Swedish Cartel Clocks

Signed Antique Swedish Gilt Carved Wood Cartel Wall Clock Neoclassical 1913 From North West SPB on Ebay

1. Rococo Style Clock – Sweden – Late 19th Century Cherry Hill Antiques

2.  A Swedish Late Gustavian carved clock-Evergreen Antiques

3. Mora Clocks · Stockholm Gilt Wall Clocks

4. Italian pair of 1920s’ Gilded Mirrors From Ebay Seller Noemanyc on Ebay

5. Rococo Carved Wood Gilded Cartel Wall Clock Sweden From Bee and Rooster EBAY

6. Original Antique French Brass Cartel Wall Clock From Aizclusiv Euro Antik 2 On Ebay

A Look Behind Tyreso Castle Outside Stockholm

Tyreso Castle From Shuttertalk

Swedish Decorating Ideas- Tyreso Castle From Shuttertalk

Tyreso castle outside Stockholm Sweden

Tyreso Castle Outside Stockholm Sweden

Tyresd castle dates back to the 1600 ‘s.  The castle was built in the 1600s by the Privy Council Gabriel Oxenstiema

In the 1770s the castle was modernized and was the first English park in the country designed by garden architect Frednk Magnus Piper. The romantic park with winding paths still exist today. 

Marquis Claes Lagergren bought Tyreso castle in 1892 and made this stately home for himself, his wife Caroline and their three sons. With the help of architect isak Gustaf Clason built the awning of the palace of a nation-romantic spirit of the 1600-century castle as a model.

The marquis wished that the palace would be preserved as a living document of Swedish history .  It was his wish that Tyreso be made available to the public through the Nordic Museum. 

The Nordic Museum undertook an extensive restoration 1993-97 to restore awnings Claes Lagergrens home as it looked in 1900. The main building contains elegant lounges, libraries and offices, a chapel, bedrooms and guest rooms with several rooms.  There are very little pictures of the inside of this home, in fact, I could only find just one from the Nordic Museum showing the lavish furniture and paintings of the interior of Tyresd.  This would be a lovely tour if you happen to be in Sweden.


17th Century Primitive Painted Homes

17th Century Primitive Painted Homes

La Pouyette featured a unique post of a primitive painted cabin located a few kilometers from Gstaad.  The cabin was originally featured in the  1993 Home and Garden magazine. Gstaad is a village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland, and home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alps.  This home was at one time considered a wellness area with sauna, and built in 1628.  The evidence is found in the inscriptions.  The walls are decorated with paint in black, green and red.  In some areas of the home, formulas of blessings in Roman letters in Gothic characters are seen on the walls.  Painted wooden panels, decorated beams, friezes carved into the woodwork, all add to the beauty of this home. Blonde wood is used on the floor boards, and the furniture is found in in natural pine. Visit La Pouyette‘s Blog for additional photos of this spectacular home.17th Century Primitive Painted Homes 4 17th Century Primitive Painted Homes 3 17th Century Primitive Painted Homes 2


Suzanne Kasler’s Swedish Inspired Booth At The Home Furnishing Market In Atlanta

Suzanne Kasler’s rug collection For Safavieh

Swedish Secretary- Gustavian Furniture- Suzanne Kasler’s Rug Collection

Suzanne Kasler is a high-end residential interior designer whose work exudes timeless quality and comfortable sophistication. Kasler’s flair for blending art with antiques, contemporary pieces, and custom-designed furniture places her among the elite of America’s top interior designers.

She was named one of House & Garden’s “50 Tastemakers” and “one of the top 100 designers” by House Beautiful. In 2010 Elle Décor named Kasler to its list of 30 A-list designers.

Holly – author of the famous “Things That Inspire Blog” took some terrific shots of  Suzanne Kasler’s booth At the Home furnishing market at America’s Mart in Atlanta.  I love how the walls are sectioned up with blue on the bottom giving this room a Gustavian appeal. 

Suzanne Kasler’s rug collection For Safavieh - Things That Inspire Blog 3 Suzanne Kasler’s rug collection For Safavieh Seen On Things That Inspire Blog 2


Painted Console Tables- Swedish Faux Finishes

Swedish Furniture Ideas- Suzanne Rheinstein November Elle Decor

Swedish Furniture Ideas- Suzanne Rheinstein November Elle Decor

This lovely photograph is from Suzanne Rheinstein’s archives.  A table such as this would often be seen originally gilded in a gold or painted gray.  Look how terrific it looks painted in muted blue with white accents!!  The paint appears to be on the chalky side, which is quite commonly found with Swedish antique painted furniture.

The dark gray stone top is a great match against the blue paint color.  White used as an accent paint color gives a refreshed appearance.

The combination of white, along side another color (gray, coral, blue or yellow) is often seen with painted Gustavian furniture.

Neoclassical Furniture - Mary Douglas Drysdale

 Here is another Swedish table painted in an off green pastel color with creamy white accents.  This piece looks as if it was glazed with brown paint to give an antique appearance.  Or….  it could be antique!  Mary Douglas Drysdale From William and Kate Blog

Amy Morris’s Rustic Country Entry Way Featured In Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

Interior designer Amy Morris’s home Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Interior designer Amy Morris’s home Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles featured Interior designer Amy Morris’s home which was filled with lovely distressed Swedish antiques, and an eclectic mix of furnishings making her home comfortable and inviting to her family and friends.

Here are some of my favorite highlights of the home:

One of the home’s powder rooms features a pair of arched iron windowpane mirrors which were placed together to look like one solid mirror. The mirror and the painted wall paneling give the room a primitive feel.  The vanity topped with limestone gave this room a polished appearance.  The rustic elements paired with the rich stone pushed this room into absolute luxury.

Several antiques really shine in this home.  The master bedroom which features serene Swedish blue and gray-white tones. A 19th-century Gustavian settee sits at the end of the bed and is from A. Tyner Antiques. The basement is just as beautiful as the rest of the house, outfitted with a distressed wood pedestal market table, with Louis XIII reproduction chairs. In the back entry hall, the floor is patterned with brick and wood to create a focal point. Matching weathered chests really steal the spotlight in this room.  The distressed paint finishes feature colors of blue and cream make a Swedish statement in this room.

ORIENTAL FURNITURE sells a lovely white cabinet for $569

Furniture Woodworks sells a terrific cabinet that is currently unavailable, although it may become available in the future.  They sell it unfinished. 

Others to Consider:

Short-Back Split-Seat Storage Bench by LINON HOME DECOR $82.00

Acadian Collection Entryway Bench by CCT GLOBAL SOURCING INC $179.00

Somerton Wooden Storage Bench in Golden Brown by Wildon Home $165.00

BENCH COASTER 501008 by Coaster  $289.00

This shoe cabinet has all the Swedish looks for your entry way.  This cabinet is crafted of durable hardwood and hardwood veneer.  Home
Decorators Collection sells this cabinet for $199.  This cabinet isn’t as big as a regular chest making it perfect for hallways or entry ways.

The Jaclyn Entryway Storage Bench From Home Decorators Collection features Swedish looks combined with functionality. The seat features storage compartments that easily lift to tuck away everything from winter apparel to the dog’s leash. The bench is crafted out of wood construction and is sold in a walnut finish. Measurements are 30.75″Hx50″W.

Paint this bench, or strip it and lime white wash it for a look comparable to Amy Morris’s bench.

Check out the Painted Porches Country Painted Bench in Pastel Blue Green

Check out my advice when it comes to White washing raw wood furniture.

Get Amy Morris’s Look For Your Own Home:

Uttermost sells a rustic primitive looking mirror called the Ameil Metal Arch Mirror.  This mirror is hand forged and made in a metal frame. The overall dimensions: are 82″ H x 42.25″ W x 114″ D.  They sell this mirror for $653

Intelligent Design sells a very attractive arch mirror for $240.  This mirror has terrific details, and certainly doesn’t look cheap!

If you like the look of the Louis XIII primitive style chairs, consider the Bailey Street Lassiter Chair which is finished in a bone suede complete with brass nail heads and a rich honey walnut tone.  They are priced at $699.

A Louis XVI bench appears in one of the bedrooms.  Acme sells a single Louis XVI bench for only $80 dollars, which could be painted, distressed and upholstered for the particular room that needs a stool.

The Hampton Vanity Stool would be spectacular against a wall.  Buy two of these stools and make a feature wall shine with these delicate looking stools.  The half circle really falls into the Swedish period look.  The best thing about these stools is the price point.  They are only $60 dollars, which gives some room for re-upholstery and a new paint finish.

Hooker sells a Radcliffe Bench that looks like a Louis XVI bench.  The bench is upholstered with Taupe Zebra Fabric and sells for $675.

Foreside Iron Bird on Pedestal is made of cast iron, this bird statue measures 7-inch high. $6.43

Since everything in Sweden is made from wood, why not go with a wood painted bird?  Gift Warehouse sells a set of three Folk Art painted birds.  If you don’t like the color scheme, simply follow the painted pattern and re-paint them in the colors of your choice.  The set costs only $11 dollars

Creative Coop sells a set of  Iron Bird Statues in a creamy ivory painted finish for $16.00

Universal Lighting and Decor sells a very attractive birdcage.  Often times I see some of these decor pieces come and go on Amazon, and this one is STILL available.  It is made of iron, and actually quite big.  The cage is 21 1/4″ high, and 12 1/4″ wide.  They sell this cage for around $50 dollars.  Get it while it is still available.  Pair it up with a rounded plant stand for a decorative piece of furniture painted in the same color, or leave it in its rustic state for a piece of decor on a dresser or cabinet.

Space Positive sells a set of two Decorative Antique Nesting Wire Bird Cages with a curved style for $172

Two’s Company sells a very attractive Antiqued Birdcage Display Shelf which can either hang or be used as a stand.  They have it priced at $254.

If you are looking for a pretty vase to hold some long stemmed orchids in, consider this cast iron Bird feeder which has a very attractive stem and base, and could be easily painted or left in its rustic state.  The feeder sells for $19 dollars and is such a versatile piece.  Consider it in the bathroom to hold soaps, or as a vase for faux flowers.  The price is right, and the style is lovely.


DIY Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Architectural Depot has a number of simply beautiful appliques that could be used to adorn your existing furniture and walls with. They have a variety of hard-to-find historical materials for your architecture needs. This stunning frame featured on The Paper Mulberry Blog shows how lovely a frame or a piece of furniture looks with appliques.

This stunning ceiling has gilded rosettes with an ornate gilded border.  Creating a ceiling this stunning is a lot of work, although it doesn’t have to be.  Interiors can be as complicated or as easy as you want them to be.  Ebay has a number of stunning molds which you can create out of plaster saving you thousands if you decide to go after a look like the ceiling of Gumbo.

This plaster cement tile mold would be an ideal mold for the bathroom.  Tile your whole bathroom in this mold and gold leaf the rosettes.  The mold itself is $4 dollars, and you can buy plaster at your local hardware store.

This beautiful tile mold has a border around it making it very much like the ceiling of Gumbo.  Produce this look as a backsplash in your kitchen, and gold leaf the rosettes.

This lovely rococo inspired frame would be just beautiful above doorways, or even posted on pieces of wood for labeling your garden. Make dozens from a couple bags of plaster or concrete. The possibilities are endless.

In this picture, an over the door plaque is detailed with swags and laurel leaves. This can easily be created with molds.

One of my favorite pictures is this one from Barbro Grandeliuss’s Swedish Home, where furniture appliques are hammered on to a simple piece of wood.

Check out the yellow columns with gray appliques on this picture of Kay O’Toole in her shop.  Photos from 1st Dibs

A Look Behind Svindersvik, A Farm Built In 1740s

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Svindersvik is a well-preserved summer residence from the mid-1700s. Svindersvik is located at Swine Flinders Bay south shore in Nacka , designed by architect Carl  Harleman for merchant Claes Grill.

The farm was built in the 1740s as a summer residence for the merchant Claes Grill and his family.  Carl Harleman managed to combine a mansion and a cottage in the same building. He had been inspired by French rococo,but adapted it to Swedish conditions.

Svindersvik consists of a small main building on two floors.  The building is strictly symmetrical form given, with a central axis through the entrance, dining room and balcony. To the left of this central axis is a big place, the right two smaller rooms, including one bedroom. The rooms are tiled and silk upholstered seating. The ground floor is a hallway with an oval ceiling opening through which the daylight from the top floor looking down. The upper floor dominates a large billiard room with pool table from the 1700s, which is well preserved.

Besides the main house is the kitchen wing, which is slightly younger than the main building. The kitchen wing is on an older foundation, probably from the 1500s. The kitchen was for the time very modern, with built-in cabinets, marble countertops and sink.

Most of the furniture in Svindersvik has stood there since the late 1700s. After the Grill family, the property had several different owners, until Knut Almgren , founder of KA Almgren Silk Weaving Mill, acquired the property in 1863. Svindersvik stayed in Almgren’s possession until 1949 when the Nordic Museum took over.  Information and Pictures From Wikipedia, and Nordiska Museet

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish DecoratingSwedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

A Swedish Wall Clock can really transform an ordinary room into a period style Gustavian home.

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating
Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish DecoratingSwedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Check out the primitive wall shelves in the kitchen of Svindersvik . The corners are rounded, and pots and kitchen utensils hang below.  If you like this look, consider the rack built by Shaker furniture.  They have adapted our Shaker Peg Shelf for use as a hanging quilt rack. Although it is designed for quilts, it can be used to hang utensils, or pots from like the picture above.

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating

If you are looking for more of a genuine French Louis XVI antique like the table in Svindersvik, look at John Richard’s table in marquetry.  This table features the tapered table legs, and a marquetry finish applied by experts.  The top has brass details which make this table shine like the jewel it is.

Swedish Gustavian Furniture 18th Century Swedish Decorating



An Interview With Tara Shaw About Her Swedish Furniture Line

(These pieces are no longer on Amazon…sorry)

A few select pieces from Tara Shaw are now being sold through Horchow.

Reminiscent of favorite antiques imported from Europe, Tara Shaw Maison offers reproduction furnishings and decor for the home that will become your new classics. Simple yet elegant, this handcrafted birch Swedish side chair is hand carved of birch wood with a hand-painted finish.  19″W x 13.5″D x 38″T. This terrific chair sells for $1499 from Horchow.

Horchow had an interview with Tara Shaw that was very inspiring:

HORCHOW: What inspired your furniture collection?

TARA SHAW: “Guerrilla antiquing” for 15 years in Europe. II was so difficult, finding one-of-a-kind items and knowing only one person could buy it and enjoy it.  I couldn’t find these finishes and styles in a reproduction line – that inspired me to create the pieces I wanted.

HORCHOW: As an interior designer, what are your go-to’s?

TARA SHAW: For fabrics, Dedar; I used their acanthus  print in gray and cream for a showhouse bedroom. For paint, Benjamin Moore #925. an ivory that works with
whites or colors; tor high-gloss. “Possibly Pink” from Fine Paints of Europe. For wallpaper, I just launched my own “Grisailles”, based on the grisailles panels in
Tara Shaw Maison.

HORCHOW: Which design era is most inspiring to you?

TARA SHAW: Louis XV! in France and King Gustav II in Sweden. Louis was the father of the straight leg. and both are known for clean lines, pale painted finishes gilded to perfection.

Tara Shaw Swedish Reproduction Furniture

Three distinct chair backs, each featuring elegant curves, intertwine to form the back of this breathtaking Swedish-Rococo-style bench. Reproduced from a European original, it offers a unique seating option formal enough for grand dining rooms yet casual enough for entryways, bedrooms, or other areas.

  • Hand carved of birch; no two are exactly alike.
  • Seat upholstered in poly/cotton.
  • Hand-painted finish.
  • 64″W x 20″D x 42″T; seat height, 20″T.
  • Imported.

Tara Shaw Swedish Reproduction Furniture

Tara Shaw Swedish Reproduction Furniture

Inspired by a European original, this stately bench features ornate carvings on the apron and legs for Old World charm and antique appeal. From Tara Shaw.

  • Frame is hand-carved birch with a hand-painted finish.
  • Upholstery is polyester/cotton blend.
  • 52″W x 22.5″D x 21″T.
  • Imported.

Spectacular Paintings From 18th Century Painter Carl Gustaf Pilo

King Frederik V of Denmark

King Frederik V of Denmark

Carl Gustaf Pilo was an 18th century Swedish painter. Pilo mainly worked in Denmark, and served as the painter to the Danish court. Pilo was also a director and professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art.

Pilo carefully studied the works of Rembrandt and throughout his career, met with the changing tastes of society.

His work transitioned from Rococo to Neoclassical, mainly painting portraits as well as historical scenes.

After 30 years of service with the Danish court, Pilo was asked to return to Sweden. Upon his return to his home country, Pilo was named the director of the Swedish Academy. He painted actively in his home country until his death in 1793.

Pictures and information attained from Art Experts

Swedish 18th Century Art -Portrait of a Lady

Swedish 18th Century Art -Portrait of a Lady

18th Century Swedish Art- Adam Gottlob Moltke by Carl Gustav Pilo

18th Century Swedish Art- Adam Gottlob Moltke by Carl Gustav Pilo

Swedish Styled Decorating Fabrics


Consider Alaska Quilting Adventures on ebay for your next sewing project.

They have a number of absolutely stunning fabrics with patterns which would work in a Swedish decorated home. They offer competitive prices and personalized customer service.

They also offer a FREE gift for orders over $50. Shipping discounts on orders over $100.

They specialize in quilting fabrics which are often lightweight, than heavier fabrics used for upholstery.  If you find a fabric which is meant for quilting, consider also purchasing Decor Bond 809  for 6.75 a yard, which is an iron on backing which can be ironed on to light weight fabrics to give them a bit of a heavier feel.

Pellon sells the 809 medium weight backing which has the fusible backing.  Simply place the shiny side of the Decor Bond to the wrong side of the fabric.

For larger pieces of fabric, start at the middle of the fabric and work your way to the outside edges.  Fusible interfacing allows you to use lighter weight fabrics for what ever project you have in mind.

How To Decorate With Yellow For A Historical Look

Yellow & Green Floral Applique Antique Quilt – French 72 On Ebay

Swedish Decorating Colors- Blue, Yellow, Navy And Gray- Painting of King Gustav III
Antique Yellow Rococo Chest- Scandinavian Antiques  1st Dibs

Yellow along side blue and white are colors that are known to be distinctively Swedish, so when it comes to picking a color for a room around, yellow is a fantastic choice.   If you have ever based your home around the darker colors such as red, or black, over time it can be very overwhelming, and just gloomy.  Yellow produces the opposite effect.  It is enlightening, encouraging, and uplifting.

The color yellow can apply to so many decorating styles, so when considering a period look that is Swedish, here are three tips to keep in mind to make it uniquely Gustavian.

1. Pick the Right Hue–  Yellows such as pale yellow or ocher yellow are more historical than high-voltage tones.  Brighter tones of yellow can be very fluorescent, which are not at all what you want for a period room.  Choose yellows that have a rich brown or slight reddish undertone for the best period looks.   Take an ochre yellow and go a few shades darker or lighter on the scale for a perfect tone.

2. Don’t rely on the Paint Chip-  A hue that appears just right on the paint chip will usually intensify once it’s on your walls.

In our small town we don’t have a paint store close to us which can match customized colors, so I experienced this very thing when I went to our local hardware store last week for yellow paint.  Our local paint store cannot custom match pre-mixed colors, so I had to pick from the selection that was available for sale.  The color which was almost right in the store turned out to be very bright on my outdoor table.  I added in every can of yellow paint that I had left in my home, and a gallon of dark ochre, and it happened to work out to be the perfect shade for the project I was painting.  The shade of ochre works every time I find when I am customizing colors.

With that being said, consider getting a couple samples of paint which cost only 2 or 3 dollars than getting a whole gallon of the shade you think is right.  Consider the color you think is right, and try a shade a few shades lighter.


Sudbury Yellow Paint From Farrow & Ball
Yellow Painted Walls- Historical Paint Colors Martha Stewart
ntique Swedish Furntiure – Gustavian Decorating

3. Combining 2 different tones of yellows can be quite stunning.

This classic Gustavian room that appeared in “Classic Swedish Interiors,” by Lars Sjoberg, featured on Mentar Mentar Blog shows classic painted paneling.   The paneling is a saturated tone of yellow, which is very rich in color.  The walls are painted yellow, which appears to be a duled down yellow.  The combination is absolute perfection.  You can see in this photo, they dressed up this room with a white painted Swedish  Mora clock and a black painted french styled desk with a brown leather desk chair.  The three tones are perfect color combinations for a Gustavian effect in this yellow based room.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- Gustavian Interiors- Decorating With Yellow- Drottningholm Palace Theatre

Again the same tones appear in this photograph of the Drottningholm Theatre.  Like the leather desk chair in the above picture, you see the same tone of burnt umber on the doors and window frames.  White is the second dominant color in this photograph.  You can also take tones of the gray marble from the base of the marble statue.  The light blue sky is a beautiful accent color.

You cannot go wrong with adding in a couple different shades of yellows.  Choose your dominant color of yellow, and add in a few more shades of yellow in the accessories.  Neoclassical lamps often feature a pedestal of some sort and a fluted section which can be painted in three tones.  Pick a shade of yellow, and combine it with black and gold, or yellow, gray and gold.  Paintings also allow you to add in several rich tones of the Gustavian palette.  Painted furniture is another way of adding in the just right tone into a scheme.

5.  Picking out the right upholstery fabric and throw pillows can go a long way in making your room more period in style.  Gustavian decorating often features fabrics that are based on white backgrounds.  Picking a fabric that is floral, check or stripe will give you that period style you are looking for.  Finding the right fabric can be a true battle, but remember you have so many other elements that can work in your favor to create the Swedish effect.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- Historical Paint Colors

Picking the right paint tone, along with the right tones for your accent colors will go a long way in recreating a Gustavian home.

Stunning Antique 1800s American Portrait Painting From Paris Couture Antiques on Ebay

You can see in this photograph a slight yellow tone on the wall, which may be from the camera flash.  If you can imagine the wall painted a yellow tone, with layers of gold paintings on the wall, and gold brass accents.  The weigh scale has a slightly brown tray holding black bottles, with a very bright yellow ribbon.  The various tones of black, yellow, red ( the bottom of the photograph) and navy, seen in the scale itself is the perfect color palette for Gustavian styled decorating.

Yellow Ocher Painted Walls From Southern Accents Magazine

“I like a buoyant, light-filled house, so I usually use all warm or yellow-based colors. This ocher is really a contemporary yellow shade with an antique resonance. It doesn’t draw attention to itself as, say, bold yellow or even white would. The ocher walls provide support for the exceptional paintings and furniture. Bright-colored walls would visually compete. This shade flatters everyone — it complements every skin tone.” – designer Thomas Jayne

Decorating With Yellows- Gustavian Style Decorating
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

You can see in this photograph of Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden his suit is a brighter yellow against a backdrop of yellow ochre. You can see the painting has a stunning blue sash, and a darker blue jacket, that isn’t quite navy.  The brighter yellow, and the peach tones such as the colors in his face would be a great color scheme for a yellow room.

