Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Modern Mix II - Antique Furniture for Contemporary Collectors

A couple weeks ago, I shared my favorite antique accessories for modern homes. I had to follow up with a blog about furniture. I think every room needs at least one antique. It anchors the room, gives it a sense of history and character. There are so many periods that mix with modern, but here are three that definitely make the cut:

1. Directoire style (1793-1804) started after the French revolution, and is known for its simplicity and smaller size.


Because of the war's effect on the French economy, the pieces were made from less expensive wood and with bronze instead of gilt.I love Directoire chairs with a modern dining room table, and the side tables work just about anywhere.

Directoire chairs, Canadian House & Home

Directoire day bed, House Beautiful

2. Biedermeier style (1815-1848) originated German speaking countries after the French Revolution. People wanted to return to normal, so they created unpretentious, practical furniture for the middle class. The history explains its weird name - "Bieder" means middle class and "meier" was a common last name in Germany. 


Look for light woods expertly cut to show the beauty of the grain, and not much detail other than the occasional black ebony inlay. Designers in New York have gone crazy for this style, so of course, the real deals are pricey and hard to find.

Biedermeier armoire, House Beautiful

Biedermeier chairs, Traditional Home

Biedermeier chest, House Beautiful

3. And finally, I couldn't write a blog without mentioning Louis Philippe (1830-1848), could I? I hope you're not tired of hearing about it, but I really believe this is the easiest and probably most affordable antique to mix with modern. 


Obviously I love the mirrors. And the commodes. I've even done a whole post dedicated to Louis Philippe here. So I won't bore you with more information. But I can't resist sharing a few more pretty pictures!

Louis Philippe mirror, House Beautiful

Louis Philippe dining table, House Beautiful

Louis Philippe commode, Canadian House and Home


  1. That Directoire day bed is awesome...love it, thx for the little lesson in interior style ;)

  2. Please feel free to link back to us at www.houseandhome.com.

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  3. To enhance the elegance of 1930s furniture set, you need to take care of the home décor as well. The theme and rest of the room furnishing should complement the furniture pieces. Try natural colors of mahogany for your formal furniture pieces.