08 Aug

CRAZY FOR CLASSICS – DESIGNING WITH NEOCLASSICAL ANTIQUES

CRAZY FOR CLASSICS - DESIGNING WITH NEOCLASSICAL ANTIQUES

Nothing is better than waking up to a home filled with what you love, and for me that is furniture of the neoclassical style!

Born from the ideas and philosophy of the Enlightenment, furniture makers began to revisit classic Greek and Roman principles in the creation of their designs. I love incorporating these neoclassical principles into my designs, layering their timeless beauty with modern influences to create a truly majestic space! Vastly different than the flowery and romantic Rococo Style, the revival of more simple an dignified pieces became popular as a rejection of the previous extravagant movement.

Empire Style, Directoire Style, and Louis XVI style design all emerge from neoclassical notions, and produced what I consider to be some of the most stunning furniture around! Emblems of ancient Roman, Greek and even Egyptian culture were typical of the Empire Style , taking very literal and illustrative cues from these great empires of the past. Predating the Empire style, Directoire imitated Roman ideals in a more abstract and philosophical sense, where simplistic virtue manifested itself into clean lines and a more restrained use of ornamentation.

The variety of influences that shape Neoclassical pieces make them perfect for mixing and layering within a space. As a purveyor of gorgeous antiques, one of my favorite things to do is styling these fabulous finds within my home. I can’t get enough of creating new combinations of these old-world treasures with luxe textiles and contemporary elements to bring new life to these incredible classics.  This walnut directoire dining table pairs brilliantly with the tone-on-tone decor of my dining room, providing an elegant simplicity that mixes with the opulent crystal chandelier and classic accessories.

Layering this style with other classic pieces and light decor is my favorite way to make a statement with neoclassical antiques. Gilding is emblematic of the neoclassical style, adding a rich element to any design. More is more when it comes to classic details when putting together a traditional space. This directoire style daybed features gorgeous gilded urn carvings along the headboard and footboard, a classical motif which will really stand out when combined with other gilt accents in a space.

Though typically more simple than the Rococo movement, the neoclassical style did not shy away from ornamentation! It often celebrated the decorative accents of classic furniture, but turned away from the playful and bombastic to a look that was a bit more refined. The Neoclassical console pictured below is fully decked out with gilding and intricate carvings, but the acanthus leaf motif, stop-flute legs and majestic straight lines make it more noble than the flowery furniture that came before it.

Teeming with ancient Greek influence, the simple campaign chairs pictured above were created by Otto Parzinger for Maison Jansen, the first true international design firm. Campaign chairs get their classification from the fact that they were, quite simply, used during campaigns. Their simple and foldable designs made them easy to carry on during the march, and have been in use since the times of Julius Caesar.  The bronze finials and noble pawed feet also emphasize the neoclassical style, stunningly regal in spite of their modest design!

Classic design is just that for a reason: it’s timeless! In art, architecture and design we are always looking towards the past to find influence for the future. What better source than history to show us what will withstand the test of time to create a design that truly never goes out of style? I kept these thoughts in mind as I set out on my last buying trip through Europe, hand-curating an incredible collection of timeless treasures to bring back to my warehouse in the states. Join me at 1526 Religious Street on August 25th an 26th to shop for classic pieces at wholesale prices, and fall in love with the everlasting style these gorgeous pieces provide! I am just so elated to be bringing back all this ageless beauty to share, and am even more excited to be offering these exclusive prices to the public! Looking forward to seeing you all at the opening!

-Tara

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