Take some inspiration from the brighter yellow interiors found in the Swedish Chinese Pavilion. The interior featured brighter yellows and bold fabrics on upholstered Swedish chairs.

Here we find a combination of yellow and orange at the Chinese Pavilion.  The walls are lined with a light blue paint.

In this picture we find a combination of greens, lighter greens and pastel tones with brighter colored yellow ribbons.  Consider a scheme of pastel greens and yellows.

Designer Mary Douglas Drysdale uses brighter tones of yellow in her neoclassical room with Federal antiques.  She combines a brighter yellow check pattern  in the upholstery and for the window drapes

This ravishing yellow silk gown from 1760 gives off the perfect tone of yellow.

This 17th Century styled room features tones of beige, gray, and natural wood herringbone wood floors and a brightly colored yellow fabric cover.  Consider using yellow as your pop of color, such as they did in this room.

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home


Skona Hem had a wonderful write up on Magnus Lundgren’s Home.  If you LOVE the antique Swedish style, do visit Magnus’s blog, because it is one of the few blogs devoted to Swedish furniture and decorating.  His blog is always a real treat for me to read.   Magnus has a true love for 1700 Swedish-century furniture.  For the past ten years he has filled his home with Baroque, Rococo and Gustavian furniture originating from the years 1750-1810.

He worked closely with a construction company and the overall transformation took just over three months.   They installed rough planks and small details such as incandescent lamps with porcelain sockets, electrical sockets and switches. They  kept the floors and beams, and instead of putting up drywall in the ceiling and putty, they installed rough plank exterior insulation.  Magnus mentions he uses egg tempera and linseed oil for his paint finishes.  Check out his beautiful home decorated in Swedish Style.

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home 2Magnus Lundgren’s Swedish Gustavian Home

Magnus posted this stunning oil portrait on his blog which is absolutely breathtaking.  The colors in this oil painting are the classic colors that are found in Gustavian style.

Locate Hard To Find Danish Antiques From Scandinavian Antiques In Denmark

Antique Beautiful White Swedish Grandfather Clock c.1780 Commanding Presence -

Scandinavian Antiques began as a wholesale company based in Denmark 25 years ago, with business in Sweden, Germany, Russia, Italy, France and Romania. The company moved to the U.S. in 1994. Over the past 14 years they have become one of the largest European antique dealers in the West, and the largest importer of Scandinavian antiques in the country. The exceptional quality of their antiques is credit to our 2,000 sq ft workshop where skilled craftsmen ensure each piece is tenderly restored before leaving the premises. The purpose of restoring this aged furniture is to preserve its inherent value, original integrity and beauty.

White Swedish Grandfather Clock c.1780 This white Grandfather clock from Sweden and can be restored to it’s fully working condition. It’s original white paint adds a commanding presence to this piece and it is in excellent condition.  Scandinavian Antiques has this clock priced at $3,250.00

Antique Elegant Pine Country Biedermeier Secretary Circa 1830 -

Elegant Pine Country Biedermeier Secretary. Exceptional details highlight this stunning secretary. Gentle curves accentuate the doors and inner drawers. Columns and delicate finials lend a classical touch. The painted finish on this is approximately 100 years old, and can be stripped down to the beautiful Danish pine. When the desk top is extended it becomes 29″ deep. Scandinavian Antiques is selling this Secretary for $5,850.00 or make them an offer.

Beautiful Antique Danish Rich Black Distressed Chest of Drawers Dresser c.1840

Antique Danish Black Distressed Chest of Drawers Dresser c.1840 This fantastic chest of drawers boasts four larger drawers for storage and a smaller upper drawer on the top. This dresser has been expertly repainted with the highest quality paints in their studio. It has been done in a manner and fashion of the 1800’s period paint. The distressing brings out it’s original charm. This highly desired painting preserves the piece for generations. Each imperfection makes the piece unique, and brings with it the joy in owning a true one-of-a-kind piece. Scandinavian Antiques allows for customization of paint colors and distressing techniques.  They have this chest listed for $3,885.00

Antique Original Red Hand Painted Trunk with Rosemaling Floral Motif -

This hand painted trunk has maintained its original beautifully worn flower motif in the rosemaling style of the area. The overall color is a light red burnt orange hue and would be a nice pop of color in a home or cabin space. Even the interior of the trunk top has a lovely floral design as well, creating visual intrigue and a ‘surprise” when opened. These treasure chests of the past are perfect as antique home decor.  Scandinavian Antiques is selling this trunk for $1,485.00

Antique Danish Pine Green-Blue Chest of Drawers Dresser c.1820-1840 Scandinavian Antiques Ebay

Antique Danish Pine Green-Blue Chest of Drawers c.1820-1840. This wonderful original 1820’s chest of drawers has been given new life with a lovely green-blue paint. Each imperfection makes the piece unique, and brings with it the joy in owning a true one-of-a-kind piece. The shape and curves of this piece are accentuated with the color and create great visual impact. Large double pulls on each side add to ease of use.

The Most Beautiful Hand Painted Walls Of The Petit Trianon

The Belvedere In The Park of the Petit Trianon

The Belvedere In The Park of the Petit Trianon

The the Petit Trianon was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel by the order of Louis XV for his long-term mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and was constructed between 1762 and 1768. But Madame de Pompadour died four years before its completion. Upon his accession to the throne in 1774, the 20-year-old Louis XVI gave the château and its surrounding park to his 19-year-old Queen Marie Antoinette for her exclusive use and enjoyment. Marie longed to escape Louis and his court, and he gave her just the place.

This simple building located just a hundred meters of the palace of the Petit Trianon contains an oval room which was the private theatre of the Queen. It was built in 1780 by the architect Richard Mique. The little theatre features decorative pasteboard sculptures, with blue hangings and a gold-embroidered curtain. The stage is larger than the auditorium. The machinery is original from the period and the decoration is original although has been restored. Marie-Antoinette was always in search of entertainments and who liked to perform on scene.Marie Antoinette would come to the Petit Trianon not only to escape the formality of court life, but also to shake off the burden of her royal responsibilities. At Versailles, she was under considerable pressure and judgement from both her family and the court, and the Petit Trianon was her place of ease and leisure where she could rest from those trials.

Since the Petit Trianon was by invitation only, none was permitted to enter the property without the Queen’s express permission. It was said, not even Louis XVI, so you can imagine how many people felt left out, or perhaps excluded if they were not invited. This invitation only alienated the court nobility, and only the queen’s “inner circle” were invited.

A house was designed to require as little interaction between guests and servants as possible. To that end, the table in was designed to be mechanically lowered and raised through the floorboards so that the servants below were left sight unseen.

Consider stenciling your home with the classic stylings of a white background with Neoclassical motifs seen at the Petit Trianon. One very easy way of getting these pictures on the wall is by using an overhead projector. Books such as French Architectural Ornament details many of the motifs from Versailles, Fontainebleau and other Palaces which you can get transferred onto overhead projector paper at your local copy center.

Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles by Christain Duvernois, with photographs by François Halard.

Here is the publisher’s presentation:

Marie-Antoinette has been idolized as the height of eighteenth-century French style and vilified as the spark that ignited the French Revolution. This book departs from such traditional interpretations of the infamous queen’s reign and chooses to reflect on the humanistic aspects of her private realm.

To escape the formalities and royal obligations of Louis XVI’s court, Marie-Antoinette created a private realm of pleasure for herself at the Petit Trianon and Hameau, where she planted the first Anglo-Chinese garden; created a trysting grotto; a working farm; and revolutionized architecture and gardening trends for the century to come.

Marie-Antoinette’s entire private domain and its story are told in beautiful photographic detail by François Halard for the first time since its recent restoration and accompanied by well-researched texts by garden expert Christian Duvernois

The Belvedere In The Park of the Petit Trianon

Habitually Chic featured stunning photos of Belvedere in the park of the Petit Trianon, and shows the transition from the dominant Rococo style of the earlier part of the 18th century, to the more sober and refined, Neoclassical style of the 1760s and onward.

Curt Dude on Flicker gives us an entirely different view of the Belvedere

Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette
Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette
Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette
Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette Last Garden Versailles

Fountain Picture Above From Peak of Chic Blog

Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette
Private Apartment of Queen Marie Antoinette

Here is a close up of one of the original chairs. Bonnefoy du Plan oversaw the creation of the furniture pieces which featured carved and painted trellises, basketwork, floral forms and rustic garlands. The furniture is called “wheat-ear” furniture, so named for lily-of-the-valley, pine cones, and ears of wheat found in the design  The third floor is known as the Mezzanine and was for the Queen’s staff. The room reminds me of classic Swedish Style.  You can hardly see the picture because it is blury, but you see the wall coverings match the drapes.  The Louis XVI furniture is known as the basis to much of the Gustavian style.    These lovely pictures are from Metis Linens Blog

Wall Stenciling Ideas- Neoclassical Wall Decorating Ideas- Clip Art

In the fifteenth century, the ruins of Nero’s Domus Aurea were discovered in Rome. The first explorers to enter the interior of this spectacular palace complex had the sensation of finding themselves in a series of grottoes, and this is why the fanciful frescoes and floor mosaics discovered there were called “grotesques.” A fashionable form of ornamentation in ancient Rome, grotesques consist of loosely connected motifs, often incorporating human figures, birds, animals,  and arranged around medallions filled with painted scenes. Fifteenth-century artists such as Perugino, Signorelli, Filippino Lippi, Mantegna copied the ancient Roman examples; the most famous use of the style was Raphael’s Loggie in the Vatican Palace, which became immensely famous and influential all over Europe. This magnificently illustrated book covers the entire history of the grotesque in European art, from its Roman origins through the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century. It illuminates how grotesque decoration was transformed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into arabesque, chinoiserie, and singeries, and how it continued in the nineteenth century, leading eventually to Art Nouveau. 250 color illustrations.

My Best Tips To Doing Upholstery Yourself

Do It Yourself Upholstery

Over the last several years I have jumped into upholstery without any experience, and through all the mistakes I am so glad I had the interest to learn.  It has allowed me to recover many of the second hand chairs and settes that I have found for an affordable price.  Swedish style is certainly a style that I adore, but there is no way we could furnish a whole house buying antiques. Thinking back to the first chair I recovered, I am sure it was sloppy, but I learned my mistakes and moved forward.  When it is your home, who cares if you make mistakes.  Learning can be a lot of fun, and you get better as you practice. I am in no way a professional, although I have learned a ton over the years that I would like to share with you.

At first, I had no idea what I was doing.  It would have helped if I took some classes as soon as I got interested in it, but I decided to take the long drive and learn on my own.  Upholstery isn’t something I particularly enjoy, and at times some of the projects I have attempted are simply out of my league, and it can get discouraging, so try something that looks relatively easy at first.  I don’t like looking at sloppy upholstery, so in getting it right, sometimes it takes me extra long.

One of the easiest ways to produce a nice looking product is to make sure your material is snug.  The last thing you want is loose looking material that isn’t tight along the seams.

When I first started upholstering I simply went down to the local hardware store and bought a T50 staple gun, which worked pretty well, until it broke.  I bought another T50, and it worked quite well, but just an hour of work would cause my hands to hurt so hard that I could only do so much upholstery every week.  I then bought another manual staple gun which was backwards and broke instantly.

I eventually ran down to the same hardware store and graduated up to a electric staple gun.  I sure saw a difference right away.  I didn’t have to force my weight on the chair in order for the staple to grip the wood and fabric.  It was rather –point, shoot, and it was done.  The brand I purchased was the Arrow Pro Electric Staple gun which loaded with the same staples I was used to with the T50 manual staple gun, so I was in my comfort zone.  This staple gun worked for the first couple projects, but because it was made out of plastic, then loading compartment broke.  It was plastic.  SO, again, I invested in yet another staple gun. In fact the exact same brand!!!  I knew eventually it would brake again, so I decided to look into getting something more professional.

A friend of mine had an upholstery gun which hooked up to a compressor, so I decided to look into buying a professional upholstery gun and see how different it was compared to the ones I could find at the local Home Depot.

EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple GunI ran across the EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun on ebay, and took a chance on it.  When it arrived at my home, it sat in the living room for several weeks, until I got around to working with it.  I could’t figure out how the gun loaded, so I contacted the ebay seller, hoping to send it back to get repaired.  He told me, that these professional upholstery guns load much different than the regular electric guns.  You flip them over and they load through the bottom.  The first time I used it I couldn’t have been more excited.  I literally was jumping up and down, because of the vast difference in the staple guns I had been using up to that date.  With a compressor, the sheer power of air forces the staple out where there is no NO work involved what so ever.

I was so used to pulling my fabric as tight as possible and then stapling it, that this gun can do most of that work for you.  The ebay seller, said this gun would be so easy to work with, and that I would be excited when I finally saw the difference.

This gun certainly has revitalized upholstery for me that it has become a joy to upholster.

Getting that gun was one of my best decisions, and I would suggest you buy it for some of your upholstery projects.

In the last 3 months we just moved into our very first home, and I had a number of chairs that I have upholstered, although I am wanting to finish up the edges.  I have been experimenting with double welting cording, but I have had a really tough go at it.

Brass Plated Upholstery Tacks Nails Trim pack of 100

Brass Plated Upholstery Tacks Nails Trim pack of 100 From The Rusty Anchor

An upholstered sofa by Barbara Gray located at her shop -Etceteras 7503 Girard Ave La Jolla Ca.An upholstered sofa by Barbara Gray located at her shop -Etceteras 7503 Girard Ave La Jolla Ca.

In the past I have bought upholstery tack trim, which you can find on ebay by the yards for a very reasonable price.  I have done a number of chairs with upholstery tacks, and the results do look very nice.  They are a very easy way of covering staples.

In the past I simply sewed up a long strip of fabric which I folded and sewed down the center to create a nice professional appearance.  Then, I used hot glue, and glued it in place, and then hammered on upholstery tacks for that professional look.

The upholstery tack trim is very easy to work with and gives your chairs that antique appearance without all the effort of lining each tack up and hammering it into place.

I still use this technique with many of my chairs.  Here are a set of chairs I finished when I first started upholstering.  I had no idea how to upholster the back, so I left the original leather fabric in place.  Sadly the chair seats were torn to threads, so I recovered the seats and used upholstery tacks.

Another great tool that I picked up which I really enjoy is an upholstery tack spacer.  You can get one from Kennedy Hardware for just over 10 dollars, and does it ever do a nice job of spacing out the tacks.   I have done up my dining chairs with the spacer, and several other chairs, and it looks terrific.  I never could get that professional appearance in the past spacing the tacks on my own, and this took is worth the 10 dollars.

For my living room chairs, I really want a professional look with double welt cording.  I love the simplistic look that it gives to furniture, and it gives off such a nice appearance.  I had no idea how to get the look, so I decided to go to a local sewing machine store which the woman suggested getting a cording zipper foot.  At the time I was attending a class on making box cushions and so a cording zipper foot allows your needle to get right near the edge of the cording where a normal sewing machine foot would not.  When I discovered this, I again started cheering, because it seemed like I was battling getting as close as I could when I sewed pillows only to fail!!  The zipper foot allows you to sew those really nice corded pillows and drapery with cording.  It is a must have for sewing with cording.

Naturally I assumed when it came to double welt cording that you sew two cords separately with your zipper foot, and then sew them together.

I started looking on You tube for more instruction on this, when I came across a double welt attachment!  I couldn’t believe my eyes, contemplating how much fabric I have wasted!

I then ran across a really great article by Prudent Baby how to sew welting cord.  She does a great job of showing step by step how to sew welting cord.

Her article was just the very thing I needed!!  She suggested buying a 250 yard spool from Rochford Supply which turned out to be the best deal after looking on ebay.

A 250 yard spool came to $27.94, with about 19 dollars of shipping which came to about $46.97.  I purchased my first DOUBLE welting foot on ebay, and I am looking forward to whipping out these chairs, rather than having them sit in our garage!

The other thing I wanted to mention about the EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun was when it came to stapling on the final double welt cording, it was as simple as you can get.  You can pull the cording around the curves of your furniture with ease!!  The staples on this gun are so thin, that they can hardly be seen.  If you shoot them in the middle of the double welt, they disappear.  It truly produces a professional result, and with little time what so ever.

I am looking forward to my new welting cord and welting foot!!  ANYTHING to make our lives much easier!

Tour Through Drottningholm Palace, And Drottningholm Theatre


Drottningholm Palace also has a theatre that sits directly beside the palace.  The Drottningholm Palace Theatre, or in Swedish called “Drottningholms Slottsteater” is an opera house from 1766.   Today it is run by a private foundation, but still functions as a real theatre!  The theatre was built for Gustav III by his mother in 1766.   Gustav III loved the theatre so much and was often known as the theatre King. In 1792 when he was assassinated, his mother Louisa Ulrika of Prussia decided to close up the theatre at Drottningholm.  Then in the 1920s it was rediscovered, and because the theatre had not been used or touched in so many years, almost all the original equipment is still there.

This wonderful group of pictures came from TC4711 on Flicker, and Sim 1 Travels

I am so thankful to people like Hansn’s Flicker who have taken pictures for us to view.  King Gustaf III had this lobby made as an addition to the Court Theatre in 1791. It was also used for having breakfast. Musicians then sat on the upper floor making the music sound like coming from the heaven painted on the ceiling! When the King was murdered one year later the theatre was closed and it stayed closed for 130 years. Check out the marble finish on the walls. There are so many colors of faux marble wallpaper that you can put up to give the look of a high end interior marble. Add a tinted glaze over top of the wallpaper to mute the overall look so it doesn’t appear to be wallpaper. There are also many free videos on You tube today with Master Painters who show How to achieve these looks. If you are willing to learn, it just takes some practice.

Continue Reading…

A Look Behind The Chinese Pavilion At Drottningholm Palace

The Chinese Pavilion (In Swedish: Kina slott), is located on the grounds of the Drottningholm Palace park. The royal pavilion is one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces. The first castle building was built in 1753 and was a birthday gift to Queen Lovisa Ulrika from King Adolf Fredrik. After a few years was, however,it demolished because of decay, and in 1769 was new Chinese Pavilion finished, designed by architect Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz.

The rooms are decorated with chinese and some japanese wallpapers, wallpanels, paintings and objects.  The environment of Drottningholm Palace – the palace, theatre, Chinese Pavilion and parks – is the best example of an 18th century royal palace in Sweden and is also representative for European architecture of that period.

Check out this website for one of a kind looks at the various repairs to the Kina Slott

Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm is essentially rococo. It was intended to have an exotic Chinese-inspired character, containing Chinese elements which were the highest of fashion at that time.  The royal court’s chief supervisor Jean Eric Rehn was the man who led the work with the interior design. The construction of the pavilion began in 1763 and then was was completed in 1769. The Chinese Pavilion was renovated in 1943-55 and the interior in 1959-68. A thoroughgoing restoration of the exterior was started in 1990

Chinese chinoiserie mixed with the extravagant style of rococo makes this palace a very unique feature of Swedish architecture. The Chinese Pavilion seemed to have functioned as a sort of royal getaway, as just a mile away, the environment changed into something foreign.  There are entry halls, corridors and wings to this pavilion, as well as several parlors (audience chambers, or talking rooms), kept apart by different color schemes. There is the Green Parlor and the Embroidered Room which is the parlor designed in red. For inspiration they used all kinds of goods imported from China such as lacquered boxes and the classic Asian design on furniture and objects.

Modestine Blog describes the Chinese Pavilion- “A walk through the gardens in the warm sunshine brought us the Chinese Pavilion. Externally it was symmetrically balanced with curving wings and was decorated with gold painted Chinese figures and dragons. Inside, the walls were lined with hand painted Chinese silk wallpapers, each room in a different colour, reflecting different moods. The furnishings obviously came from China, almost certainly produced for the enthusiastic European market at that time. There were huge Chinese vases, bamboo shelving, oriental style chairs lining the walls and cabinets of Chinese ceramic figures.”

One of my favorite Blogs –18th Century, Johanni (as there are so few blogs that focus on 18th century living), took some fabulous pictures of her robe à la polonaise at the Chinese pavilion at Drottningholm. Here are some of her flicker pictures that show her in the palace. It kind of gives you a glimpse of what it may have looked like back in the day.

Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm

Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm- Picture Credit- rebeccaloewke.com

Chinese Pavilion Blue Salon Drottningholm

Chinese Pavilion Blue Salon Drottningholm Found on abebooks.com

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Nineteenth And Twentieth Century Quilts

Detail of rare Gustavian bench from the late 1700s- thelilyhome.blogspot.com

Detail of rare Gustavian bench from the late 1700s- thelilyhome.blogspot.com 

If you have not bought a hand made quilt, consider picking a quilt from French 72 Antique Quilts on ebay. What makes their store so different, is they specialize in high quality antique American quilts and quilt tops from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The antique historical quilts are quite a bit more beautiful than any of the modern contemporary designs popular today.

Historical quilts combine patterns and colors better than the quilts you find today.  Quilt Making and patchwork have been popular pastimes in the United States since the 1700s, and historical quilts are highly collectible as works of art.  Antique American quilts often have historical significance and can tell a story about the time period. Antique quilts vary widely in design and materials, and can be hard to date at times because they may have been assembled in phases from older quilts or blocks.  Consider hanging an antique quilt on the wall for a Swedish American country look.

National Quilt Museum, located in Paducah, Kentucky. The museum houses a large collection of quilts, most of which are winning entries from the American Quilter’s Society festival and quilt competition held yearly in April. The Museum also houses other exhibits of quilt collections, both historic and modern.

Quilt Museum and Gallery in York, England -Britain’s first museum dedicated to the history of British quilt making and textile arts. The museum was founded and is operated by The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles. The Guild was formed in 1979 and is the national organisation representing quilt makers throughout the country. Traditional and contemporary work is of equal importance within the Guild, and membership is open to anyone who works in patchwork, appliqué, and quilting, or has an interest in quilts.

Antique & Vintage Quilts from French72 Antique Quilts


Book Review: The Swedish Wooden House by Lars Sjoberg


The Swedish Wooden House by Lars Sjoberg  and Ingalill Snitt shows magnificent castles, impressive mansions and simple farmhouses. The beauty and decay in all these houses are an important part of our heritage. The Swedish Wooden House journeys through Swedish architectural history and a rich source of inspiration for all who appreciate the beauty of the ancient buildings.

All these pictures were captured by Ingalill Snitt’s website.  You can buy this book on amazon for under $25-30 dollars, and the same as ebay.

