Antique French Chairs, antique sofas and chairs
Antique French chairs and Swedish seating in all styles and periods feature strongly in modern interior design. 19c French chairs are often more elaborate and less formal in design than their British Victorian counterparts. While the Arts and Crafts Movement was in full swing in Britain, the French continued to prefer more elaborately decorated furniture. Swedish sofas and chairs make an interesting alternative to French furniture if an unfussy look is favoured. Choosing 19c French seating or a Swedish antique furniture is the perfect way to offset a continental style interior, or selecting a single iconic piece of French furniture can make the perfect statement piece.
In a living room setting traditional antique wingback chairs provide classic style and comfort. Wingback chairs tend be of sturdy construction and usually feature a loose upholstered cushion on a sprung base, the combination of cushion and springs supplying maximum comfort. The appeal of this type of antique French chair is universal and it would suit a variety of interior decor styles. Traditional stuffed upholstery is more authentic and hard-wearing than modern techniques so antique chairs make a wise investment purchase. Plain linen upholstery accentuates the elegant shape of a wingback chair, which would make a superb addition to a study or library, but a more flamboyant fabric could be used to contrast with the classic styling for a playful look in an informal living space.
In contrast to the rather formal appearance of the wingback chair, a bergere chair has more elaborate look and continental feel. A bergère is an upholstered antique French chair with its wooden frame exposed. It may be crafted from beech, fruit wood, walnut or mahogany; the former often painted or even gilded. A bergere, or shepherdess chair, features an upholstered back and the space between the seat and the armrests is also upholstered. The seat frame is covered and often boasts an additional loose cushion. This type of French furniture has generous proportions for an occasional type chair, and is a practical and decorative choice for a bedroom chair.
Tall back antique chairs are a particularly elegant example of French furniture. Upholstered in fashionable charcoal linen they provide a relaxed formality to any room. These can be used as part of a dining suit or would make very stylish occasional chairs. A pair of chairs positioned either side of a larger piece of furniture makes a pleasing trio.
Swedish sofas and chairs
Swedish sofas and chairs have also become popular in contemporary decor. In contrast to the more elaborate style of French antique chairs, Swedish antiques follow the Scandinavian tradition of being more minimalist in terms of design features. Swedish antiques are highly functional, but rather than appearing chunky or heavy boast clever use of materials with clean simple lines and tasteful finishes. Swedish chair design is generally of a far less ornate style than that of French furniture, but that is not to say that the two styles cannot work well together. Swedish dining chairs in a rococo style blend well with French period seating such as Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XIV.
Intelligent design that makes the most of the structural properties of wood results in Swedish furniture that is economical with materials. A Swedish sofa can be created using the minimum amount of wood to create an elegant piece of furniture that still retains its structural integrity. A Swedish bench-style sofa of this kind would make an excellent addition to a conservatory.