Gustavian Pedestal- Neoclassical Decorating From Gift & Home Today
Eighteenth century Neoclassical style had made its way into Swedish style when King Gustav III of Sweden corresponded with Marie Antoinette about his decorating projects. Scandinavia responded to the French style with even more elegance and sophistication. While Sweden wouldn’t be able to duplicate the vast wealth of the French, The Swedes made it better with less to work with.
Swedish decorating is based around wood. In order to get the look, consider basing your entire interior around wood. Painted wood furniture, distressed wood floors, wood paneling, and painted wood accessories are all key elements to Swedish style. If you have just one of those elements you are on your way to attaining the elegant Gustavian interior looks.
Wood is common in Sweden, such as it is in British Columbia Canada, so it is no wonder they used so much of it in their interior. After all, it was free for the most part and applicable to so many architectural elements. The rich marbles of Versailles, were duplicated with paint on wood, and the silks found in upholstery and drapery were replaced with rich linens.
Pearl grey was the universally popular shade, and often accompanied by carved flourishes, ribbons, florals and bows. These elegant carved details were very neoclassical in nature and often ornamented mirror frames, chairs and furniture alike.
One of the most common draws to Swedish furniture is the paint shades that were used. Muted tones were used, and the pastel family was at the height of fashion through the 18th century. Common shades found in Sweden were blues. pinks, pale green, and straw yellow. Gold leaf was used less than in the rococo period, but were still used to add richness to furniture and decorating.
The curvious lines of the Rococo period were still in style, yet more streamlined designs came into play. Splayed legs become more straight, though finely tapered. Fluted legs had the sophistication of something more classy while the tapered legs played to the country side of Swedish decorating. Chairs were designed with straight backs instead of curved, and long narrow sofas became very fashionable. Mirrors were a must have in the 17th and 18th century, and this was especially true for Sweden, as their interiors became darker earlier because of the early sun sets. Candles were often placed in front of mirrors to magnify the reflective light. for Mirrors became longer and rectangular instead of round or oval.
Martha Stewart has such a good eye for style and her impeccable taste shows in these photographs. Here she uses her own paint- Drabware on the walls. One of the highlights of this room is the Wedgwood china on the wall. Do you see how well they match with the wall color? You have to wonder if the entire room was decided with those few pieces? The china is a few shades darker than the wall color. The Swedish check is chosen for the chairs, again matching perfectly with the wall color. The white in the check pattern gives depth to these chairs.
In the next room, the perfect shade of blue is used on the walls in a saturated shade. Look how blue is chosen for the ceilings instead of white. The floors are painted a darker hue than the walls.
These series of photographs has remained some of my all time favorite photographs out of the thousands I have looked at and compiled for our many blogs.
Swedish Gustavian Decorating Ideas From Martha Stewart
Again, another perfect example of classic Swedish style. Orange has to be one of my favorite colors, and here you can see how that hue comes alive in this room. The doors are stripped back so you can appreciate their details and patina.
In the past I have taken all natural wood (or faux painted) and painted an entire piece with plain light gray paint. After letting the piece dry for 5 to 7 minutes I have washed with a hose (for bigger furniture) or running water (for smaller pieces) to reveal a more distressed look than pickling or white washing. The overall effect leaves a very rustic painted appearance than your typical clean look of white washing.
Here, the floors are bare and rustic which is a classic Gustavian must have. One of the best features in this room is the demilune tapered leg console table. Look how the paint shade is within the same color family as the wall except darker?
Here you see in the picture above extremely elegant neoclassical chairs. The right period style can really make a room look distinctively Swedish. This room is very simple yet the architectural features are incredibly ornate.
I had no idea that Martha Stewart had a line of Swedish inspired furniture until today, so imagine my surprise when many of the pieces in the collection are very affordable. It is very easy to decorate in the Swedish style with such affordable furniture.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid 3-Shelf Bookcase $249- Shelves adjust to several different heights. Crafted from composite wood and
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid File Console $399 With turned legs, fine molding and antiqued iron hardware, this filing cabinet
is as beautiful as it is functional. Includes drawer glides for easy, smooth operation. Expertly crafted from solid wood and hardwood veneer. Holds letter- and legal-size folders.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Accent Side Table $152- Ingrid Side Table is available in multiple smooth finishes or unfinished so you
can add your own distinctive finishing touch.
Martha Stewart Living™ Ingrid Bar Stool $207- this transitional-style seating to your kitchen island or bar counter today for
a calm, airy atmosphere that’s as comfortable as it is lovely. Expertly crafted from solid wood and hardwood veneer. Naturally textured cotton upholstery offers comfort and lasting durability.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Dining Table $479 Ingrid Dining Table brings together smooth surfaces and a beautiful almond
finish that reflects the light beautifully and brings a warm glow to your home. Its removable leaf offers versatility, making this design perfect fit for cozy everyday use or large, elegant gatherings. Includes 20″W removable leaf.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Side Chair $135 With turned legs and fine molded accents this chair is distinctively Gustavian. Expertly crafted
from solid wood and hardwood veneer. Natural textured cotton upholstery.
Martha Stewart Living™ Ingrid Console Table $299 features include two drawers and an open shelf. Expertly crafted from solid wood
and hardwood veneer. Includes drawer glides for easy, smooth operation.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Upholstered Bench $146 Natural textured cotton upholstery. Part of the Martha Stewart Living™ Ingrid
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Arm Chair $159 Perfect for your dining room, office or any other space! Expertly crafted from solid wood and hardwood veneer. Natural textured cotton upholstery.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Desk $379 With turned legs, fine molding and antiqued iron hardware, this desk is as beautiful as it is functional.
Martha Stewart Living Ingrid Nightstand $179- The spacious drawer features an antique iron knob and its lower shelf offers expanded storage for magazines or books. It’s the perfect complement to your sophisticated bedroom decor.