Among the buildings shown are Sörby mansion, with its intact eighteenth-century painted-linen wall coverings; the numerous residences of the De la Gardie family, including Läckö Castle, founded as a bishop’s stronghold in the thirteenth century; Gunnebo, a lavish wooden interpretation of an Italian villa built for wealthy merchant John Hall; and several buildings associated with the  great Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus: Råshult, his childhood home; Sveden, the site of his wedding; and Hammarby, his adult home, complete with study, lecture pulpit, and collection cabinet. A celebration of a centuries-old design history as well as a source of design inspiration, The Swedish House captures the  special qualities of a unique building practice.

Editorial Review – Reed Business Information (c) 2003

Deserted farmhouses and unpainted wood houses, churches, and historic country estates are the focus of this engaging study of Swedish domestic architecture since the 17th century. Traditional designs, construction techniques, custom fittings, and renovations are examined, with an emphasis on interior decoration, furnishings, and various Continental influences. Examples range from humble rural structures to the renovated S rby mansion, with its painted 18th-century linen wall coverings and tile stove. Residences of the botanist Carl Linnaeus are featured, including his estate of Hammarby, with its study, lecture pulpit, and collection cabinet. Evocative, “certain slant of light” photos exquisitely capture exteriors in every season as well as interior details. An earlier, well-received collaboration by Sjoberg (curator, National Museum, Stockholm) and Snitt is The Swedish Room. Site maps, a bibliography, and an index would have enhanced this publication, but because there is so little in English on traditional Swedish residences, this work is recommended for collections of all levels.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL

By Lupo Montegrigio (Stockholm, Sweden) This review is from: The Swedish House

The Swedish (original) edition is titled “Swedish wooden houses” which is quite an essential piece of information for a buyer. That’s what’s linking the humblest farmers hut with a grand manor in this book. The emphasis is on interiors and a few are more than slightly deteriorating into a romantic peeling-paint-and-wallpaper inferno, but mainly it’s a fair selection of different types of rooms. Exteriors are also presented and I think there is a good balance. Photograps are excellent as always when Ingalill Snitt provides them.

ByM. Keane (Massachusetts) This review is from: The Swedish House

Sjoberg is the quintessential art historian and his book captures the history and soul of Swedish architecture beautifully. The photos and related text guide you through a brief history of the traditional houses and building styles found in Sweden. By looking thoughtfully at the photos, you’ll get a clear view of how these houses are constructed and why they are still standing today after years of abandonment and neglect. If you ever visit Sweden (and go beyond Skansen in Stockholm), you’ll see these “silent houses” throughout the countryside. Sjoberg brings them back to life with his deep understanding of their history and relevance to the 21st Century.

By PK (Minneapolis) Review is from: The Swedish House (Hardcover)

I’d hoped for more “Swedish” and “House.” The compositions of aged paint and abandoned objects in natural light are beautiful, but not necessarily “Swedish.” It’s mostly rooms. With some shots of fenestration, it contains only about 20 large photos showing the exterior of a whole “house.”



Re-Create Carolyn Roehm’s Famous Aspen Lodge For Less

Rustic Swedish Style Decorating

Carolyn Roehm has long been noted as one of the top interior designers in the industry.   What makes her book A PASSION FOR INTERIORS– a bit different than the hundreds of decorating books on the market is her ability to stage antiques well.

She uses very minimal modern furnishings, and arranges her designs around exceptional period antiques.  This book explores the best of antique designs in my opinion- Regency, Empire and Swedish.  Her focus is always neoclassical and classical architecture which is found in all three designs.

Of the three homes in PASSION FOR INTERIORS, her New York apartment is designed around a neoclassical style, showing high end empire and regency furnishings, while the second home is focused around colonial furnishings and decorations.  Designs often found in American colonial style often features bright upholstery and paint finishes typical of architect Robert Adam.  American colonial borrows much from  British furniture and has many classical elements woven through the designs.  The most interesting of the three homes is the third home -Westbury.  This home is a friend’s residence in Aspen, and is fashioned after 18th century Swedish design.

Wall Mounted Resin Gazelle Horns Dark Wood Plaque

Lazy Susan Wall Mounted Resin Gazelle Horns Ecru Wood Plaque

Cabela’s European Mount Moose Trophy

Pine French Provincial Signboard

African Wildlife Elephant Wall Trophy Statue Figurine Décor

  • Beth author of Zesty Nest Blog features some wonderful pictures of the Westbury, as this home was featured in the November / December issue of Veranda Magazine.   Westbury is flooded with light from 78 windows.  White walls, limed wood, and gray painted furniture is all characteristics of the Gustavian style. Splendid Sass Blog shows a few more pictures of the bedroom and breakfast nook.

Picture Credits:

Kevin Sharkey walks us through A Passion for Interiors by Carolyne Roehm. Roehm.  He features 46 pictures from Roehm’s book.

New York Social Diary features a large amount of pictures of her classical inspired home in New York.  This home is generously decorated with high end Empire / Regency furniture.

Crown Publishing features a generous preview of 19 fabulous pictures from Passion For Interiors.


Rustic Gustavian Swedish Furniture Carolyne Roehm

 Rustic Gustavian Swedish Furniture Carolyne Roehm

Rustic Gustavian Swedish Furniture Carolyne Roehm 2

Rustic Gustavian Swedish Furniture Carolyne Roehm

This Carved Wood Bench by Lazy Susan gives a very rustic appearance to any Swedish designed room.  This bench measures 33.5 x 18 x 32.5 inches.

Lazy Susan Carved Wood Candelabra

Lazy Susan Carved Wood Candleholder

Lazy Susan Carved Wood Hurricane, Small

Neoclassical Decorating – The great room at Weatherstone

Rustic Gustavian Swedish Furniture Carolyne Roehm 8

Neoclassical Decorating -One pattern unifies four different style chairs-PASSION FOR INTERIORS


11 Of The Best French Metal Accessories For Your Home

Picture Credit –Country Craft House

Metal Accessories Metal Cafe Chairs French

French Iron Rustic Teal Blue Cafe Chair – $216 On Amazon

Metal acessories can be a great addition to a home decorated around the Swedish styles.


Birdcages can be a functional piece of furniture being that it can house a bird while looking beautiful at the same time.  Birdcages date back for centuries.  Birdcages can be the ultimate accessory in a designers tool box as the furniture can be painted any color to fit a room colors. Chinoiserie styled painting is quite beautiful and can add to the beauty as well as adding a stand to match the birdcage.  Swedish Stencils can also be a way of adding a country folk appearance to a wood birdcage stand.

Metal Stands:

Metals stands can add a rustic element to your home.  Simply paint it, and use them as a plant table  through out the year.  Metal can add a whole new element to your home, and it naturally looks great when it is a bit older and the paint is slightly worn.  In case you wanted to update some worn out metal, consider spray paint that is formulated for metal.  Here are my favorite colors:

Rust-Oleum Royal Blue– Perfect colors for a Swedish Home.

Rust-Oleum CREAMY ALMOND– Lovely Color- I never can find the spray at the store.

Rust-Oleum , Gloss Sail Blue– I have never seen this color in the stores. 

Rust-Oleum Gloss Carvinal Red– This is a new color too.  Our stores in Virginia, Washington and Washington State don’t have it.  Red is a classic Swedish Color. 

Rust-Oleum Paint in Heritage Red– Another color I don’t see in the stores in an oil based spray. 

Stops Rust Gloss Fern- This is a bright moss green.  Perfect for a traditional Birdcage color. 

Metal Accessories

Elegantly designed European-styled outdoor table with jet black metal top $1016 Amazon

Metal Accessories

47.5 Inches High Metal Floor Bottle Rack $269 on Amazon

Creative Co-Op Rust Metal 3-Tier Basket $56 On Amazon

Creative Co-Op DA1638 Metal 3-Tier Standing Baskets, Green $136 On Amazon

Metal Accessories

Creative Co-Op Metal Vintage Laundry Basket with Wheels $165 Amazon

Shabby Cottage Chic Wire Cutlery Silverware Caddy

Shabby Cottage Chic Wire Cutlery Silverware Caddy  $23 Amazon 

Metal Accessories

Vintage Reproduction French Art Nouveau Metal Rocking Chair $708 On Amazon

Dalton French Country Rustic Metal Old World Canopy Bed- King

Dalton French Country Rustic Metal Old World Canopy Bed- King $3108 Amazon

Metal Accessories

French Country Three Tier Iron Bird Cage $204 On Amazon

Metal Accessories

Pauline Large French Country 8 Light Curled Iron Arm Chandelier $1320 on Amazon



4 Swedish Furniture Dealers To Consider For Your Next Purchase – ( Tara Shaw, K.A.Roos, Atelier September, Lennart Castelius )

Tara Shaw has a keen eye for good looking antique furniture.  Like many dealers who buy antiques from Europe and bring them to America, Tara Shaw started realizing that the treasures from Europe were slowly disappearing.  She describes in Southern Woman Online that in Europe she would sleep in hotels that would cost $30 dollars a night, and trade with the dealers from four to nine o’clock in the morning, while the other dealers would arrive at 10 o’clock.  She would go to Europe 5 times a year looking for these hard to find antiques.

There is no doubt this woman has worked hard to where she is today!  In 2004, she built a reproduction line, which she calls Tara Shaw Maison.   Her line is distinguished by the commitment to reproduce furniture that features the authentic finishes found in antiques.  Her line features over sixty pieces, ranging in style from Swedish country to Italian, and Directoire.  With detailed carvings, hand-rubbed paint finishes and selective distressing these pieces look genuine!  Tara tells us to collect the things we love, and find out who we are.  I agree!  Over time, you begin to discover what you truly love, and it is a joy to be surrounded with pieces you truly adore.

1st Dibs Interview with Tara Shaw

Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 1 Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 2

This grand Swedish banquette offers elegant seating in a living room and is embellished with decorative floral carvings, including tulips.  This handcrafted birch bench boasts a washed finish and white upholstered bench and bolsters.

Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture

This Swedish rococo bench is perfect for a living room, bedroom or foyer. Handcrafted with vintage appeal from birch, 3 distinct chair backs boasting elegant curves come together to form a long seat with carved armrests and embellishments.

Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture

Simple yet elegant, this handcrafted birch Swedish side chair boasts decorative carvings across its open oval back. Nailhead trim around its seat and columnar legs complete the unique take on a classic design.


Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 3 Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 4 Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 5 Tara Shaw Swedish Furniture 6Swedish Dining Table

Tara Shaw Furniture Reproductions 1 Tara Shaw Furniture Reproductions 2 Tara Shaw Furniture Reproductions 3 Tara Shaw Furniture Reproductions 4
Swedish Rocco Bench, Swedish Barrel Chair, Swedish Barrel Back Bergere, Swedish Candlesticks

If you love Swedish furniture, take a look at K.A.Roos who specializes in reproduction 18th century Scandinavian and European furniture. With careful attention to scale, and proportion, they are able to reproduce some of our favorite pieces to look like the genuine thing. Their careful consideration to scale, ornamental details, and hardware allows them to produce stunning collections that are very close to original Swedish 18th century furniture. K.A.Roos has a signature style of paint finishes that go through a 5 step process.

By aging and distressing the furniture, along with their extensive palette of period colors, each piece of furniture looks like a genuine antique. They also have gone as far to develop the paints used by the artists of the eighteenth century! K.A.Roos also insists on painting each item individually by hand. It is their attention to detail that allows their furniture to look truly exceptional as if it was newly purchased in 18 century Sweden!

Antique Swedish Scandinavian Furniture

Atelier September , located in downtown Copenhagen is known for their 17th and 18th century Swedish furniture. The company has traded antiques since 1992, and has an eye for painted antiques. They feature furniture and tableware from Scandinavia, France and Italy, mirrors, french bookcases, Swedish strokes tables, French long tables, console tables and small tables and much more. Annette Trampedach, a former architectural journalist loves the antique forms of furniture and century old paint and precious woods. They feature some of the most beautiful pictures I have come across.

Swedish Furniture And Decorating Ideas From Atelier September Swedish Furniture And Decorating Ideas From Atelier September Swedish Furniture And Decorating Ideas From Atelier September Swedish Furniture And Decorating Ideas From Atelier September

Swedish Furniture And Decorating Ideas From Atelier September

LENNART Castelius ANTIQUES & FURNITURELennart Castelius Antiques & Interiors- here


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Falu Red- A Prominent Color In 17 and 18th Century Sweden

Swedish RedThe color red has been distinctive color in Sweden in the 17 and 18th centuries.  Falu red  (pronounced “FAH-loo”, in Swedish Falu rödfärg) is the name of a Swedish, deep red paint well known for its use on houses, barns and cottages. The paint originated from the copper mine at Falun in Dalarna, Sweden.  During the 17th century Falu red was commonly used on smaller wooden mansions with the intention to imitate buildings with brick facing.  In the Swedish cities and towns, buildings were often painted with the Falu red until the early 19th century, when many began to oppose the paint.

It was then that other colors were introduced such as yellow, white and the beautiful lighter pastel colors that you see in historical architecture in Sweden.   Houses and buildings in Scandinavia are usually painted white or yellow.   Red paint was the cheapest, so many of the barns and outbuildings in the countryside were painted red.

Only the noble buildings of the farm were painted in other colors.  Falu red saw another surge in popularity in the countryside during the 19th century, when farmers  began to paint their houses in the beautiful saturated paint color. Falu red is still widely used in the Swedish countryside to this day due to its effectiveness in preserving wood.   Incorporate a little bit of red in your Swedish decorating to get an authentic Nordic look.  A wood side chair or commode would look terrific in this color!

Falu red during manufacturing may range in color depending on how much the oxide is burnt.  The colors can range from dark red almost borderline black to a bright, light red.   The paint itself consists of water, rye flour, linseed oil and residue from the copper mines of Falun.  The residue contains silicates iron oxides, copper compounds and zinc.  The color to the left in pot is a very accurate hue of the Falu red .

18th century architecture Sweden, Stockholm.

A lovely country Swedish Red house.  An iron oxide based wood preserver was used on the timbers.

A lovely red painted house near Trollesund.

Sources Wilipedia

Swedish Red Mike Downey On FlickerSwedish Red Mike Downey On Flicker

18th Century Home From Country Living Magazine18th Century Home From Country Living Magazine

18th Century Swedish Manor House Lars-Sjoberg Featured on Trouvais BlogColonial Red Painted Panelling By Thomas Jayne Featured at Home Beautiful

18th Century Swedish Manor House Lars-Sjoberg Featured on Trouvais Blog

Colonial Red Painted Panelling By Thomas Jayne Featured at Home Beautiful

Dione Herself sold an outstanding late 19th century French Bergere chair that would have worked really nicely with a Swedish styled decor. The chair was upholstered in a red check fabric, while the frame looked to be either painted or white washed.

Check fabric is one of the staples of Swedish decorating. Red along with shades of blue and yellow have always been classic choices for Swedish textiles. If you are looking to do a large project with check fabric, look at NY Fashion Center Fabrics, as they carry fabric in the bolt. A 25 Yard Bolt in red and white gingham checked fabric is $162. Raggedy Ann & Andy sells a brightly colored Flannel ngham fabric in blue. Online fabric store also sells a larger print gingham red fabric.

Swedish Plates

Red has always been distinctively Swedish. A simple red chair amongst a muted gray background can be powerful all on its own.

Incorporating authentic Swedish colors such as red into your Swedish decorated home can really bring forth a more authentic antique Nordic look.

America Retold has stunning Swedish looking dinner ware in a red floral chintz pattern that would look remarkable up on a plate rack.

Their collection is limited to three pieces; a serving platter which sells for $26.49, a bowl which sells for $12.99, and a dinner plate that sells for $10.49. This set can be grouped with other white table ware, or pair it with glass, pewter, copper or brass for a very regal effect.

America Retold also sells a set of 4 mini dessert cloches that might work just perfect for your dinner parties serving mini 3 tier cakes.


English American Red Early Decorating Ideas

This lovely pictured featured in Martha Stewart Magazine shows an orange Fitzhugh-pattern Chinese-export porcelain inspired the dining-room color scheme. The painted walls match the deepest tone on the china. A quince-colored velvet tablecloth and sunset-hued fabric on the folding screen highlight the richness and depth of gold-tinged reds. This room is based around Federal style decorating, and includes a terrific Empire gold mirror that really makes the space extremely rich!

A Louis XVI-style chest From Charles-Emile Moinat

Villa D'Este Town & Country Red Swedish Looks

Villa D’Este Town & Country Red Swedish Looks

Red Gustavian Chair Featured-on Karina Gentinetta BlogRed Gustavian Chair Featured on Karina Gentinetta Blog, Check out this beautiful red Swedish Gustavian Style Dining Room Found Here

French-commode-lacquered-red-From-Live-Auctioneers French-commode-lacquered-red-From-Live-Auctioneers2Swedish Furniture Ideas- French Commode Lacquered Red From Live Auctioneers


English Tea Tables : A Must Have Statement Piece In An Outstanding Swedish Room


Scandinavian Design by Lars Bolander withHeather Smith MacIsaac

Tripod tables were designed originally to serve tea. Some were designed to tilt like the pie table which could then be folded up and stored away. You would think the tripod table is English in origin because they have been traditionally associated with England and North America, but it was also popular in other areas of the world as well.

It is not uncommon to find tripod tables in Swedish interiors because they were executed in Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, and France. Dutch painters were known to decorate the oval tops of these three legged tables with landscapes starting in the late 17th century, and this following survived well into the 19th century. In the late 18th century the English style became extremely fashionable, and cabinet-makers in Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands executed furniture in this style.


Swedish Painted Tilt Top Candle Stand From Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems


Swedish Furniture & Decorating Ideas- London-Townhouse By designer Katrin Cargill

London-Townhouse-By-designer-Katrin-Cargill-500x475Swedish Furniture & Decorating Ideas- London-Townhouse By designer Katrin Cargill


Stunning European Paint Colors For Painted Kitchen Cabinets


The Beautiful colors found in the Farrow and Ball Paint Line

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK shows some beautiful kitchens painted in various blues.  The kitchen featured lovely English styled cabinetry with recessed cabinet doors.  Recessed doors allows the door to be painted as well as the capability to match wall colors because the cabinet face blends seamlessly with the overall cabinet design.

Consider painting your walls a shade darker or lighter than your kitchen cabinets.  In the pictures you can see out into another room which is within the same color groups.  The natural wood floors breaks up the use of blue in these rooms.  The color yellow is also very Swedish and plays off the blue quite nicely.  The brass hardware is a nice pop compared to silver which would blend into the blue tones.

Cover Stain in Oil has been my go-to-paint for several years now.  It is one of the best discoveries when I used to paint furniture as my full time hobby. Coverstain IS NOT your typical oil paint.  It goes on smoothly, than most other oil brands.  If the mixture is a bit thick, add a small amount of paint thinner to the paint.  The overall finish is levels out when it dries, and it dries to a flat finish which is incredibly unusual for a oil paint.

The best thing about this paint is you can get it tinted almost any lighter color.  I have been purchasing my paints at Ace Hardware as we live in a smaller town, and they have been able to tint the paint vibrant colors, and darker shades.  If I want something darker, I simply buy a quart size of satin oil paint at my local Sherwin & Williams and mix it in to darken it up.

In addition to the unusual features of this paint, it can be sanded down when it fully dries.  The paint dries to the touch within about 3 hours, but I wouldn’t suggest sanding it down.  I usually sand my furniture after day 3.  The next day you can sand it down, but I find I run through sand paper quickly because the paint is still not fully cured.  Because this paint dries flat, you can add any color over top of it, and it doesn’t have to be oil based.  What I would suggest is have Cover Stain tinted the color that is close to your ideal choice, and add your ideal color over top. If you do choose to spray this paint on to your cabinetry, PLEASE buy an industrial heavy mask with air filters.  I cannot  stress that point more.


Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchens

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK www.remodelista.com

Plain English Kitchen

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK

Plain English Kitchen Designs in the UK www.remodelista.com

Butler sells a terrific butter yellow console table that gives a unique Swedish impression. The first time I saw this table, I got so excited as the color and style are so close to Swedish styled furnitre. The soft blue floral set on the butter yellow are both typical Swedish cloors. The Artist’s Originals line is sold through Butler and is a collection of highly desired fine furniture hand-painted by accomplished artists. This stunning table is made from wood construction and features a single drawer. This table is entirely hand painted, and measures 32” H x 35” W x 16” D.

Martha Stewart's Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

The console table would fit right into the Martha Stewart’s home in Connecticut. The butter yellow is very simular to historical paint colors.Martha Stewart's Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart’s Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart's Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey HillMartha Stewart’s Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart's Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart’s Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart's Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill

Martha Stewart’s Previous Home In Connecticut , Turkey Hill


6 Tips For Painting Plaster Wall Finishes


I was running through the Style Files Blog, and I stumbled across one of my favorite pictures, and until now, I didn’t know the story behind the photos.

An antique dealer Aurélien and his wife Pascale discovered a small chateau built around 1700 by an abbot who was knighted by Louis XIV.  The chateau has survived the centuries almost intact. With restoration, they re-created this old century styled home by filling it with antiques that would have been common through that time period.  A Louis XV daybed is covered with a a gold silk quilt and decorated with simple canvas cushions.  A large Florentine candlestick rests on the Gustavian style table.  You can find some more great photos of this home on the Inspiraci Online Blog.

You can really see how the right faux finished walls can make all the difference in a home that is decorated around 17th and 18th style decorating.  Shown in most of these photos is what is called a faux Venetian plaster finish on the walls.   These finishes are achieved using paint, and sometimes plaster. In the old days the paint was so semi transparent, that the walls appeared to have incredible depth in the paint, which created the wonderful finishes we see on the walls.  Their paint was probably much like mixing linseed oil and pigment, which is nothing compared to our modern day paint.  Today we can paint a wall in 2 coats or less, and call it finished.   There are a variety of Venetian plaster finishes that you can buy at your local hardware store that can be tinted custom colors.  Some look much like glossed marbled walls, and others take the form of plastered walls that you would find in Europe.


Venetian Plaster Finishes From Better Home and Gardens

As you can see this Venetian Plaster finish that appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine is a very advanced finish.   Working with lighter colors at the top is easier to combine than darker colors at the bottom of the photo.   As you look closely at the lighter colors in this Venetian plastered wall, the artist worked with a sponge to add some texture into the finish.

Working with lighter colors in your home will also open up the rooms, than the darker colors, and will be easier to live with as the months and years go by.  Consider hues of orange, peach, or beiges as undertones.  Always practice this technique before applying it to your walls, because in the case of rough plaster, you have to sand it off to have bare walls again.  Trust me, I had to sand down the walls of our old apartment, and it was messy and time consuming*

How to do this finish

You simply trowel on thin layers of semi-gloss paint using 3 different hues of paint.  You need some sort of pliable texture mixed in the paint to achieve the finish as just paint alone doesn’t work.  Many hardware stores sell this finish in gallon sized cans which can be mixed in with the color of your choice.  Simply using paint alone won’t work.

