and traditional French elements of