To best achieve this finish use AT LEAST three colors for this technique. 

  • Choose at least one pale hue, one medium hue, and one dark hue all in the same color for this technique to look genuine.  
  • Don’t wipe excess paint off the trowel; the randomness of the paint application is what creates the illusion of depth. 
  • Use different trowels to break up the flow of like size designs.

Most importantly in all faux finishes, apply a final, lightly tinted glaze over the entire wall to add depth and unite the colors.  Adding a final glaze coat to the walls in any faux wall painting is a critical step most people miss.  It is kind of acts like a blurring agent to your mistakes or your paint marks.  Glaze is simply a formula that is semi transparent, but softens the overall effect.

I would recommend buying the glaze that is NOT pre-mixed with a color. The reason for this is you are not bound by that one color.  I have three gallons of mixed glaze in my garage, which are all in one color.  I cannot use it for my random projects that require other colors. 

The general rule of glaze that I use is basically pouring half paint and half glaze together. It is as simple as that.  It is always better to add a little bit more glaze than paint.  With the final coat, I often just roll it on the wall for an even finish. 

Experiment to see what works best for you.  I have used Ralph Lauren Glaze in the past and have been very impressed.  The final glaze coat makes the world of difference.  How marvelous it is to decorate in the 17th and 18th century styles, and venetian plaster will pull your look together faster than anything else you can add in the room.



Swedish Antiques

I was searching through flicker recently only to stumble upon Avolli’s Photostream. For those of you who do not know who Avolli is, they are a Swedish, Danish, and Scandinavian antique furniture dealer who specializes in the decorative arts from Europe. They import their greatest finds to their showroom in Scarborough, Maine. Katy Elliott did a lovely post showing pictures of their vast showroom filled with Swedish furniture. Tricia Mitchell, owner of Avolli began her career in the interior design industry eighteen years ago specializing in the design of window treatments. After many years in the industry, Tricia went in different direction creating Avolli which allowed her passion for antiques to become a full time business. She focused on Swedish, Danish and northern European antique furniture.

A beautifully restored 19th century Gustavian style Swedish antique bench. This bench is elegantly shaped and proportioned upholstered sides accented with delicate scroll, pearl and floral carving details and sitting upon four square and tapered legs.

A lovely pair of French armchairs with an authentically restored warm white paint finish. Well proportioned and very comfortable, this pair of chairs has classic carving details along the frame with notched cornered back rests and turned, fluted and tapered legs.

Beautiful Swedish Neoclassical chairs in the Gustavian style from the second quarter of the 19thcentury. Expertly carved with egg and dart detail around the rectangular upholstered back rest which is supported by round leaf embellished uprights and a decorative X splat over a carved Griffon frieze. The upholstered seat is supported by egg and dart carved rails and four round and tapered legs surmounted with applied floral carvings.

A traditional Gustavian style dining table from the mid 19th century and restored in a traditional Swedish white/grey. Half moon ends form a round table, while the one or two new leaves provide seating for up to eight. The simple apron meets floral embellished square, tapered and fluted legs.

Swedish Gustavian Antiques From Avolli Antiques


In the February 2002 issue of Architectural Digest features an article on Emily Todhunter as she explores some of her favorite shops in London. One of the pictures features herself and owner of Talisman, Ken Bolan sitting on an 18th century Swedish Bench flanked by Swedish armchairs. The backdrop features a wonderful tromp d’oeil painting.

Todhunter Earle Interiors is a collaboration between two architectural designers; Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle. Emily Todhunter began her career as a specialist painter, which makes her all the more interesting as a designer.


Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection


Restoration Hardware never fails to impress.  For some time now, they have been featuring french furniture, but have offered a line of Gothic, Modern, Colonial and Gustavian lines. There are just a few handfuls of companies who reproduce classic furniture and Restoration Hardware is one of them.

Give a person the choice of something freshly painted, and something aged with patina, they will always choose the piece that has a bit of history. Many people would rather choose something classic looking, that opt for a new design. Antiques are seen over and over in the magazines, but finding them is a different story.   Magazines showcase antiques because they are often rare, and more interesting than our modern furniture, and they always offer a fresh look that isn’t seen too often.

It is nice to see a company produce an antique design with some integrity.   Their Gustavian chair  priced at $179 is cross between both the Swedish and French style in the 18th century.  The chair is made of solid oak and has a curved top rail, shield back and comfortably upholstered seat on smoothly hand-turned, tapered legs. The French Louis XVI table is priced between $1295 – $1795 depending on the size.  Gustav III brought over the french designs from France when he spent some time in Paris and Versailles, which is why most of the Swedish furniture is based on the Louis XVI styles.  Hooray to Restoration Hardware, we know you have many fans! 

Gustavian Medallion Collection | RH

Gustavian Spindle Back Collection

Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table
Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table
Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table
Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table
Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table
Restoration Hardware’s Gustavian Collection- French Empire Fluted Leg table


Andrea Palladio- The Most Influential Architect At The End Of The 16th Century

Palladian Architecture

Palladianism was based on the writings of Andrea Palladio (1508–80) who was perhaps the greatest and most influential architect of the end of the 16th century. Palladio strongly governed his designs by the principles of classical antiquity, from those surviving buildings and in the writings of the 1st-century-bc architect and theorist Vitruvius. Palladio was especially popular in Europe, and gained popularity in America from the 1740’s and on.

Palladio’s work was strongly based on symmetry, perspective and the formal classical temple architecture of the ancient Romans. The style was bold, grand and featured large architectural elements such as Venetian windows and columns. Floorboards were often bare, and paired with sisal matting or oriental carpets. Ceilings were plain plastered or dressed up with plaster moldings. Walls were fully panelled and flat painted often in grey or green, wood grained or plaster covered. Furniture was made from solid or veneered walnut.   From the 17th century Palladio’s interpretation of classical architecture dominated design everywhere and was known by the term Palladianism. By the 1770s, architects as Robert Adam and Sir William Chambers were in huge demand and also drew inspiration from classical forms.  What made them different is that they also drew a variety of elements from ancient Greece. Their style eventually was defined as neoclassical rather than Palladian even though both styles were incredibly simular.

In Europe, the Palladian revival ended by the end of the 18th century. Most of Europe drew inspiration from the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum which gave them a peek into the past and sparked new creative design. Pattern books from architects such as Robert Adam, and James Adam fueled these new waves of cabinet and furniture makers abroad and in Europe.

If you have not heard of Judith Miller, she has the leading authors for period design.  Every book that she authors I fully would recommend, as she packs each book with loads of information.  The Style Sourcebook is an encyclopedic book that contains over 2300 swatches, from a extensive range of international designers.

This book goes into great detail concerning fabrics over the centuries.  It is geared for the professional who puts together rooms or designs for a living.  This book is a must have for a decorator who deals with design on a daily basis and needs a variety of swatches to show clients.  This book is particularly unique because it covers a large amount of period textiles over the centuries.   If you are looking to get a true authentic period room feel, this book is worth looking at.

It is broken down into six basic categories; Style guide, Fabrics. Wallpapers, Paints and Finishes, Tiles, and Flooring.

It begins with a style guide, a short photographic introduction to nine different design periods from medieval to the early twenty-first century. Five specific sections concentrate strictly on fabric, wallpaper, paint and finishes, tile, and flooring, capturing information (price, manufacturer, suitability, color, composition) for each color sample.

The chapters are divided into main design types florals, geometrics, pictorials, motifs, and etc, and then further subdivided into time periods: medieval, 18th Century, late 19th Century, 21st Century, and etc.

Judith Miller does an excellent job of giving a wealth of information about not only different periods but also what textiles lend themselves to these periods.  The swatches are carefully reproduced in brilliant color and are accompanied by a detailed caption listing all the information necessary to order such as the manufacturer name, pattern name, size, repeats, composition and, etc.

This book is perfect for the professional who decorates and designs for a living.  The book is over 400 pages and contains a wealth of information.


18th Century Decorating
18th Century Decorating
18th Century Decorating


Louis Philippe Chests- A Dresser Style That Can Be Made Over To Look Expensive

Holly's Louis Philippe Chest Makeover

I stumbled across a fantastic blog called Life in The Fun Lane the other day and I was pleasantly surprised.  Don’t we all want to be in the fun lane in life? Everyday armed with a smile and jetting on the highway of happiness? Holly Baker is the author of this splashy blog, which includes pictures of her home renovations in more than a few pages of her blog.

At first glance, you can tell she has incredible taste, but you will also notice that she also isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty as she includes several painted furniture makeovers in her own home.

After browsing through her home pictures I couldn’t help but notice the Louis Philippe chest in her home.  Being a furniture painter myself, I knew these chests didn’t come with industrial pulls, and the builders options for this chest are always white, and black and cherry veneer.

So it was a nice surprise to look at her version of this terrific chest.  As you can see, she took off the traditional bail pulls, and instead put on door pulls.

In the past, I have loved the way these industrial pulls have looked, but they never looked quite right on my furniture.  Combining the  rustic look of gray and steel just goes hand in hand.

The Louis Philippe furniture collection features good looks with lovely clean lines and a bit of detail.  If you are after a streamlined chest, this might be for you.  The first time I came across a (modern) Phillipe Dresser, I just had to get it.   I used to paint furniture and resell it.  I personally have had the chance to buy the 6 drawer Louis Phillipe dresser twice, in addition, I have also sold a pair of the nightstands. All three sets were painted black, as all of the furniture was bought used, so they had scratches that needed to be sanded out.   From my experience, let me tell you about these chests…..

The Advantages:

If you are looking for a really nice looking dresser, with classic looks, this dresser certainly pleases the eyes. It has very attractive lines, and a bit of detail in the molding around the top of the dresser.

The Drawbacks:

This set is made of selected hardwoods and veneers. The only draw back to these chests are they are made of composite woods, which means they are not made of solid wood. This dresser is good for staying in one place and not being moved around.  I moved the dressers that I had painted, and although they didn’t damage them, it wasn’t good for them either.

This dresser does not hold up well to wear over the years. In fact, if you were to accidentally drop the chest while you were bringing it into your home, it would dent it permanently.  This is what happened to one of the nightstands. We accidentally dropped it, and it bent the corners of the wood. While most chests made of solid wood would scratch, these chests would be permanently damaged.  In addition, you would NOT want to put these chests in moist conditions.  The wood on the drawers would expand.  These sets are heavy, but the quality of wood is not so great.

These dressers operate on sliders. If you have seen an Ikea dresser, you know what I am talking about. Vintage and antique dressers often have middle support sliders, and wood separating the drawers. The modern day dresser doesn’t even use plywood, they use something similar to cardboard. I cannot remember off the top of my head what separated these drawers, but I believe it was the metal gliders. The draw back to these metal gliders is the drawers slip off of them so easily. On another note, they glide in and out, and function with modern smooth cabinetry.

If you are the sort of family that moves around A LOT, forget about this set, because it will get damaged over time. If you are intending to buy it once, and keep it in the same spot, it really is a great deal for the price point. It is one of the nicer dressers around for the price, but the construction isn’t top quality. For a little more than $300, it is a very nice looking dresser, you have to agree~

A stunning solid wood antique

Antique German Louis Philippe Chest- Bonnin Ashley Antiques

Acme 25505 Louis Philippe Antique Chest –FlatFair.com

French Custom Louis Philippe Style Desk -WOW!! Fireside Antiques



Book Review Architectural Styles: Building Primitive And Classic Homes

Book Review

Houses are built much differently than they were in the past.  Today we find the goal of most builders is being able to build a home quickly with quality.  Many people simply want a home built well with nice looks, and lots of space. Most people aren’t too concerned that their cabinetry is made of composite wood, and the flooring isn’t real.  They just want something good looking even if it isn’t all natural, ……..and there is nothing wrong with that approach.

On the other hand we have a small percentage of the population who bypass the new developments in search for something unique which could be renovated.  These people seem to look forever for something that is so hard to find.  They weigh the costs of renovating or building from scratch in hopes to be surrounded some day with something back in time.  If you are one of those people, you are not alone.  Perhaps you might be searching for a new house to buy, or may be you are hoping to reinvent your current home to bring in some old classical details.  I have a book for you!

Many people don’t even approach the idea of building a house, because imagining a new house, or the expenses associated with starting from scratch can be daunting thought. Many people touring new homes looking for ideas find nothing but cookie-cutter copies in which they then find themselves combing through the bookstore shelves looking for inspiration in which they can add to their homes to give that old world feel.

Russell Versaci was inspired to write Creating A New Old House when he was in architecture school. It was then that he discovered the modern American homes didn’t even have a trace of the past, as if they abandoned the architectural elements all together. He turned to history for inspiration, and while searching through the dusty volumes in the library he discovered America was rich with forgotten styles. Russell spent 30 years studying the qualities that make old houses so appealing—and learning how to re-create these qualities in new homes for modern living.


Google Books Has a generous preview of Creating A New Old House Here.

Also Versaci’s Roots of Home: Our Journey to a New Old House preview is also on Google Books

Review By Catherine -I have an academic and working background in architectural design, and I recently began designing a house for myself and my family for the very first time. While having a pretty solid education in modern architecture, I confess to have always been in love with more traditional design aesthetics and architectural history. A few months ago, I was searching for a book like this to aid in designing my home, but I could NOT find anything like this. I wanted a home that was rich in architectural tradition yet the home design also had to meet modern day demands in space and utility. I was ecstatic to come across a review for this book at another website announcing the book’s publishing date. . . I was concerned at first that this book would be nothing but SLICK coffee table fodder because of the beautiful pictures, but upon receiving the book, I found the book to contain pertinent information that guides the reader/designer on how to accomplish a design that integrates traditional aesthetics and feeling with modern day needs and wants. This book is more than just pretty: it spells out how to achieve a historical, traditional look without mocking the past or being trite. . . and at the same time encourages the designer to meet modern needs.

Creating A New Old House will show you homes which were built from scratch which incorporated elements which were patterned after tradition. The houses in this book have been created by some of the best architects, builders, and homeowners who dedicated their craft to creating styles based on classic designs. The homes presented in the book cover different styles ranging in different regional styles across America. You will see portraits of eighteen new houses in classic traditional styles. The examples given were selected from more than 300 homes, presenting the very best in each style. Creating A New Old House became an instant classic when it was published in 2003 and is now used as a tool in hundreds of traditional architecture practices.

About the Author

Russell Versaci was a graduate of Yale, and studied architecture at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1985 he formed the award-winning residential practice Versaci Neumann & Partners, based in Washington D.C. and Middleburg, Va. Then in 2006 he founded Russell Versaci Architecture which has a goal of improving the quality and value of traditional homebuilding. Versaci’s designs have been featured in national magazines, including Traditional Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and Southern Living, as well as on Good Morning, America.

Russell Versaci offers 8 guide points to consider when designing a new house with classical strong traditional design.

1. Invent within the rules- When creating new designs, work within the traditional language of architecture.

2. Respect the character of place- Honor the local building traditions.

3. Tell a story in your home about the growth over time. Imagine changes
made by alterations and additions over time, and design within those ideas.

4. Build for the ages- Build with durable materials and time-tested construction techniques which are built to last.

5. Pay Attention to detail. Authenticity of details define house character making it more convincing.

6. Build with natural materials- The timeless beauty of natural materials will always remain in style, while the modern day plastics will always become dated at some point in time.

7. Create the patina of age by natural weathering processes. Build with salvaged antique materials.

8. Integrate modern room functions but hide new technologies.

Building Primitive &Classic Homes

Index Information:

Introduction – Page 2

Reviving the Classic Homes of the Past Page 4

A Portfolio of New Old Houses

CALIFORNIA SPANISH COLONIAL REVIVAL– Recapturing the Romance of Spain Page 24

ROCKY MOUNTAIN RANCH– Rive House in Big Sky Country Page 36

SPANISH-PUEBLO ADOBE– Reviving A Primitive Power Page 48

MIDWESTERN GREEK REVIVAL– An Honest Prairie Farmhouse- Page 60


PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH FARMHOUSE– A New Farmstead with a Past- Page 82



GERMAN STONE FARMHOUSE– Bringing a Farm Back to Life Page 116

CAPE COD COTTAGE– A. House of Salvaged Bones Page 128

SOUTHERN PIEDMONT FARMHOUSE– A New Farmhouse For An Old Village Page 138

SOUTHERN ANTEBELLUM PLANTATION– Proper Southern Planners Page 150

FRENCH CREOLE COTTAGE– A Weathered Bayou Cottage Page 160

TEXAS GERMAN RANCH- Sunday House on the Prairie Page 172

FRENCH COLONIAL PLANTATION HOUSE– A Portrait of Louisiana Heritage Page 184

CRAFTSMAN ARTS AND CRAFT’S BUNGALOW– House of Fine Woodworking Page 196

COLONIAL REVIVAL SHINGLE STYLE-New England in the Northwest 206

Directory of Architects 218 

Building Primitive & Classic Homes


Building Primitive &Classic Homes

In His New Book, Roots of Home: Our Journey To A New Old House, also details the French, English, and Spanish styles and many more designs that can help you make the right decisions when decorating, renovating, or building with a period style in mind.  The book is divided into four parts: Our Spanish Heritage, Our French Heritage, Our English Heritage, and our Continental Heritage.  Within each section, several styles of homes are explored, as well as an abundant historical information in each section

Immigration of Settler Patterns In Early American History

This book contains some thought provoking maps, exterior photographs, interior photographs and detail photographs. Anyone looking for information on restoring or designing a traditional home will find plenty of helpful information in this book.

In an interview by Southern Accents Magazine, Russell Versaci gives some really interesting Swedish Information:

Southern Accents: Your previous book,( Creating A New Old House ) in which you tackle the concept of building houses that adhere to traditional design principles, really resonated with readers. What is it about old houses that intrigues us so?

Russell Versaci: Old houses remind us of a time when life was simpler, less stressful, of places we lived in or visited where we felt safe and cared for. I think of them as grandmothers’ houses. Because we yearn to feel secure and connected again in a shifting world, we are drawn to old houses and the feelings they evoke.

Maybe one of the biggest surprises is your debunking of the myth of the log cabin’s frontier origins. You trace it back to the medieval cottages of Scandinavia. How did you discover this?

Roots of Home required huge amounts of research to tease out the details of early building styles and ground them in the story of our country’s founding. Working backward, we found that the iconic log cabin was adopted by William Penn for his Pennsylvania colonists from the short-lived colony of New Sweden in southern New Jersey and Delaware. There, the first log cabins had been built by settlers from the heavily forested areas of Sweden and Finland, where people had been building log houses for centuries. Each American tradition has built on a previous one, mostly imported from the Old World, and only a few have emerged independently. These connections are what is so intriguing about America’s story of home.

Swedish Decorating

This is an important book. When the great challenge in modern life is the creation of the sense of identity of place, Roots of Home opens a door to the architectural history that has made different parts of the United States unique. An antidote to the spread of bland, anonymous places, this will allow the reader to anchor a place into its cultural background, illustrating not only the origins of the local architecture but how it has developed to suit its unique climatic and functional condition. The book is history but much more than history. It’s is notable for not only revealing the origins of the particularity of each place but in giving examples of how to carry that character into the modern world. Everyone who cares about the identity of place should have a copy.” — Robert Adam, Principal, Robert Adam Architects; Founder, International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism


35 Pictures Show How To Decorate Around The Swedish Rustic Country Look

Country living is wrapped up in modest, yet meaningful details. The mixture of the old furniture and primitive decor has become a style that many people are flocking back to. As the recession hits and hard times find their way into the economy, many people are digging deeper for fulfilling and meaning in life. Many people discover that what really matters to them is God, friends and family. Perhaps that is why we see many people embracing the country lifestyle. Deep within the country style is an underlining current of family which is the foundation to the look itself. Family history has brought forth a deeper meaning for many families and has made it’s way into the home decor in all forms. Wall genealogies, family picture albums, and weathered furniture which have seen better days are widely embraced.

Sturdy oak tables which have been passed down from family to family are more loved than the brand new furniture without the dents, marks and history. Farmhouse tables which have seen countless family meals, served both a place to prepare meals as well as seeing countless children doing their homework. Families find the value in the most humblest items such hand painted ceramics, and woven baskets. One of the charms of country living lies in comfort. There is a respect for craftsmanship and integrity for design.

In Influential Country Styles, Judith Miller looks at the country traditions from around the world which we love and adore. The comfortable warm looks of the country home have become a style that can be found around the world, and Miller takes us on a tour of the decoration of homes which we can borrow and make our own.

The best thing about Influential Country Styles by Judith Miller is that the book is based on just country interior design. The American Rustic interiors has an entirely different color scheme than the informal English Country cottage. The brightly colored Mediterranean villa looks much different than the white looks found in the Scandinavian farmhouse. Judith Miller explores the best of country style, which you can adopt in your own home.


Country Gustavian Interior Decorating
Influential Country Styles, Judith Miller

Influential Country Styles, Judith Miller

Influential Country Styles, Judith MillerInfluential Country Styles, Judith Miller

Scandinavian Antiques features a stunning Danish Baroque Chest of Drawers with black inlaid details which accentuate the drawers, sides, and top of the chest. The chest is quite small making it a perfect piece to dress up a small wall in your home. Many of the chests from this time period would be three times the size, making this chest truly unique. This is in very good original condition for 250 years old. It has been restored with a French polished finish and is truly of museum quality.

You will fall in love with Coachery Barn’s furniture, just as I have. Coachery Barn is one of the only companies to re-produce furniture which takes the form of the country styled Gustavian and Georgian furniture. Their furniture seamlessly integrates with the Swedish styles because of the clean lines and simplistic looking designs. The paint finishes are well picked and aren’t modern at all. Lovely hues of gray, blue, yellow are distressed to represent the elegance of old furniture. One of their prettier pieces is the old world classic breakfront sideboard base to the left which sells for a little over $1800. Their furniture has the classic appeal of old world style which would look dynamite in your Swedish decorated home.

Old World Furniture From Coachery Barn

Hekman sells a drop dead gorgeous drop leaf side table As you can see Hekman has done a wonderful job of adding extra architectural detail by finishing the edges of the legs and the edges of the table in white paint. In addition, the table has been beautifully distressed to give the impression of age. This beautiful accent table is made of select Asian hardwoods and veneers with two drop leaf sides and a storage drawer. The antique brass casters add an additional luxurious element. Hekmans table sells for $840.

If you are looking for that primitive country feel inside your home, consider scrolling through Country Buzzins on ebay. The company sells antique sign art and old boards by Folk Artist Charles Jerred. The Artist has captured time and memories of old fishing camps, Roadside Motel Signs, Amusement Park signboards. Country Buzzins sells a large inventory of worn and wonderful wooden signs, checkerboards and Parcheesi boards perfect for decor outside and inside the house. Mount a few antique wooden game boards on your wall for that perfect country primitive feel. Many of the signs include the perfect combination of painted colors for your homes decor. Get that primitive style with Country Buzzins.

Global Views produces a wonderful aged wooden horse anchored to a stand. The horse is made of wood, and antiqued with what seems to be a whitewashing to get the wonderful patina. The horse stands 28-Inches tall by 7-Inches W by 28-Inches long. This would make a lovely decorative object on a stand in the bedroom, living room or elsewhere. The rustic look fits in perfectly with the 17th & 18th century decorating. It sells for just under $200.

European Antique Imports is based in Los Angeles and has been in business since 1989. Their pickers continuously search the Scandinavian and European countryside for the finest examples of antique country furniture. Their workshops in Sweden & The Baltic States enable them to provide these antiques at great prices.

IMAX sells a wonderful set of Gazebo Birdcages that would be the perfect home decor accents in your Swedish home. The set includes one small and one large birdcage. The small birdcage dimensions are 15.5” height x 7.75” wide x 7.75” deep. The medium birdcage dimensions are 21.25” height x 10.25” wide x 10.25” deep. These intricate birdcages are constructed of 70 pct aged pine wood and 30 pct wrought iron. Both cages have variations in texture and color. The set have been painted and distressed to add age and appeal. These lovely cages add architectural dimension to any room setting.


Veranda Magazine featured a California home designed by Betty Burgess in their April 2009 issue.  The home featured classic french furniture with linen upholstery and a simple clean palette.  The simple natural looking design featured large scale furnishings, antique furniture and minimal accessories.

The  hand-hewn eighteenth-century ceiling beams and waxed Venetian plaster walls gave the home a rustic appeal typically found in Swedish homes.  The overall palette was grey, paired with taupe.

“Grey goes with everything,” Burgess tells Veranda, ” We wanted the whole house to feel peaceful, to have texture. Grey captures the natural colors of the coast along Pebble Beach. It also showcases the home’s remarkable antiques and artwork without competing.”

The kitchen featured classic french cane back chairs upholstered Pierre Frey cotton at French 19th-century table.  Adjacent to the table was a white washed cabinet holding white dishware.  The living room featured lighter upholstery in natural flax-linen sofa.  A pair of 19th century X based stools sit under a contemporary glass based sofa table.  An antique barometer gives a touch of luxury on wall.  A French 19th-c. chair sit next to the couch.  Betty Burgess has a passion for European classicism.



This home by Betty Burgess features a number of stunning french chairs in a natural setting. 

Betty Burgess Veranda April 2009

Veranda April 2009

Betty Burgess Veranda April 2009


Avolli was asked a few years ago to participate in the Old York Historical Society Decorator Show House. Avolli was selected by Joyce Jordan Interiors as the primary supplier to her dining room. The room was decorated with spectacular painted Swedish distressed furniture. The dining room chairs and side chairs were all given gentle slip covers which brightened up the space. A Danish Bornholm clock was featured and lemon yellow & white striped drapes and yellow and blue china added some color into the room. The spectacular Swedish cupboard, chairs and gilt & marble console table and not to mention the dining room table which first caught my attention are marvelous to look at. Who wouldn’t want this to be their dining room?


One of my passions in life is painting and replicating natural finishes with paint. When one of my friends came across this over-sized Roman bust, I couldn’t help but get excited about the chance to paint it and give it an entirely new look. For most of my paint projects, I tend to work with a brown base, because it is easy to build upon with other colors. With this project, I started off with a light brown / beige paint color.

The color that I have found that works the best is Rustoleums Putty. The product is pre-mixed and comes in an oil base in both a quart or a 12 ounce spray can. With this bust in particular I started off with Rustoluems Putty in Oil, and let it dry for a couple days. Then I took a gloss dark brown in oil and dabbed it on using some cheap packing plastic foam. Anything that has some texture to it will work. If you look closely at the bust I tried to make the detail as small as possible so it doesn’t look ragged or purposely faux finished.

The secret to many faux finishes is to have an overall top coat which blends things together. The minwax Jacobean wood stain gives this bust a glossy look, blending all the colors together, while disguising mistakes. The best way to apply the Jacobean stain is to spray it on. Buying a 1 dollar plastic spray bottle at your local dollar store is one of the best ways to apply it. When you spray the stain on in very light coats, it will not take your previous work off. It is important to allow the bust to dry a day before spraying the final stain on.

Using the same base (Rustoluem Putty) for an entirely different look, you can combine it with a cornflower shade called Dromedary Camel from Sherwin & Williams. Sometime computer screen paint colors can distort the actual color, so comparitive colors would look much like Egyptian Temple , Tangy, Romanesque Gold.

After the putty is dry, I paint on the camel color, and wipe it off with a rag. The beauty of oil paint is it doesn’t come off easily compared to latex paint, and you can achieve paint finishes that look antique. If you have any great painting tips, email them to me, and I would be glad to note them on my site.

Painted Statue BustPainted Statue Bust


In the March issue of Home Beautiful features an impressive European home designed by Eleanor Cummings, and also credits Babs Watkins and Julie Watkins Baker.

Opening into a foyer are a marvelous Louis carved walnut front doors in their original paint finish, while wood beams were cosmetically added to the ceiling in the living room to add length and antique charm. 150 year old planks replaced old limestone floors and wood from a Scandinavian diary were used to make custom cabinetry in the kitchen.

This European styled home home features a VAST amount of antique painted doors and furniture that are incredibly uncommon for their patina and paint finish. Just a pair of antique doors would resell in many galleries upwards of 5k -20K. Add to that – Masterfully painted plastered walls that look like something out of the medieval 17th century, and you have a LOT of talent and investment tied up to create this look.

The amount of beautiful painted antiques are incredibly beautiful to look at, and we appreciate Home Beautiful for covering the talented work of Cummings, Watkins and Baker. The homes natural plastered walls provides a neutral foundation to layer in the home’s focal palette of soft blues and platinum grays. Baker tells us blue is one of the hardest colors to get right in a room. She says other colors surrounding blue can really change the appearance of blue, as natural wood warms blue up, while silver tends to do the opposite; brighten them up while cooling them off.

The focal points in this home cannot be missed – The antique painted Louis XV carved walnut front doors, the Swedish Hutch, and Gustavian bench in the bedroom, the 18th century tapestry, and the beautiful faux finished walls, and painted furniture.


The Antique Vintage European Textiles ebay is one of my favorite shops for true vintage and aged textiles. Located in Vermont, United States, they recently moved back to the United States; having lived in Europe for 12 years.

They travel to Europe regularly sourcing the highest quality textiles. They specialize in quality European Antique and vintage textiles such as hand-woven Grain Sacks, homespun linen, thistle cloth, hemp rolls, french ticking, French linen, mangle cloths and a variety of other natural fabrics. With many years of research, and hands on experience, Antique Vintage European Textiles are able to distinguish antique from vintage materials, but also work in collaboration with other colleagues to assure the best possible integrity with their period textiles.

They label fabric antique if they estimate the age to be 100 years of age or greater. Be sure to check out some of their absolutely stunning fabrics for your decorating or next upholstery project.

Antique Vintage European Textiles 1 Antique Vintage European Textiles 2 Antique Vintage European Textiles 4 Antique Vintage European Textiles 5

Designer-Shannon-Bowers-of-Dallas-TexasDesigner Shannon Bowers Featured in Veranda Magazine

Swedish-Mora-Clock-From-Cote-De-Texas1-500x649Check out the wonderful write up Joni from Cote De Texas on Swedish Influences

Mora Clockswww.maisonsdumond


Aidan Gray’s Swedish Furniture Line

Swedish Blue Stefan Chair by Aidan Gray

Aidan Gray Dining Chairs

Founder and head designer of Aidan Gray, Randal Weeks has a thing for European design and Swedish furniture. The Aidan Gray line represents everything that encompasses old world design and aesthetics.  Products are made-by-hand with natural materials such as solid wood and rustic metals.

Aidan Gray is quickly becoming known for their architectural looking decorative accents and their reproduction antique furniture.  Not only do they carry beautiful antique-looking furniture, but the finishes are extraordinary.  Their furniture is finished using old world painted finishes and classic distressing techniques.   Multiple layers of paint, glaze and waxed finishes are often skipped with most retailers as they become tedious and ridiculously expensive for most companies to make a profit, which has opened up the door to niche companies such as Aidan Gray, Barreveld, Uttermost, Restoration Hardware and Wisteria.  Furthermore, being a faux painter myself, it also takes quite a bit of practice to get these antiqued painted finishes looking just right.  You need the right paint combinations, because as you add paint, the overall color changes, so I appreciate a line which goes the extra mile.

Painting can be tremendously rewarding, but also quite a lot of work especially when layers of paint are involved, so it is especially nice to see a company provide the extra finishes which give more of a worn antique appearance.  The best thing about Aidan Gray is YOU can sell their line, and open up your own small business.

Many retailers who sell shabby and rustic antiques tend to bring in Aidan Gray in amongst their antiques because the line brings forth more of the authentic paint finishes that are often found in Europe.  In fact, many small business are even selling on ebay from the comfort of their homes instead of having a store front.  Many blogs have sprung up featuring furniture staged in homes with price tags and additional pictures about the furniture which are ultimately connected with “but it now” on ebay.

Ebay has been the fastest growing online outlet, which many sites such as Esty have tried to match, that it is foolish for a small retailer not to be listed on ebay.  Paypal, and Amazon have gained the peoples trust when it comes to personal securitythat most people turn to them when they decide what retailer to purchase from.  Today you see big mega stores such as Target selling on amazon because that is where the people gather today.  With such a niche line such as Swedish furniture, who would have the time to drive across the country to visit a specialty store? Check out some of Aidan Gray’s beautiful Swedish looks for your home, and possibly for your future store.


The Best Swedish Lamps And Shades


Lovely Burlap Lamp Shades From Pottery Barn

If you are looking to add a touch of Swedish appeal in your home, the right style of lamp can go a long way to authenticate a that rustic period-style look in your home. Wood table lamps are the perfect choice for Swedish interiors and can be paired with a number of different shades ranging from natural fabrics such as burlap and linen to silks and satins. Wood lamps are often crafted out of different types of wood such as mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, and maple. For a rustic aged look, lamps should be limed, or white washed for the lighter looks often associated with Swedish interiors.

More people are falling out of the cold looks of modern furniture and falling back in love with the natural ornate rustic looks found in colonial, swedish and antique looks. More people are turning towards quality, and are throwing away their plastic home decor, and looking for natural materials that age well such as brass and natural wood elements.

Wood lamps are created by turning a piece of wood on a lathe, and the styles first began with wood candle bases. Wood based lamps were inspired by the wood workers of Belgium and Holland and often feature generous curves and ornate grain details that can be enjoyed for many years.  Buy something that lasts and gains beauty as it ages.

Jamie Young Petit Paro White Washed Wood Base Floor Lamp features a white washed wood finish, with a natural burlap drum shade. The shade is 18″ across the top, 18″ across the bottom, and 13″ high

This lovely carved lamp is made entirely of carved wood.  The lamp is complete with a burlap shade for a very natural look perfect for any Swedish styled home

Swedish Jamie Young white washed table lamp.  This white washed wood base is simple yet detailed with beautiful rustic natural finish.  The shade is made of linen with a classic drum shade. Takes one 150 watt, 3-way bulb with a rotary switch. Shade is 15″ across the top, 15″ across the bottom, and 10″ high. 22″ high.

Swedish Gustavian meets French Country in this three drawer chest. A smooth pine
top contrasts with a distressed finish on the front, back and sides, revealing
faint hand-painted embellishments in gold. True vintage grandeur. Zentique is selling this terrific chest for $1500

Kathy Kuo Designs on ebay is selling a fabulous painted Swedish Gustavian gray washed hand painted dresser. The dresser has stunning gold hand painted features and sells for $1700

Curry and Company

Currey & Company is a wholesale manufacturer of distinctive home furnishings products. They are best known for our lighting products such as their chandeliers, wall sconces, table and floor lamps. If you are looking for a new set of lamps consider looking at Currey & Company. All Currey & Company’s lighting products are designed and engineered to meet the rigid safety standards. Hand forged iron products have been the specialty of the company, but the range of materials they offer is extensive including hand carved wood, porcelain and brass. Many of their styles invoke a feeling of an old world style in combination with classic shapes that remain fashionable through the generations.

I came across these really beautiful antiqued Oak empire (set of 6) dining chairs from MBW Furniture on ebay. The dining chairs had the square back and fluted legs that is commonly found in very common in the Swedish designs in the 18th century. MBW Furniture custom builds furniture, so even if these are not available, inquire about having something built from scratch. I often look on MBW to see what they have up from week to week, because they have such beautiful furniture.

40+ Ideas For Decorating Around The Swedish Look For Less

Howard Miller Red Mora Grandfather Clock

Having a Swedish Mora Clock on display in your home is just as prestigious today as it was back in the 18th century. Unless you shop Europe often, it can be impossible to find a genuine Swedish Mora Clock.  Believe it or not, when I was living in Virginia, and was regularly shopping on craigslist, and I ran across a stunning antique mora clock  that was listed for only $50 dollars. The clock was sold instantly. The sellers obviously didn’t know what they had.

Compared to the traditional English long case grandfather clock which is often designed in a straight manner with the pendulum swinging behind a glass window, Swedish Mora clocks have a curvaceous body with a round face above a case. The overall look is very statuesque and feminine.

The Mora clock was one of the most distinguished status symbols among wealthy Swedish peasants during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Mora clocks were often painted either in pastel tones to highly decorative red country colors with hand painted kurbits motifs.

Today you can buy a reproduction Mora clock for as little as $400. Check out my favorite reproduction Swedish Mora clocks which are affordable compared to the rare antiques.

Howard Miller Clocks

Howard Miller Clocks have been known for incomparable workmanship and utmost quality. The business was founded by Howard Miller himself in 1926 at the age of 21. He was schooled in the fine art of clock making by his father, Herman, in the Black Forest region of Germany.

In the early years Miller focused on the manufacture of chiming wall and mantel clocks, although he also produced trend-setting avant garde clocks that stand today in collectors’ galleries. It was in World War II that changed the direction of the company, and eventually the company turned its attention to grandfather clocks, eventually earning the company the title of “World’s Largest Grandfather Clock Manufacturer.”

Today they offer hundreds of items to complement any decor ranging from portable alarm clocks to desk sets to wall and mantel clocks to collectors cabinets to limited edition grandfather clocks, and in varying prices from $5 to $15,000. No matter the price of the purchase, you have the same assurance that Howard C. Miller offers incomparable workmanship and unsurpassed quality and perfection.


This Grandfather Black Floor Clock features stylings of antique Swedish mora clocks with a modern twist. The dimensions are 20″ x 9″ x 69-1/4″. This clock sells for $300 dollars.

This stunning shelf or desk reproduction Mora Clock is absolutely beautiful for any Swedish Style home.


The Madison Black Grandfather Clock is not found on Amazon, and I cannot locate it on ebay.  Google Product Search Shows this clock at the lowest $376

Howard Miller Hannover Standing Grandfather Clock, is much like a reproduction Mora clock.  The  Hannover-Chili Red Floor Clock by Howard Miller is finished in Chili Red on select hardwoods and veneers. Cream dial features black Arabic numerals and black spade hands.  The pendulum is brushed-nickel which can be viewed through glass.  The top of the clock features a decorative turned urn finial which can be removed.  The dual-chime movement plays Westminster Big Ben chime and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” which can be controlled by volume control and automatic nighttime chime shutoff .  Best of all this reproduction Mora clock is made in the USA

Trieste Grandfather Clock by Acme Furniture is a lovely Reproduction Mora Clock which sells for $559.



A reader wrote in and left a comment which I couldn’t help but to respond to in a post.


Do you have any recommendations on where I can find a reproduction Mora clock? I’ve searched on line and cant seem to find any for sale.

Thanks,…. Lynn

Hi Lynn,

There are really fantastic antique dealers that have genuine antique Mora clocks with all sorts of painted finishes on the web. One place that I love to look is 1st Dibs, as many dealers list their very best furniture on this site. Ebay doesn’t have a lot of Swedish furniture. In fact, I only recall one company, Scandinavian Antiques, that lists Swedish antique furniture on ebay. I am not sure why more Swedish dealers don’t list on ebay, because that is where many people purchase rare antiques.

Amazon is another outlet that sells a wide variety of furniture. Often times if you look hard enough many companies will re-produce the beautiful lines of Louis XVI furniture without the cost of a genuine antique. Although the downfall is they rarely give any indication to the general category of style it may pertain to. A good example of this is Uttermost, and Horchow; their furniture is amazingly beautiful, and usually from season to season they reproduce the French and occasionally a Swedish furniture look.

Although if you are on a tight budget, and cannot afford a $5 thousand dollar clock (like most of us,) consider a Coaster Clock which has all the beauty of a Mora clock for only $230 dollars and it even comes WITH FREE SHIPPING!!

Howard Miller also makes a Swedish Looking clock, which features the rounded belly that you see in most Swedish Mora Clocks in Chili Red For $1,182.30. The price is great, and you can easily re-paint it the color of your desire.

The La Rochelle Clock by Howard Miller LOOKS identical to the Coaster clock, but the price is $3,032.40 on sale. Why the difference in price? Why is Coasters clock so discounted? I have no idea…..

Coaster also makes a really modern version of the Mora clock in a black finish for only 236.84!! If you are wanting several Mora Clocks in your home, all with different faux finishes, Coaster certainly makes it very affordable. AND, that price includes FREE shipping! If you were to re-paint this clock, you could paint a base of gray, and then a lighter gray oil finish, and then a top coat of blue, or any color of your choosing.

We just moved into a new home, and found our clock in a local antiques shop, which I believe is Coaster. The purchase of my clock is what lead me to look up if reproductions existed. Lynn, you gave me a kick in the pants to finally put this post together~

My clock came with a glass panel, which I exchanged out with wood. Markus, a talented Swiss carpenter in our area made the front wood door which I think really makes the floor clock a bit more Swedish looking.

With the Mora Clock that I purchased, the bottom of the clock is entirely made of wood, although the rounded wood area that forms the clock face itself is made from a thinner piece of wood, and I cannot tell if the sides of the clock are particle wood or real wood. Although a person cannot complain at $200 dollars! I painted mine, as I am sure you may consider painting yours to make it appear more antique looking.

If you do paint it, consider getting a tint-able primer, called Coverstain at your local Home Depot, which can tinted the shade you are hoping to paint. I detail more of this paint on my Provence site. Of course, when it came to the one piece of furniture I wanted to do well, I didn’t use it. Go figure…. I wished I sanded mine better before painting, because the paint didn’t stick all too well. I sanded down the first coat of paint lightly, and re-painted it again with the same color and it turned out quite nice. I then painted on a brown glaze, (then wiped off the glaze with a damp rag) which took away the harshness of color. I may consider a lighter blue in the future, and the layering of blue, only creates more of depth if I choose to distress it.

I haven’t explored Chalk paints such as the ones sold from Annie Sloan. I hear they require no priming. If you do try a few Gustavian colors, do email me, as I would love to see how they turn out.

Another detail that you will not want to consider skipping is gold leafing the gold details of your clock. Spray painting just doesn’t do gold furniture justice. On my French site, I detail the gold leaf that I use, which makes gold leafing soooo much easier than fiddling with thin pieces of gold which often times gets lost in the air. Gold leafed details will make your clock look that much more expensive.

Swedish decorating can be soooo much fun. When furniture is this affordable, it can be a joy decorating!

Swedish Style Decorating – Ornate Candle Sticks

If you are looking for great set of candlesticks, check out Jack’s Candle Stands from IMAX. The candlesticks are made of turned aluminum and finished in black sheen. The candlesticks have a wonderful footed design with incredible shape. The set of three feature graduating sizes, and would look terrific paired together for an impacting statement. Candlesticks sold in sets should always be positioned togehter for a dramatic statement. Place them on a bed stand or console table for an impacting statement.

The dimensions of the candlesticks are 14-20H x 4.75-5.25D and have been discounted to $96 dollars from $175. Uttermost also sells a set of white washed candle holders that work perfectly with a Swedish inspired interior. The footed design features decorative details that you would see in an 18th century home. The lovely set sells for $217.

Another set of Uttermost candlesticks feature a carved appearance with a distressed painted finish. The set of three sells for $191. Add some ornate candle sticks in your home to get that primitive feel amongst your modern conveniences for that authentic appeal.

(Picture Credit by brocantegirl From Genuine Style )

Imax sells these set of three Candlesticks which could easily be painted blue, yellow or almost any color of your surrounding decor. The base of these candlesticks can be spray painted gold, and the cylinder area above it can easily be painted a blue while the rest of the candle stick distressed in gray. These candlesticks are selling for $104 making these candlesticks quite a deal!

This set of Uttermost Candlesticks SHOW a distinct Swedish Style. It looks like they have been discontinued. Uttermost 19103 Aneka Candleholders Set of 2 – 19103,

Three Piece Set for Only $90 Dollars. Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

Buy this set for only $90 Dollars! 3Pc Finial Set – Stone Grey & Gold Leaf

Ornate Primitive Candleholder

Primitive Ornate Candleholder $42 Dollars

Hooker Furniture produces a lovely square back dining chair in a distressed off white finish which works perfectly with Swedish interiors and decor. While it may not be an antique chair, the look is absolutely stunning. The streamlined square back gives this chair the look of the Louis XVI styled chairs. The Sanctuary Collection by Hooker Furniture is designed with relaxation and serenity in mind, giving you a tranquil space that exudes a peaceful calm and grace, almost like a weekend retreat. The chair is painted an off white and distressed to give an aged appeal. The chair and backs are finished in a natural linen fabric. The chair is made from hardwood solids and the overall dimensions are: 40.25 inches H x 25.25 inches D x 19.5 inches W Weight: 30 lbs. Hooker sells their chair for $240.

Winsome wood sells a few fabulous pieces which would work in a Swedish Gustavian styled home. Winsome Trading has been a manufacturer and distributor since 1977. The company’s assembly facility is located in Woodinville, Washington, and their branch office and warehouse is up north in Delta, British Columbia Canada. There are a couple pieces which would transfer well to the Gustavian style. The Winsome Phone Stand is made out of Walnut, and would be an excellent night stand. The measurements are 14 x 17 x 29.5 inches. This stand could be painted a gray and whitewashed for a Swedish look. This stand sells for $76 dollars. Winsome also has a tall Hall Table in walnut featuring 3 drawers. The table has tapered legs and it would be another fabulous piece that could be painted. This table goes for $103, which is a dynamite price compared to antiques. While the antiques have some genuine features that most modern furniture makers do not carry over, the price point cannot be beat.

Winsome Furniture

Winsome has a wonderful Tea table priced at $32 dollars that could be painted to look like the table featured in Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems book Swedish Interiors. They also have a wonderful bed side stand which is natural wood that gives a Swedish country look. Paint it up, white wash it, and change the hardware. This stand sells for $66 dollars. Their Walnut Finish Accent Hall Console Sofa Table would be an excellent base for a primitive saw horse desk. Paint the base a warm beige or gray and distress the edges, and order in a white marble top. Or simply get a very thick piece of wood cut for the top. Each table measures 29.5 Wide x 15.9 D x 29.5 tall. Would it surprise you that each table costs $19 dollars? OH YAH!! This company makes it very affordable to decorate in a Swedish style if you are willing to paint and use a sander.

Some of my other favorites from Winsome:

1. Winsome Wood Hailey 5-Tier Shelf Tower – Clean lines. Paint it, and distress this shelf for the perfect bathroom display. Display your towels and soaps nicely.

2. Their Saddle Seat Stool in Natural Finish gives you the opportunity to white wash this piece of furniture with your choice of paint. Simply add some water to your water based paint, and brush it on giving your furniture a semi transparent look. Much like staining furniture, you can wash off the extra paint giving you the control how dark you want the piece to look. This primitive looking stool comes in a natural finish giving you the opportunity to customize it. This stool sells for $36 dollars.

3. Their classic walnut finish Secretary Desk is simply lovely. Rustic in looks. Only $150, and the hardware looks fabulous!

4. Their 3-Tier Shelf Bookcase is really elegant. Again, view it painted, and distressed. The simplistic design fits right in with classic country Gustavian furniture. Don’t you just love the legs! WOW! This bookcase sells at only $105 They also have it in maple which would look nicer with distressing after you have painted it a gray or a beige.

5. I cannot help but love the drop leaf Breakfast Table in an Antique Walnut. It has all the stylings of a primitive piece from the 1800’s. Paint it up and station it against a wall. This piece sells for $178

Out of their 819 listings on Amazon, those are my best picks! So affordable, and I cannot get over the great lines of this furniture. If you are decorating in 18 century style, this is a company to consider.

This table from Winsome Furniture has all the looks of classic Gustavian furniture without the price.


I ran across an old issue of House Beautiful which featured a set of stunning Swedish furniture on the front cover of House Beautiful’s May 2002 issue. Since I don’t own the issue myself, I have been searching around to see who’s house was featured, sadly with no success. The Style Court Blog also had a picture of a settee which appeared in House Beautiful, May 2002 and credited Suzanne Rheinstein. High Beam research articles also reports of a story in the 2002 May issue of Home Beautiful that Suzanne Rheinstein decorated. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountain country, Terry and Courtnay Daniels hired Rheinstein to overhaul their home as their daughter Kaki was planning a wedding on their farm property. “The house is part of the farm, and we decided it should be open for the wedding,” she reasoned. “It’s just Southern hospitality.” I could only guess it is the picture on the cover of the magazine, but I really do not know. We hope you enjoy the pictures for your own Swedish planning and decorating. The fabric on the chairs is a perfect choice for a Swedish chair.

It is rare that I come across a piece of furniture with authentic good looks for a low price. Louis XVI furniture is often very hard to come by. Cross sells a modern set of three nesting tables in the price point of $60 dollars which have the lines of the classic lines without having to spend a lot of money. The legs are fluted giving you the look of the antique Swedish furniture. The set would look terrific painted in a creamy yellow, blue, gray, or beige accented in gold. This set could be given a distressed paint finish which would look stunning in any home which is decorated in the Swedish rustic styles. These tables could be the ideal makeover!

If you haven’t shopped Furniture Creations on Amazon, I do suggest you take a look. They offer exceptionally low priced furniture with some very nice overall designs and shape.

  • Their antique black finish wood cabinet has the overall look of a Swedish nightstand, and you wouldn’t guess this stand is ONLY $54 dollars. This nightstand comes in both black and white. They have an exceptionally designed footstool that has the overall look of a Swedish design for only $20 dollars. The stool isn’t as high as most of us would prefer, but who could complain at the price of $20 dollars!! It is the perfect buy to customize with some gray paint, a little distressing, and a new upholstery job! It could be a very nice accent in the living room. The stool comes in White, and with just plain wood. The wood stool might be a better choice in my opinion if you plan on repainting it, as the distressing will appear nicer.
  • They sell a pretty little white tall cabinet that measures 9 7/8″ x 7 1/2″ x 32 1/4″ high. For only $17 dollars it is worth getting two cabinets, which you could saw off the legs of the one, and stack them one on top of another for a taller cabinet in a bathroom. The legs are fantastic on this piece. They also sell a Baroque mirror set for only $13 dollars. The candle holders are quite good looking, and I see on Amazon, you can buy this set used for only $6 dollars. The sconces are very beautiful and would be lovely in any room. For 13 dollars, you get Free shipping with Amazon!
  • The Floral Footstools by Furniture creations is a very classic styled footstool with a bargain pricepoint. The Plain Wood Footstool gives you the opportunity to REPAINT it, or leave the wood as is. Buying the wood footstool allows you to repaint the frame and distress the paint finish producing a nicer finish than if you started with the white base coat. Any of these footstools would be very easy to upholster. These footstools are ONLY $20 dollars!

Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating
Marcia Treasures

Marcia Treasuressells a number of beautiful reproduction pieces with hand painted finishes and distressing. Amongst all the pieces, the birch wood accent dining chair sold through Marcia Treasures is has a very distinct Swedish look. The chairs sell for $600 each.

If you look at the paint, it seems to be a blue gray paint with considerable distressing. The orange color of the wood and the paint color really create a painted effect that is stunning. Designing around antiques can be very rewarding as they offer interest and intrigue compared to our modern day furniture. The beauty of painted or limed wood is that it is very easy to match to existing furniture or future furniture for that matter. With many hardware stores able to match paint with their computer technology it is easy to add to furniture along the way and having everything work together seamlessly.

Louis XVI Chair
French Louis XV and XVI Sofas
Red Chest- Swedish Styled Decorating – Country Swedish Decorating Ideas

Crestview sells a lovely distressed cabinet that makes for the perfect piece to dress up that unused space at the end of a hallway or at the bottom of a set of stairs. This cabinet measures 36 high by 43 wide and only has a depth of 12″ making it a very unique cabinet for narrow spaces. This cabinet has all the looks of Swedish styled furniture and could be left alone with the current hardware for a country distressed look or could be dressed up with brass hardware and brass keyholes. The color red can be very powerful all on its own, and needs to be well-thought-out, as well as the shade itself.

Replace The Rustic Hardware With Shiny Brass Hardware For A Nordic Gustavian Appearance


This cabinet fits perfect (hard to find 12 inch depth) in the small hallway leading into our Master Bedroom. Only wish the weathering was done more random, as in the picture. They evenly spaced the weathering on each drawer. But the cabinet itself is well made, and the color is the same as in the picture.” -Patti in Michigan

Country Swedish Interior From Buttercup Bungalow Blog

Country Swedish Interior From Buttercup Bungalow Blog

Primitive Metal Candle Holders 3 Different Styles Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

Wilco also sells a terrific looking Metal Candle Holder. They sell it in three different sizes and it really gives a country impression. The overall look is very Swedish. It sells for $45 depending on the height you choose. Buy all three heights and group them together on a table for that Swedish country style.

How Easy Is This Design??? A canopy Bed With Red Striped Fabric From House To Home

Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated. Picking the right fabric can really be the hardest part of the whole process. House To Home shows us how easy it can be to create a lovely canopy. All you need is a ton of good looking fabric and ceiling rods, and some pipe from the plumbing section at your local hardware store.

Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating
Gustavian Looking Clock

The other clock I think is very Swedish looking is the Wilco Imports Distressed Black Table Clock. It would be a perfect night table clock or even a desk clock. It sells for $42 dollars

The one thing that makes my blogs different than all the rest is I try to do the shopping for you. I really enjoy searching out the every best furniture and decorating accents that will make your home and my home so much prettier.

Often times we look through magazines and are just blown away at some of the designs, but at the same time feel like the very design we admire is out of our reach. Antiques can be very hard to track down, and they can be extremely expensive making the possibility of decorating with them beyond a reach for most people.

Many people are unaware that reproductions are available on ebay and amazon and they vary in price points. The hard thing about tracking them down is many companies will re-create a period piece but then call it by an entirely new name, which defeats the point doesn’t it?

One thing I find particularly frustrating is many products will make their appearance on amazon or ebay, and then within a blink of an eye, they will be gone!!

I noticed the same very thing with a fabric I picked out for some Louis XVI chairs I have been holding on to for some time, only to realize when we purchased our first home, that the fabric had become discontinued, which can be very disheartening.

I have also noticed the same thing with wallpaper. If you find a wallpaper or fabric that you really love, consider buying it before it becomes discontinued. Sometimes fabric bolts are sold on ebay, and local fabric companies with websites can be found with a couple searches on the internet. Decorating is fun, and period decorating is even more of a thrill.

Neoclassical Wallpapered Neoclassical Chest With Brass hardware From Ruth Burts


Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

How to Decoupage Furniture 101

1. Make sure that your object is dry, smooth, and
free from any kind of imperfections. I would always suggest slighly sanding your
piece of furniture so that the glue has something to grab on to.

2. Cut out your image first. This is the most tedious and important part of the whole process. You want to be patient to get a great cut.

3. Submerge your print in water which will allow you to manipulate the print on your furniture with ease.

Avoid decoupaging with thin paper because it wrinkles and tears very easily. Many copy stores now produce beautiful prints that can be blown up to cover any large piece of furniture. Do not use ink-jet photo copies as they will smear in water.

4. Using a foam paint brush and glue, apply glue all over the furniture area you are covering. Work section by section. Align the paper with the furniture edges, and carefully apply the cutout to the surface of the furniture.

Keep your hands wet or the paper will tear. Use a wet paint brush sponge and work out excess glue, water, and air. Work outward from the center using a foam roller to flatten the surface and even out the glue underneath your print.

Avoid bending or crumpling the print, as it gives the finished product a bumpy, ugly look.

Within the first hour after the application, check your furniture piece to smooth out any air bubbles with wet fingers. Let your furniture dry overnight.

5. The next day after your piece is dry you will need to apply a sealer. It is extremely important that your first coat is a water based polycrylic. If you use an oil based polyurethane, it will leave spots in your collage, and potentially ruin it.

Modge Podge is another option which seals collages which dries to a rock hard finish. It can be used to glue your paper down and and seal your final piece. Modge Podge is available in Gloss, Satin and Matte finishes. Mod Podge also has an excellent line of fabric glue.

A water based polycrylic is always the very best option on white painted furniture, as an oil based polyurthane will always turn yellow overnight and keep getting darker in color over time. Polycrylic comes in a satin, semi gloss and gloss finishes. It also comes in a beautiful spray, which makes it much easier to produce a clean, even finish. The polycrylic or Mod Podge are excellent products to seal your furniture, but if you wish to additionally add an oil based spray lacquer, use it after you have applied 2 layers of polycrylic.

If your collage is lightly colored, I would caution you against using anything but water based. For darker prints, a polyurthane spray will be just fine after your water based crylic has dried.

Acrylic lacquer avoids the yellowing problems associated with nitrocellulose lacquer. Acrylic resins go on crystal-clear and stay that way over time. The most widely used acrylic lacquer is called CAB-acrylic lacquer, made with cellulose acetate butyrate and acrylic resins.

A 3 drawer chest painted gray cloth cover Braquenié with drawers wrapped in red velvet

This lovely chest features a touch of red – From Charles-Emile Moinat

Swedish Wallpaper Ideas From Anne Sage Blog

Swedish Wallpaper Ideas From Anne Sage Blog

Swedish Looking Wallpaper

It is always really exciting for me to come across a new richly designed Swedish home. If you love Swedish furniture like I do, you really cherish the photos of homes which are decorated in 18th century style, because they are so rare to come across. If you haven’t had a chance to look through Clare Fraser’s home featured inThe New York Social Diary, please look at how she incorporates both Swedish and French decorating. Everything in Clare’s home is hand picked, and not an inch of her home isn’t perfectly designed.

One wall is faux painted in a large scale marble. Among her fabulous accessories, her gilt wall clocks really shine. If you look closely at the bed in her bedroom, the upholstered headboard fabric matches up perfectly with the design on the wall. Nothing is left unnoticed. If you would like to re-create the sophistication of an 18th century wall, consider wallpaper which reproduces a classic historical pattern on a white background.

Most Swedish homes at that time were not rendered in silk like the French stylings, but rather in simple cottons. If cottons were hand blocked, motifs were generally printed on a white background. If the pattern was woven, checks or stripes were the typical print. In Claire’s home, you can see two lovely bombe chests on either side of her bed with gilt wall shelves which she features some of her favorite statues. The brightness of the gold really presents a richness against the white patterned walls. Adding a rich antique painting also can re-create an 18th century look along with gathering the right looking furniture that would be prevalent during that period of time.

Swedish Decorating Ideas – Clare Fraser’s home featured in The New York Social Diary

Swedish Decorating Ideas – Clare Fraser’s home featured in The New York Social Diary
Swedish Decorating Ideas – Blue and White Wallpaper


Swedish Looking Furniture For Less


AA Importing Sells this wonderful four Drawer Bombe Chest for $915

Swedish Looking Wallpaper For Less

Ashford Toiles Bird Toile Wallpaper, Blue/White

Get The Swedish Look For Less

Superior Furniture Co. Charters sells this lovely French accent chest for $1800

Swedish Looking Wallpaper For Less
Swedish Looking Furniture For Less

Fairfax Home Furnishings Antique Bombe Chest

Swedish Looks For Less

Williamsburg 5510043 Asian Toile Wallpaper , Blue, 20.5-Inch Wide

Get The Swedish Looks For Less


Black chests are often seen in Swedish homes, and look terrific against white and blue or white and red walls. Dara Bombe Chest by Jasper Cabinet – runs about $1500.

Swedish Looking Wallpaper

Key Wallpaper has this very simplistic blue design that would work perfect in bathrooms or pantries, or any room that is quite small.

Swedish Looking Chests

Crestview CVFYR922 Three Drawer Bombay Chest in Distressed Black with Cherrywood. Crestwiew has this really gorgeous chest priced at $660!!!

Swedish Stencils

Picture Of Elegance featured a number of stunning pictures on their blog of Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France. The chateau was built ca.1765, and reflects a French Swedish Rococo architectural period of style. The highlight of the pictures are the amazing stenciled walls. One can only imagine what it would look like in person! Trouvais featured some larger pictures of their home originally featured on World of Interiors in April of 1994. If you carefully study the bedroom you can see the amazing hand painted olive leaf stenciling on the furniture and the walls. In one of the pictures, it is very unclear, but it seems as though the french desk is stenciled. If you are considering stenciling furniture or the walls, finding the right pattern can be most of the battle. In the past I have resorted to cutting my own stencils with a stencil cutter which is very time consuming but extremely rewarding to get the exact design you have in mind. The first dresser I stenciled was a zebra pattern which I cut from the pattern of a bed sheet. All you need is a cutting tool that heats up that has a sharp rolled edge and some clear stenciling sheets. You can get interesting patterns from the books in your local library or order a book that contains age old stencil designs which you can copy from.

Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France Picture Credit Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog
Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France Picture Credit Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog

Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog

Another way of getting a large design up on the walls or on to furniture is using an overhead projector. It is worth picking one up if you plan on doing a large design on the walls. For myself, I am not too good with free hand drawing, and you almost need to be absolutely great artistically to pull off a worthy design to go on the walls.

An overhead projector is a easy way of transferring a large scale design on the walls. All you need is the time to paint the details. It also doesn’t have to be too complicated either. Take a look at the navy and gold dresser I painted up simply by using an overhead projector. The design was large, so it took me no time at all!

Here is another french chest I painted using an overhead projector. The possibilities are endless! The best thing about an overhead projector is you can combine a number of different patterns to create a custom look much like Lillians bedroom. The design that is in Ted and Lillian Williams bedroom is an olive leaf design which can be collected from a number of different sources and then applied to the wall using the same paint, and it would all blend in much like something right out of the 17th century!

French Style Decorating From World Of-Interiors April-94 From Trouvais Blog

The book Repeating Patterns 1100 – 1800 is an excellent book for cutting out your own designs and stenciling them on to the wall or furniture. The stencils can be very easy to quite complicated. This book and CD-Rom set contains a stunning collection of repeating patterns from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque.

The book 2,286 Traditional Stencil Designs is a 128 page book containing designs in reproductions of two rare catalogs: ornamental borders, corners and frames with intricate floral and foliated patterns, and architectural ornaments.

800 Classic Ornaments and Designs contains 144 pages of ornaments such as decorated with flowers. This is a treasury of royalty-free art that includes classical columns, a rich selection of heraldic designs, and a variety of charming calligraphic alphabets. A priceless resource for artists and designers.

Painted By Lillian From World Of-Interiors April-94 From Trouvais Blog


This must be the same bedroom. As you can see her design isn’t too complicated. It matches the china, which must have been her inspiration.

This Quilt Bridal leaf stencil is as close I could find on Amazon of Ted and Lillians bedroom pattern. Depending on the size it could be shifted around and penciled in on the wall to create a design and then painted.

Look how Lillian matched the mirror to the wall. She did a terrific job!! All of your french furniture features the raised details that can be painted to match the colors of your room.

The Artful Stencil on ebay features a number of really large stencils that you can use as a pattern. They carry a fair amount of damask stencils.

Stencil Mania has a lovely Fleur De Lis stencil that features an elongated leaf pattern can be used vertically or horizontally on furniture.

The picture containing the french desk in the center of the room looks to be stenciled as well. The picture is rather dark and small to tell. I had a green painted chair I wanted to stencil except getting around curved edges can be a challenge. One way to get around some of the edges is simply to pencil in the design from the stencil and then hand paint it. Why didn’t I think of that before? Chinoiserie styled painting is extremely beautiful.

Designer stencils sells a really pretty cake stencil which you can use for your furniture. It features 5 different stencils for around $70 dollars.

If you look off into the distance in one of the bedrooms you can see a French chair covered in blue and white chinoiserie fabric. Chinoiserie fabric is really hard to find at a reasonable price point, although Ralph Lauren sells a wonderful blue and white chinoiserie porcelain print that would really make any room beautiful.

Williamsburg also sells a blue and white Asian Toile Wallpaper.

In addition York sells a lovely blue and white Bird Toile wallpaper.

York sells a wonderful detailed blue and white pattern called Ashford Toiles Old World Toile. It sure would look amazing on the walls. I can only imagine!!

If you are looking for something simple on the walls consider the Ashford Toiles Geometric Trellis Wallpaper, which gives a very Swedish / French look to the wall.

If you have been a fan of the gold tones, consider Yorks Neoclassical pattern in Yellow. It is really sensational. My entire living room is going to be based around blues with pops of bright yellow. Can you just imagine some bright silk yellow sheets? AH! So beautiful. Upholster some good Louis XV chairs in some bright yellow fabric with this wall paper, and be sure the frame is BRIGHT Gold!


Here are some ideas to creating century old walls……..

* York sells a neoclassical print that has a light background for $88 dollars a roll. The detailing is more delicate. This is a spectacular print. Here is the light blue version of this paper. They also have a green print on a white background as well.

* The Chelsea Damask Citrine by Ralph Lauren is a really nice bright print that can be matched up with some coordinating fabric to give an authentic french look in a bedroom. The sister print, Delamere Damask Jade is a light blue.

* Lights Forever sells a large 12 x 12 damask stencil that you can use for your walls. It sells for $14 dollars.

* Faux Like a Pro has a Faux Painting Damask Stencil Kit, which includes 1 gallon of GLAZE, 1 Bristle Block Brush to apply the paint with and the Damask stencil you see in the advertisement.

* Plaid sells a wonderful Stencil Decor Multi-Layer Border Stencils in a damask pattern

*Fabrics and Wallpapers for Historic Buildings is a volume for everyone involved in restoring or researching American houses built between 1700 and 1900. An interesting guide for those who enjoy researching authentic wallpaper designs.

* The Lancaster wallpaper by Ralph Lauren could be a really nice base print for hand painting. Paint over the design using 2 or 3 tones of colors. They also have it in a Navy and Pink. I think adding tones of gold, and two other colors would be extremely rich!

* Consider decorating all in red with the Champagne Toile Prepasted Wallpaper by York. Pair this wallpaper up with some simple white and red check fabric.

Swedish Decorating Ideas

Thomas Britt’s summer home is filled with memories of traveling to Ireland, Burma, India, Mexico, Paris, Portugal and Sweden. He was inspired by the Ekensberg residence in Sweden. His vision was based on an eclecticism of colors, forms and materials. In one of the rooms the floor is painted, the same as that in the summer palace of Rosersberg, the Swedish king Charles XIV. The inspiration for the living room was the library Chateaux de Groussay renowned art collector Charles de Beistegui.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- LOOK At The Painted Floors
Swedish Decorating Ideas
Swedish Decorating Ideas

Make Your Own Birdgage

Finding the right stand for your birdcage can take a lot of searching because they are not commonly found. If you are like me, you don’t want to wait years before you find a birdcage and stand set, so why not just combine two pieces together?

Plant or telephone stands tend to be taller, and would work better than a typical end table stand. Ideally you would like to match up the dimensions of the bottom of your birdcage to fit the stand, or vise versa.

Coaster sells a really upscale plant stand that would look sensational with a birdcage. At $133 if it fits a birdcage you have in mind, it would look extremely elegant. The stand could be painted along with your birdcage to create a matching set. Go with a painted Swedish blue and white, or a Swedish Blue and Gold. Yellow and gold is extremely elegant, and don’t forget Falu red and pastel greens which are also classic Swedish colors. Buy a detail paint brush for painting in the areas to be highlighted. Ideally gold and a paint color, or a paint color and white as an accent would be typical Swedish accent colors. There are limited choices when it comes to getting the right look together for a Swedish look. Swedish looks tend either to be Neoclassical in nature, or Rococo in style. Some of the neoclassical looks borrow from Empire furnishings which tend to be stronger, masculine styles, while the Rococo tends to be very ornate and curvy. Check out my suggestions below, and don’t forget ebay as another shopping outlet!

This is a very elegant tall stand, with Empire Stylings. This is a perfect stand for a smaller cage. Paint both the birdcage and stand the same color. Use the table lip to decorate with some custom ormolu much like the birdcage below. Look at the beautiful blue accented with gold.


Look at this wonderful Antique Birdcage with matching stand. This was a set made together. You can get this same look by just matching up a birdcage with the right size of stand.

Picture Credit A Secret Forest Blog


In the house of Barbro Grandelius, a very distinct style flows through the house.  From the rustic painted wood furniture to the light colored cabinetry, this house has the best of country Swedish Furniture.

International Concepts sells a primitive looking mission styled chair which is sold unfinished that looks almost like the old Swedish country dining chairs in these pictures.  Of course, these modern day chairs do not have the fluted legs or the tapered as the antiques do, but they are pretty close in appearance if you are trying to locate some country styled chairs for your dining room.

In our post Country Home Decor we discuss Judith Miller’s In Influential Country Styles, in which Judith Miller  reviews all the relevant looks across the world in the arena of country decorating and furniture. In that post, we show two examples of this antique chair shown with fluted legs to give you an idea of how close International Concepts chair comes to the antiques.  The chair comes unfinished giving you the opportunity to paint it, stain it or white wash it.  Working with the bare wood opens up a wide range of possibilities.

Another chair that comes close is the Jofran country chair in white.  If you look at any of the pictures of Barbro Grandelius’s home, the chairs are painted in a gray with tapered legs.  The chair by Jofran isn’t that far off.  The upholstery can be changed for a more authentic look, and the frame can be painted a egg shell gray to give the appearance of a Swedish look.

Another avenue to explore is the Jofran  Sonata Dining Chair. The chair is constructed with solid Asian hardwood and finished with an antique white paint.   This chair sells for $87.  The back of the chair has nice streamlined features that compare to old country styles.  Again, the bottom of the chairs are not the same as the fluted Swedish antiques, but the overall look can be considered very country.

Jofran also sells a 6 piece set in antique black which includes four side chairs, one bench and a table for $899  If you are looking for something smaller in size, consider Jofran’s set in a round pedestal table that includes 4 chairs.  The set is unpainted and stained in a warm honey.  This set comes in all natural wood which allows you the opportunity to paint the set and distress it in what ever color you wish.  If you are hoping for a different table, sell the table on your local craigslist.  The set is priced at $349 which is exceptionally well priced for both the table and chairs.

Jofran also has a 7 piece set for under $1000 painted in black, as well as a 7 piece set in white. These chairs also come in a country green.  Add some square cushions and you have a stunning set that looks primitive and centuries old.

International Concepts 265P Pair of Mission Side Chairs, UnfinishedInternational Concepts 265P Pair of Mission Side Chairs, Unfinished

We truly cannot even imagine how life must have been in the 18th and 19th centuries until we were to actually live it first hand. PBS created a series called Frontier House in which they took three families and put them into the Montana countryside and re-created the challenges the early pioneers and immigrants faced living off the land. In 1862 the Homesteading Act was created by the U.S. government, which declared that any citizen of the United States could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. Many jumped at the opportunity, including impoverished farmers from the East and immigrants from Europe. After a payment of a nominal filing fee, homesteaders were then to “improve” their land by living on it, building a home and planting crops. If the settlers fulfilled these requirements, and remained on their homestead for a period of five years, the land became their property. This was a great opportunity to start a new life for many people living in the cities and abroad. 270 million acres, or 10% of the continental United States were essentially opened up to private citizens.

Immigrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland flooded into the Territory. Over the 124-year history of the Act, more than 2 million individuals filed claims, but of these claims, only 783,000 — less than half — ultimately obtained the deeds for their homesteads. Life was rough. I couldn’t imagine the harsh winters in Montana without a furnace and how they could survive off of food they stored up from the garden over the months from the summer. Many homesteaders that took claims, came with little or no farming experience. In addition, Montana is quite cold in the winter with conditions comparable to Northern Canada. Growing crops in the harsh conditions of the West was a difficult task for even the most seasoned farmers. You tube has many of the episodes of this series up for free. Enjoy how these modern families equip to living in the 19th century. It might become your new nightly program!




The Mallery Hall Collection Brings You Old World Painted Furniture

Mallery Hall

The Mallery Hall Collection  and The European House bring to you antique Swedish furniture reproductions for half the price of true Swedish antiques.  They specialize in reproducing old world distressed styles found in Tuscan furniture, the soft and feminine lines of the Victorian era, and the beauty and elegance of the French and Swedish styled furniture.  The Mallery Hall Cottage Collection consists of french and Swedish styles with an array of customized distressed paint finishes.   Each piece of furniture is hand-finished using old world techniques alongside modern production methods.   They also offer a number of custom construction options within the context of the line.  Even their French and English farmhouse tables and coffee tables can be ordered in custom sizes.  You would be amazed how many natural looking Swedish furniture pieces they carry.

The European House carefully finishes each piece of furniture to create the patina of fine antiques with fittings and appliques appropriate to period furniture.   Using traditional construction techniques such as tendon joints, dovetailing, pegged mortise, parquetry and hand carving, they offer high quality furniture at very reasonable price points.  They work with oak, alder, teak, mahogany, pine, rubberwood, and birch woods.

Some of their finishes are distressed which gives an authentic worn antique appeal that most companies tend to skip due to the time and hand precision that is required.  Waxed finishes are hand-applied over natural pine or selected painted colors.   Waxed finishes are often times at first somewhat tacky to the touch, but over time hardens and produces an aged look, in addition protects the finish.  Mallery Hall also uses hand applied glazing over painted colors giving it an additional authentic antique look, which is then sealed in with a clear lacquer finish.

It is important to know that Mallery Hall produces their quality furniture right in the USA, and adds new products weekly.  Their furniture is customizable which can take up to 6-8 weeks to deliver.  Reproduction furniture is hard to find, and trying to find a company that works with a variety of paint finishes is even more rare.  Mallery Hall’s French and Swedish lines are quite impressive, that we guarantee you will find a variety of pieces that you will love!

Swedish Furniture Ideas- Intricate Carved Detailed Metal Wood Mirror Oversized
French and Swedish Paint Colors- European House Paint Samples

This is only a few colors they offer.  We choose our favorite colors which would fit into a French or Swedish scheme.


Borrow Decorating Ideas From Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Swedish Gingham Decorated Manhattan Apartment


Jeffrey Bilhuber gives hope to all of us.  He had his first start in hotel management, and studied at the protegious Cornell University focusing on hotel administration.   He graduated from Cornell and lasted about three years in the business knowing that it just wasn’t the right fit.  His big break was at the Carlyle Hotel when he was placed in the  housekeeping department with designer Mark Hampton, who happened to be doing in-house redecoration of the rooms.  It was there that Bilhuber understood where he belonged.

Being a business man at heart, he needed a creative outlet to combine with the dry world of business.   He tells New York Social Diary – “Here is this man, Mark Hampton, who seems to be at the top of his field … here was somebody who had managed to actually put creativity and business together.’ And I thought ‘Why didn’t I think of this?”   The New York Social Diary features some astounding pictures of his Manhattan Apartment, and are still by far one of the best designed homes of all time.

Gingham Room

This room screams Swedish Decorating with modern touches.  Who knew Gingham fabric would look so striking on the walls.  This classic Swedish pattern looks stunning with hues of lavender and beige.  The fabric was extended to the windows, for a traditional cohesive appeal.  Bilhuber moved the beige from the walls onto the floor.  The floor design is one of the most incredibly beautiful yet simplistic patterns.

The floors were first limed and then paint was added to form the pattern on top of the herringbone wood floor.  It is interesting to see the pattern he choose for the floor.  The alternate patterns do work with the natural pattern of the herringbone.  The pattern is quite modern looking but the diagonal slant gives an interesting appeal to the room instead of a pattern which would run straight.  Do you see that the wood was limed, or white washed?  Having the natural wood showing through the white wash is especially beautiful.

A stuffed peacock was found on Ebay stands on a pedestal, and touches of green break up the natural colors adding a bit of punch.

The sketches of Abraham Lincoln are not on a white background.  This simplistic appeal of adding a colored background for a sketch is rather inspiring.

Above the sofa hangs a drawing on linen by Jean Cocteau.  Bilhuber obviously has expensive taste, as the Chinese style coffee table was purchased at Christies.

In the living room, slipper chairs designed by Jeffrey flank a 10 ft. long sofa covered in velvet by Jack Lenor Larson with Samuel & Sons bullion fringe. The Louis XVI gilt black leather chairs are the gem of the room.  The set of four 18th century gilt armchairs were purchased from Christies.

Groves Brothers Room

Peeking into the library, the stenciled floor in white and beige sets the tone for the adjacent study.  Bilhuber uses Groves Brothers fabric to upholster the walls and uses the same fabric which continue onto the sofas.  The most interesting aspect of this room is the nail head trim on the walls.  Bilhuber creates architectural depth with the square nail head trim on the walls and doors.

The first thing you see in this room is the bright tangerine colored lacquer ceiling and then your eyes refocus on the contemporary colors in the living space.   Bilhuber shows us a trick here.   If you are someone who is afraid of adding color into a room, why not try an unexpected place such as a ceiling, inside of a pantry, or a closet?

Bilhuber’s apartment features some superb antiques such as the Gustavian secretary and the 1930’s mirror which gives it an upscale appeal.   I think the secret to any really superb design is including authentic or reproduction antiques.   The  collection of white resin antlers surrounds a recessed television in the guest room and give a masculine feel to the room.  Ebay sells a number of faux antler trophies which range in price from $30- $60.  Don’t limit yourself to just antlers, consider other wall statues, that may be improved with some gray paint.

Gournay Room

This room is by far the prettiest room I have EVER come across.  Bilhuber  commissioned artist Nancy Lorenz to add designs of gold leaf on resin to the de Gournay wallpaper.  Did she use something quite thick such as silicone sealant, and then gold leafed the silicone when it dried?  If you look very closely, the designs are quite heavy, which is almost impossible for paint to do alone.  Perhaps she formed the designs on an upright surface, and once they dried, she gold leafed them and then hammered them on to the wall.  This is how I would achieve the look.

A Gustavian chest is topped with a pair of lotus lamps , and an antique chair is white washed with a leather seat giving the room that masculine appeal.  Again, all high end antiques, show high-end style.

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Design Basics: Expert Solutions for Designing the House of Your Dreams, by Jeffrey Bilhuber and Annette Tapert (Rizzoli, 2003) This book offers luxurious photography and easy-to-follow lessons on space, scale, color, and materials.

Jeffrey Bilhuber: Defining Luxury: The Qualities of Life at Home – Jeffrey Bilhuber returns with a second book after Design Basics, his successful debut volume. In Defining Luxury cortails his most recent projects from coast to coast.   The book features seven chapters in which each project is discussed extensivly from Bilhuber’s style and insight.


Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment with Gingham Walls And Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room
Swedish Furniture Inspiration- Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment Stenciled Limed Wood Floors
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room
Swedish Furniture Inspirations- Jeffrey Bilhuber- Groves Brothers Room

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN Yellow And Black

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN White and Green

York Wallcoverings Ashford Toiles Gingham Check Prepasted Wallpaper, IN Cream And Brown

York Wallpaper features a number of classy designs.  The toile is named for the French town from which the design style originated as a popular cloth print in the 1700’s. Ashford House has artfully recreated some of the original 18th century French pastoral scenes that define the style, while offering some beautiful contemporary interpretations that expand the boundaries of the definition. An extraordinary collection of elegant wallpapers, Ashford House Toiles provides classic designs in rich, traditional colors, as well as modern variations in color and style that are delightfully unexpected.

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment – Gournay Room- Swedish Inspirations
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Apartment – Gournay Room- Swedish Inspirations
Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Signature Nailhead Design

The Klismos Chair has been one of the most sought after chairs for years, but honestly almost impossible to find, leaving many people scouring antique shops from coast to coast. Its popularity peaked around 400 B.C., but was then resurrected in the 18th century, when classical furniture and architecture came into fashion.

Joe Niermann founder of Niermann Weeks, started his career in the insurance industry, but his passions for porcelain, pottery, and antiques lead him to volunteer at the Wisconsin Historical Society, which he learned all there is to know about restorations, paint finishes and antique furniture. That platform of knowledge enabled him to start his own restoration business in 1971. Niermann discovered that if most antiques could be restored while maintaining their structural integrity and original finish, antiques could then be cloned and reinterpreted into new designs.

In 1984, six years after the founding of the company, Niermann Weeks moved to Annapolis, Maryland, where it was incorporated in 1985. The Niermann Weeks chair above and to the left is a painted modern reproduction of an 18th-Swedish interpretation of an ancient klismos chair, and retails for $2,420. Over 40 percent of their business is custom-designed furniture requested from professional architects and designer clients. Niermann Weeks features more than 600 standard designs with 500 finishes.The company prides itself on employing a team of skilled artisans who create, by hand, 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century-style furniture that Niermann picks up in his world travels and thinks about reproducing.

European-style furniture with gold-leafed ornate decorations and glazed finishes are what the manufacturer is known for producing. Bradshaw Orrell,whom is the companies design director has lead the company in a unique direction featuring more rustic finishes that have the appearance of antique weathering that would look as if wear and tear took place over centuries of use. Hand carving and primitive techniques give the look of furniture made 150 years ago. Hand-painted finishes, some with floral motifs or gilded detailing, that give them a rich and original appearance, like one-of-a-kind furniture often found in antiques shops.

The attention to detail and unique faux finishes really take their furniture to the next level compared to all other manufactures. Niermann Weeks has showrooms in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and in 16 other showrooms across the country and in 21 shops in other regions in the United States.

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Niermann Weeks Chair
Swedish Furniture Niermann Weeks Gustavian Klismos Chairs

Stunning Niermann Weeks Klismos Chairs Found on La Design Concepts Blog

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Niermann Weeks Chairs


The Best Swedish Looks From Uttermost Furniture

Uttermost Gavorrano Bombe Foyer $1,075.80

You have most likely run across some of Uttermost’s ads as they have been featured in some of the most popular home decor magazines.  Their ads instantly draw you in with their stunning selection of lavish home decor, and adorable family pets.    Who doesn’t love little Tilly posing in front of a glamorous mirror, which could be in your home.   Bob and Belle Cooper founded The Uttermost Company in 1975, and it is still 100% owned by the Cooper family, as Mac Cooper is the CEO (who you also see in the ads), while Taz Cooper is the VP of Sales.

The company manufactures decorative home decor and accent furniture and has been in business for more than 33 years.  The family owned and managed company has approximately 290 employees working out of its Rocky Mount location and has a sales force of 120 representatives throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, etc.   Their product lines consist of mirrors, art, clocks, lighting, accent furniture, and accessories.  They feature a wide mix of contemporary home decor but also feature many pieces for period style decorating.  The first time I found their ad, I was blown away with the painted finishes which are typically found on  antiques.  Looking at their wide assortment of decorative pieces, they have truly incorporated a lot of different selections that could go into a wide range of styles.  The select few reproduction pieces often feature exquisite faux painted finishes that would work really well in a Swedish decorated home.

Uttermost Midnight Botanicals Wall


The Beautiful Finishes Of Uttermost Furniture – See them on Amazon (affiliate Link)

Uttermost Butterfly Plants Framed

Uttermost Moth Orchid Planter

Uttermost Retonja Accent Table is an accent table, in a cream finish, featuring delicate hand painting in blueberry and vine green. The overall dimensions: 27.5″ H x 22″ W x 22″ D. The weights & dimensions:29 lbs 27″H X 22″D X 22″W

Uttermost Bozeman Distressed Blue Frame

The best part of visiting their site was learning that the company name Uttermost was inspired from Acts 1:8. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Amen to that!  Possibly the founders were spirit filled Christians. 

Check out my top picks of furniture and accessories that would finish off a Swedish styled home nicely.As you can see in the picture the Darby Plaque is quite large.  This wall art would be grand above a door way!

The Garin Mirror which is a classic Robert Adams reproduction and features an ornate frame which is heavily antiqued with gold leaf, and then finished with a dark gray glaze.  This sells for around $250 on Amazon This neoclassical looking side table is one of the nicest in their stock and could go a long way in a Swedish inspired room.  This table features antiquing on iron frame with iron cross stretchers. Top is reinforced mirror and gallery shelf is clear tempered glass.

The grand Domenica Wall decor is quite large as you can see in their above ad.  It features heavily antiqued mirrors accented by ornate framing finished in lightly distressed chestnut brown with a heavy gray glaze.  It ranges in price from $480 from Uttermost to $657 from other companies on Amazon

Uttermost Fortino Clock Table in Sun Washed Patina has a stunning washed patina finish. The table is made from both fir wood and MDF construction, in a rottenstone glaze. The clock is distressed walnut brown with antiqued gold accents under glass. The overall dimensions: 24.25″ H x 24.25″ W x 24.25″ D, the weights & dimensions:
Unspecified 24″H X 24″D X 24″WUttermost Chesnee Accent Table is featured in a black finish, and made with a birch veneer and solid poplar turned legs. The finish has been distressed to show wood grain. The overall dimensions: 28.75″ H x 20″ W x 16″ D. The weights & dimensions are 20 lbs 28″H X 16″D X 20″W

Uttermost Achatius Table Lamp in Maple Wash is distressed in a maple wash finish. The table is finished in a crackled metal details, silver highlights, and aged black accents. Uttermost Achatius Table Lamp comes with an oval shade in silkened golden champagne textile with scooped corners and mitered creases. The overall dimensions: 33″ H x 7″ W x 11.88″ D, the weights & dimensions are10 lbs 33″H X 11″D X 7″

Uttermost Affleck End Table, features a distressed ash finish. The end table is both a MDF and wood construction . The top is finished to show natural grain. The overall dimensions: 27″ H x 22″ W x 22″ D, the weights & dimensions 27″H X 22″D X 22″W

Uttermost Leaf Botanical Study Framed Print Set features a set of 9 framed prints. Frames have champagne silver leaf base with a gray glaze and light black distressing. Designed by Grace Feyock, the overall dimensions: 13″ H x 11″ W x 1″ D , weights & dimensions
34.26 lbs 13″H X 1″D X 11″W

Trumeau Mirror from Adalina collection. This trumeau mirror is heavily antiqued with gold leaf with burnished edges. It features a dark gray wash and dark chestnut brown details. The trumeau mirror has ornate vine and shell design details. The designer is Grace Feyock, and the overall dimensions: 68″ H x 29″ W x 2″ D, the weights & dimensions are
27.4 lbs 68″H X 2″D X 29″W

The Avidan Mirror, 3 Panel Screen, Amiel Arch, and Amiel Large Arch are all beautiful.  This stunning mirror features a narrow metal frame finished in heavily antiqued gold leaf with antiqued style mirrors. This Avidan mirror was designed by Grace Feyock, and heavily antiqued gold leaf finish. The overall dimensions: 80″ H x 29″ W x 1″ D, the weights & dimensions:55 lbs 80″H X 1″D X 29″W


Uttermost Brigita Birds Statues in Cream features four piece brigita birds statues which are distressed in a crackled cream finish.  The birds feaure mossy green and rusty brown details.  The overall dimensions: 3.38″ H x 5.13″ W x 3.88″ D



Book Review: Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room


Lars Sjöberg is well known for his Swedish guides on Gustavian interiors and 18th and 19th century Swedish furniture. Sjöberg is a curator of the National Museum of Stockholm, and is author of several books : The first one being The Swedish Room (Creating the Look) published in 94, then L’Art de vivre en Suède, (2002), and his most current book Classic Swedish Interiors  published in 2010Lars Sjöberg has made it his life’s work to preserve Swedish manor houses that originated out of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Over 40 years he has acquired over 10 homes from around Sweden. His most current book – Classic Swedish Interiors published in 2010,focuses on Sjöberg’s most complex project: the manor of Regnaholm. The home was unoccupied for about 40 years when Sjöberg arrived in 1966. This home was his first allowing him to experiment with refurnishing and copying old Swedish furniture. Odenslunda, a small manor from the 1770s details an exquisite panelled exterior and is said to be his family home. Sörby was a renovation which was a 17th-century manor house, reproduced in its entirety for an exhibition in Stockholm.

Well known for his in depth knowledge about Swedish history, he has transformed many grand homes around Sweden with the help of his wife Ursula, and father whom was a metal smith and skilled in the carpentry trade. He told The Telegraph that as a young child his mother would read to him the history of Finland and Sweden and for his 10th birthday he was given his grandfather’s book about Sweden’s palaces and manor houses which fueled the fire for collecting historical furniture and restoring anything Swedish.  In the 1990’s he designed a Gustavian collection for the Swedish company Ikea. The Ikea collection was designed with his help, and being that he was involved with the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm, he was the perfect go-to-guy.

The Swedish Room” written in 94, with his wife Ursula is still one of the very best books on Swedish decorating and remains current considering it is more than a decade old.

This wonderful book features 192 pages of great attention to detail of the many ornate finishes found in Swedish decorating. This book is a must have for any decorative artist or faux- finisher.The interiors selected for this book are simple ones with soft color schemes, washed plastered walls, pickled floors, and certainly authentic 18th century interiors. The homes all feature a cleaner, pared-down look with not a lot of clutter which you would normally see see in french homes, but rather very carefully selected objects that are neoclassical in nature. Sjöberg features stately homes, which appear to be palaces or mansions in nature, but with simplistic interiors and basic elements. Swedish impressions from farms and cottages with higher end furnishings can inspire any person who is after the grander looks but with a natural appeal.

The most impressive of this book is his Ekensberg home which is located on the banks of the Lake Mälaren, about 40 km away from the Swedish capital Stockholm. This three-story Italianate villa built in 1788-90 feature some of the most stunning pictures. One in particular shows a time capsulated finish after layers of wallpaper were removed which revealed late eighteenth century decorations. (See below) The walls were originally covered in a linen which provided a perfect base and smooth surface for painting. The house was built and finished in neoclassical style during the time after the return of king Gustav III from Italy 1784. Lars Sjöberg has continued renovating this house since 1976 and says the work is never finished!

The book is split up into 5 main sections detailing specific periods of Swedish history.

Section 1- The Stirrings of International Style discusses the impact of the French and Italian Baroque of the period between 1640-1720.

Section 2- New Alignments discuss the Late Baroque and the Influence of the Orient, and England through 1720- 1750.

Section 3- Progressive Refinements discuss the spread of the French Rococo throgu the period of 1750- 1770.

Section 4- Elegance and Enlightenment discuss the Gustavuan style thriugh 1770-1790

Section 5 discuss the influence of Neoclassicism and the French Empire which took place between 1790- 1820

Additional sections discuss painters in Dalarna, Halsingland and Gastrikland, with a section that details restoration and recreating period homes.

Thank you to Belgian Pearls for the bottom fabulous pictures. The rest were obtained from a free preview of Google Books, which can be viewed for free. This book needs to be on your shelf. I guarantee it serve for many inspirational projects.

Swedish Decorating – Lars Sjoberg


Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room


Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room

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Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
Lars Sjöberg’s The Swedish Room
The Swedish Room – Picture Credit -Thank you to Belgian Pearls
The Swedish Room – Picture Credit -Thank you to Belgian Pearls
The Swedish Room – Picture Credit -Thank you to Belgian Pearls
Swedish Furniture and Decor – The Swedish Room



Book Review: Swedish Interiors By Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems

 Q&A with Edie Van Breems and Rhonda Eleish of Eleish Van Breems

Authors Rhonda Eleish and Edie Bernhard van Breems are the owners of Eleish Van Breems Antiques Swedish antique stores in Connecticut. Swedish Interiors was published in 2007, (affiliate link) and brings about years of expertise, experience, and passion for creating the very best of Swedish-inspired interiors. Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems live in Woodbury, Connecticut, and opened the doors to Eleish Van Breems Antiques in 1998, and specialize in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Swedish antiques. Eleish reveals that Swedish antique dealing runs in her family, as her great aunt Ittan Gullers has been a well known dealer in Sweden, so her paths in creating their business was easier than most she admits.

Swedish Interiors focuses on the Swedish influence in American Design from the perspective of both the modern and primitive design.  Immigrants who came to America brought along their heritage and customs as well as the decorative and architectural arts of their homeland. Swedish Interiors represents the best of Swedish design in America, and shows a viewpoint of Swedish style from an American Perspective.

Swedish Interiors documents 14 American houses each with their own interpretation of Swedish style extends beyond the familiar 18th-century Gustavian look.  A 1795 Colonial house in Rhode Island is a classical take on Gustavian style while a log ranch in Montana is also Swedish in style but gives us a peak into what it may be like to be an average humble Swede living in the American country side in the 18th century. A 1923 bungalow in Los Angeles and a Manhattan apartment showcases sleek modern interpretation of the luxury side of interiors influenced by Swedish design in the mid 20th century. Swedish Interiors also included photographs of competitive dealers: Lars Bolander of Palm Beach and, in Manhattan’s Paul Sigenlaub of Evergreen Antiques and Lena Kaplan of White on White.

With so few Swedish Furnishing books on the market, Swedish Interiors By Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems is a little bit different offering interpretations on the Swedish influence. Swedish citizens themselves find themselves wondering why Americans are so enamored with 17th century Swedish antiques that often try to reinforce the idea that there is more to Swedish design than the 17th century.

The book roughly showcases three distinct Swedish styles, that being:

A: Primitive Country Swedish Design

B: Classic 17th century Gustavian Swedish Design

C.Modern 20th & 21st Century Swedish Design

The Contents of the Book are divided up as showcases of Several Homes:

A: Country Swedish

1. Wisconsin Ranch of Loran Nordgren- features a home painted in country Swedish colors typically found in the arts and crafts movement. A classic mustard painted home is framed with white window casings, and a primitive red colored roof and green accents. If you are after a country primitive look with Swedish underpinnings, this review is for you. The home features decor typically known as folk decor, and is made up of walls painted in lime yellow with light blue trim, and stencils which outline the room. Reproduced Gripsholm chairs in a red check cotton center the room while folk primitive antiques show off classic Swedish looks. A Dalarna wood settee dated 1825 painted in Falun red with blue detailing is one of my favorites of this layout.

2. Interior Designer Diana Beatties Montana home is REAL authentic Swedish timber homestead which was restored to its former glory and serves as a second guest home on Beatties property. The design features classic looks often found in Montana, with Swedish country folk decor mixed in. Rustic stone and log walls, and painted Swedish country cabinets in dark blue and red make the decor a comfortable home you would find in the mountains. Beatties gives a fresh perspective on what a country Swedish peasant would live like, but also includes stainless steel appliances in the kitchen which goes hand in hand with the distressed cabinetry.


B: Classic 17th century Gustavian Swedish Design

From the distressed beige and blue-hued furniture many people are familiar with, and the Gustavian gold accents luxurious primitive patterns found in the Swedish Baroque, Rococo, and Biedermeier periods, Swedish Interiors by Van Breems and Eleish review the secrets to achieving that classical Swedish design. Pickled hardwood floors, lighter interior colors, window treatments, and classic Swedish decor is an elegant upscale style that can be incorporated into any home. 7 homes are showcased in Swedish Interiors that fall into the 17th and 18th century take on Swedish design.

1. Libby Holsten’s 1760 Rhode Island Colonial- Holsten’s reception room graces the books cover. After stumbling across some Swedish photographs she fell in love with the period furniture, and began collecting Swedish furniture which she began furnishing her homes in Newport and Boston. Some of the outstanding features of her home besides the Swedish furniture is the hand painted chinoiserie faux wallpaper painted in taupe and brown. The painting extends to the entrance hall and stairwell. The home went through an extensive restoration and was brought from a dark cold palette to one which featured ivories, grays and hues of blues. French doors were installed bringing in more light, as well as the rotted wood flooring was replaced with pickled oak. Antique Swedish furniture was mixed in with French, and a alluring collection of musical instruments. Some of the highlights of her home is the outstanding faux finishing on the walls. The Swedish antiques are beautiful to look at. The Rococo bench on page 23 is painted in a yellow ochre, and a gold gilt clock hangs above a stairwell on page 24. Gustavian lyre side chairs line the sitting room. Authentic paint distressed colors such as on the Swedish table on page 27 , and the 1780’s gilt Swedish clock on page 29 are incredibly inspiring to a painter like myself. A set of unusually heavily distressed Gustavian chairs gather around a trestle table in the kitchen. This showcase is for me is worth purchasing the book, as the Swedish paint finishes show a variety of furniture in green washes, blue and yellow washes, distressed cream finished and gray faux finishes in their very best.

2. Linda & Lindsay Kennedy- A couple which owns Chloe Decor – A Swedish antiques business in LA. Their California bungalow was restored by designer Nancy Fishelson. Linda , a Swedish native focuses her time on her thriving interior design business, while Lindsay spends his time on the retail side of the business. They frequent Sweden for buying trips to fill their LA store. The highlight is A late eighteenth century clock secretary featured on page (52-53)was one of the most beautiful pieces in their home, made from a combination of a Swedish Mora clock and a classic Swedish secretary put together as one.

3. The highlight of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne’s home was the hand painted wall murals (pages 61-65) by designer Claggett Wilson and decoupage in orange, blue and gold. Hand painted murals were often featured in high end Swedish manor houses and castles in the 1740’s to the 1780’s.

4. Lars Bolander and Nadine Kalachnikoff’s Palm Beach Home features a collection of Swedish and French eighteen century antiques. The home features painted paneled walls which are lined with classic black portraits. Sisal rugs are found in each room along side painted gray Swedish antiques

5. John Rabalasis’s New Orleans Home. Louisiana interior designer fell hard for Swedish furniture. His classic home is decorated in 17th century painted Swedish furniture and decor. Sea foam greens and blues sweep his classical home. The home is one of the features of the book because the authentic Swedish looks provide so much to admire. One of the key features are the classic Gustavian Swedish chairs that gather around a French walnut wine tasting table. The floors under the table are made of brick which is quite rustic in every sense. Natural jute rugs line the floors in the sitting rooms, while the beige and cream interior walls pull everything together. Klismos chairs sit at the entrance of his home, while stuffed bergere chairs corner the rooms. His home is in every sense a beautiful rendition of classic Swedish decorating.

6. Elish Van Breems Antiques – Features his unique Woodbury Connecticut antiques store which was a Nationally registered 1760 Thompson House. The home was built in 1760 by the first lawyer and magistrate of Woodbury, Connecticut. The home at the time was considered a mansion at the time it was built and was then restored by the previous property owners after it fell into neglect. The owners choose Falun red and white the most common color of Swedish farmhouses. A lack of window treatments and floor coverings create a sense of simplicity. The pine floors were striped, bleached and pickled to add an authentic Swedish Gustavian feel. The intent was to create more of a residential feeling than a business type of atmosphere.

7. Lena Biorck Kaplan’s Swedish Studio- Owner of Swedish design shop White on White originally was inspired by Stockholm’s Martine Collianders shop which featured beautiful Swedish gray and white interiors. Lena’s home features a reproduction Gustavian dining table and chairs and a nineteenth century Gustavian bed settee. White on White opened its doors in 1999 and grew exponentially allowing renovations 3 to 4 years after opening. She installed moldings,ragged the walls, and pickled the floors. They now expanded their business offering products on a national stage.

C.The Modern Swedish

The modern take on Swedish design is all about luxury. Hollywood regency is a comparable style in the 20th century, but Swedish modern has a slightly different angle. Swedish modern interiors still gravitate towards the lighter hues, such as white, gray, but incorporate natural materials such as wood, marble, and stone. For those who were inspired by Sweden have melded the very best concepts of Swedish design into their American homes but with modern furnishings

1. The primary residence of the Consulate General of Sweden is showcased on page 87. The residence is located at the corner of Park Avenue and Sixty-Fourth street in New York and was extensively renovated under the direction of architect Lennart Jansson. The furnishings of Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn which is known widely as the best of Swedish design. The consulate is decorated in contemporary Swedish furniture pieces against contrasting antique Swedish architecture. For example, in the dining room, black and white tile has always been the staple of luxury in castles but they add a modern twist by layering a gray and black fur hide under the contemporary modern white leather Danish dining chairs. The ornate curved arched doorways are grand to look at on pg 86, and the gray marble or stone fireplace on page 93 is of supreme luxury. No everyone has such deep pockets to pull off this style, but in my opinion is the best example in this book of the Swedish influences in the modern home.

2. Martina Arfwidson & David Weiss- Arfwidson founder of Face Stockholm, and Restaurateur Weiss – bought a property they had admired for years which was close to their home they lived to for years. While their home is filled generously with Swedish antiques, it has a modern underpinnings of modern aesthetics. Their home is bright and sunny while incorporating the natural Swedish palette.

3. Paul & Suzanne Sigenlaub – Although Antique dealer Paul Sigenlaub’s uptown Manhattan’s Evergreen Antiques features classic Scandinavian and Baltic Antiques, surprisingly his home features modern furniture. Their New York home is featured with a mix of classic Swedish 17th century furniture such as an 1830 Swedish demilune table with Eames leather dining chairs. The 1790’s Klismos settee is a rare find, is positioned opposite a contrasting Danish Kaare Klint 1930’s leather chair, and an Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair. Suzanne is Danish and their homes antiques were passed down through her family, and it was her heritage which sparked Paul’s curiosity into Swedish furniture. The walls were painted a diluted limestone, and the floors were given a white wash finish. Colorful contemporary art updated the home to 21st century style. The most impressive furnishings are the Klismos settee and side chair, along with the claw foot Gustavian bench and collection of Scandinavian wood folk art horses.

4. Aquavit Hakan & Catherine Swahn- Restaurateurs of modern Swedish cuisine sit at home in modern luxury with Swedish minimalism. Hakan’s father was a successful Swedish antiques dealer and was aquatinted with the best of Swedish furniture, and perhaps explains why the modern furnishings are showcased instead of the antiques of his heritage. They have a remarkable collection of designers such as Hans Wegner, Bruno Mathsson, and Piet Hein. Their home was renovated by architect Michel Franck, as well as their restaurant was designed around Nordic concepts. Their large 12,000 square feet restaurant on Fifty-fifth street is featured showing 20th century Scandinavian furnishings.

5. JoAnn Barwick’s Vermont Studio- Editor in Chief of Home Beautiful Magazine for more than a decade, Barwick fell in love with the elegance of classic Swedish furniture after visiting several locations throughout Norway of her families heritage. Barwick, herself published a book called Scandinavian Country, published by Clarkson Potter. Also since leaving Home Beautiful she has developed numerous lines for major furniture manufactures with classic Swedish and Gustavian lines. JoAnn and her husband Fred Berger spend their summer and fall in Vermont, and venture down to Florida in the winter and spring. Both homes have a New England style with underpinnings of Swedish decor. Shades of blue and white run though their home with both antique Swedish furniture and contemporary pieces work together to make their space fresh and balanced. JoAnne has designed for Drexel Heritage as well as a line of Scandinavian lighting for the Frederick Cooper Company.

6. Steve & Katie Hyen’s Connecticut Home is uniquely reconstructed from a traditional dairy barn. The massive 15,000 square feet barn is elegantly polished with marble and stone and has vast space with elegant modern furniture. The vast space, and light walls, and beautiful flooring serves as a great inspiration to anyone who wants the rustic feel of a barn but is drawn to the elegant modern looks of city living.

Swedish Interiors by Rhonda Eleish and Edie Bernhard van Breems is a must have for any person who is looking to decorate in Swedish style.   The book on Amazon has 12 honest customer reviews.  Amazon sells its copies from around 30 dollars American, but you can also buy the book on Amazon for around 5 dollars!!! What a bargain for a book with a large amount of  beautiful inspiring interiors.  10 people give it 5 (5 out of 5) stars, 1 person ranks it 4 stars, and one person ranks it 3 stars.

One customer ranks it 3 stars saying:

The cover of the book leads one to think that this will be a volume of traditional or “antique” Swedish style, but this is not the case. I was personally looking for a book of traditional and old fashioned Swedish interior and exterior styles and this book is not that, thus I gave it three stars. The book is nicely written and there are plenty of photographs and there is a bit of traditional style but the book focuses largely on the modern takes on Swedish style and many of the photos are of places in the United States that have somewhat Swedish flavored styles and definitely very modern styles.”

Granted, the cover does give the perception that the book features entirely 17th and 18th century Swedish interiors, so it is surprising to see it also lays the ground for designs that also focus on country and modern. Like the comment that is forever in my mind from a Swedish resident that claims “there is more to Swedish style than 17th century“, this book does just that. It throws aside just one form of Swedish design and covers a wider range of the style. Swedish Interiors has been featured on Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, House Beautiful, Travel & Leisure, the New York Times, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Victoria, and Yankee.

Swedish Furniture & Decor -Linda and Lindsay Kennedy 18th century Black Painted Rococo Writing desk

Swedish Furniture & Decor -Libby Holsten’s Pool House Swedish Living Room

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Eleish Van Breems Antiques Woodbury Connecticut





7 Secrets From Suzanne Rheinstein To Pull Off A European Decorated Home

Suzanne Rheinstein

Suzanne RheinsteinThe photos above and below were taken in a room designed by Suzanne Rheinstein at the Greystone Estate, the site of Veranda’s annual showhouse Picture seen on lusterinteriors.blogspot.com

Architectural Digest & House Beautiful magazines both publish annual lists of current successful designers, and Suzanne Rheinstein always is noted as one of the top designers in the LA area.   Other established designers such as Michael Smith, Thomas Beeton, Kathryn Ireland, Barbara Barry, and Waldo Fernandez also are all noted to be the best in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Rheinstein is owner of Los Angeles renowned Hollyhock, an extravagant LA Antiques Store.  Rheinstein is known for her relaxed, elegant style, and special attention to luxuries.  Beyond her store, and her book, Rheinstein also has a fabric line with Lee Jofa.

Rheinstein’s Manhattan Home made the cover of Elle Decor for the month of November 2010 featuring an upscale Gustavian designed residence in New York.   After her daughter Kate got married, and grandchildren were too hard to resist being away from, her husband Fred relented and the couple finally found the perfect corner space in the upper east side of New York.  Rheinstein tells Elle

We adore our house in L.A.,” she says. “It’s very forgiving and full of wonderful family treasures. But for New York, I wanted something a little more city, a little more stylized. And I wanted the palette to be a little more calm.”

The Gustavian styled home is filled with hues of grays, creams, taupes and soft greeny blues which is known to be classic Swedish style.    “There’s color, she adds, but “it’s just very offbeat, like the pale ochre pillow on the chaise…….”

Beyond the beautiful extravagant 18th century antiques Rheinstein owns, is a stunning mural which has captured the publics attention.  Bob Christian, a decorative painter and artist created a gorgeous mural that surrounded the room. The overall effect was a large scale toile look.   The room wouldn’t be the same without it.

Her current book At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past,  features six distinctive homes that express Rheinstein sophisticated elegant style.  The book also features both of her own homes in Los Angeles and New York.  Rheinstein’s book is beautifully photographed, and shows an inspiring volume of her own work, in which she mixes Gustavian with Edwardian and Regency with ease.  The book shows a range of styles including a brick farmhouse in the Virginia countryside to a  Beach in Newport Bay.


She has been quoted saying it is better to buy quality one-of-a-kind pieces, and decorate around them “Fewer but better things, painted surfaces, a mixture of furniture styles, a personal art collection and attention to comfort, colors, textures, details and light.”

We couldn’t agree with her more.

This 18th century Antique Swedish Gustavian Painted Bench is the epitome of Swedish furniture.  They are almost impossible to find in America, and quite expensive to purchase.  Rheinstein’s Swedish bench is upholstered in a dark  beige with undertones of olive and grey.  The bench perfectly sets the stage to match the paint on the walls which also governs the paint colors on the hand painted floors.

  • The secret to design is precisely as Rheinstein suggests- Designing around a few pieces of fabulous furniture.
  • Period antiques are well made and often have features that are very hard to come by in today furnishings.
  • A great antique usually has one of these qualities
  • Great Bones, and Style such as the curvature of Louis XV furniture, or the straight appeal of the Directoire styles of Louis XVI.
  • Fantastic aged patina– Gustavian furniture has incredible painted finishes with beautiful ornate painted motifs.
  • Quality wood like Empire Furniture , or Lavish wood veneers such as Regency furniture.
  • Well made statement pieces truly are show stoppers on their own that all that is needed is a few well chosen accent pieces to finish a look to get a magazine quality highly-decorated home.

See the November issue of Elle Decor For More Pictures of Her home.

Visit Hollyhock’s web site to see antiques, upholstery and decor items for sale


Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 4 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 5 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 6 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 7 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 8 Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 9

Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs Suzanne Rheinstein's Designs 2

Suzanne Rheinstein’s  Designs on Style Compass


These classic Louis XVI Style FauteuilDining Chairs are often found featured with classic Swedish decor.  Note the chairs are painted in a classic gray and washed in a fauxfinish and upholstered with a a red Ticking stripe.

Joni from Cote De Texas has an in depth article on Suzanne Rheinstein’sGeorgian home which is worth viewing.  It has been hard to locate any of Suzanne Rheinstein’s work, and Joni seemingly has went out of her way to gather some of the previous rare pictures of her amazing home through the transformations.  We borrowed a few of her pictures that really show the Swedish style in its best!

Compare her New York apartment with her LA Home, and you will see so many beautiful painted floors.  Paint can completely transform a room.  The colors on the floor in the above picture create a calming atmosphere.   The detail on the console is exquisite!  You would want to float a piece like this in the center of the room.  –  Picture from Cote De Texas



How To Wash Raw Wood For The Perfect Swedish Finish

Swedish Furniture & Decor Ideas - Directoire Chest By WisteriaSwedish Furniture & Decor Ideas – Directoire Chest By Wisteria

This chest from Wisteria is one of my favorites. The minimal carving paired with a calming hue of a painted wash gives this mango wood chest that Swedish feel.

The Swedish have always been known for their wood furniture and in North America, many people identify them more for their beautiful painted finishes.  In the Scandinavian countries of Northern Europe, the day light didn’t last long in the winter, and painting furniture became a natural response to adding light into their homes.  Countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, are much like northern Canada, in that the winters seem to last a lot longer, as the sun goes down quite early making the days feel shorter and shorter.  Midnight sun is when sun is visible for a continuous 24 hours, mostly north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle.   In Svalbard, Norway, the northern most inhabited region of Europe, there is no sunset from approximately 19 April to 23 August.

The opposite effect, which is called polar night, is where night lasts for more than 24 hours. This only occurs inside the polar circles.   Some populations in several countries experience these extra long summer days, and extended nights in the winter are those areas in the by the Arctic Circle such as  the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut in Canada.  The United States of America has a state above the Canadian Provence of British Columbia called Alaska which see these extended periods of night and day.  Also we have Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and areas of Iceland who also experience  varied degrees of longer winters and summers.

(Picture Credit Sarah Richardson, and Wisteria )

Swedish Furniture & Decorating – Early afternoon in Tromsø, Norway

The rustic grey antique painted finishes are why most people love Swedish ANTIQUE furniture.  The muted paint colors which have been naturally distressed over time have an ornate feel to them with layers of beautiful patina.  These old time paint finishes have become popularized by Restoration Hardware to Wisteria, and have become one of the most frequent emails we receive on our Painted Furniture site asking us to show how to achieve them.

Rustic distressed furniture has become incredibly popular as people turn towards the comfortable primitive looks for their homes as they settle down, moving away from the modern interiors of the upper city looks that tend to be cold and uninviting.  Today people still want the upscale furniture, but they also want the heirlooms of natural worn woods, and painted finishes that have been passed down through family generations.  There is nothing like throwing a log on the fire and cuddling up in a wool blanket with a cup of hot chocolate as you enjoy watching the kids run around with their toys, not worrying if a nick or scratch is going to ruin the look of a piece.

This Directoire Dresser By Wisteria is bleached and the naturally distressed acacia wood is accented with diamond patterns and antiqued metal federal styled hardware

One of the most common and easiest ways to achieve a Swedish distressed finish is simply by watering down paint and applying it to raw wood.

Most of all Swedish paint colors are muted grey and beige tones.  Other classic antique colors blues, greens, yellow, but they are all muted tones with some sort of black or white mixed in.   In the late 17th and early 18th century there was a limited amount of colors compared to our vast selection today so painters would either add black or white into the main colors they had available, which is why you see darker shades of green, yellow and blue, and then really milky white versions of basic colors.

The KEY to re-creating antique looking finishes are to work with the period colors, and not brights.  Bright white is never a color you find in antiques, and is often the number one mistake when people white wash furniture.  You want to stick with the undertones that have green or beige, as these are common undertones in antique furniture.

The best way to achieve THESE particular wood finishes that Restoration Hardware is so famous for, or Wisteria’s Directoire Chest looks is to work with bare wood.

I find that finishes that have a polyurethane top coat do not work well, because the paint needs to soak into the wood, so if there is a top coat, be sure to sand the finish down so the paint has something to grip on to.

Take some beige, or green-gray paint, and a small bowl with water in it.  With your paint brush dip the brush into the water, and then into the paint.   Your brush should contain a water down version of the paint.  As you can see in the primitive wood basket below, I used Painters Touch in the color Fossil, brushing on the paint, leaving it for a few minutes and then wiping it off.

I took a really weathered bench which had been eroded by the rain over several years and painted on a greenish beige over the entire bench.  I painted the entire bench on my front lawn within just 5 minutes.  It was a rather sloppy job of painting, but after 10 minutes, before the paint was really dry, I took the garden hose and washed it down with a small amount of pressure, which left only a watered down wash of the paint on the bench.

The paint should essentially penetrate the wood like a glaze, and reveal the wood below, leaving a wash. You can use any shade, so long as it is not white, but either has natural undertones such as green or beige.

Additional ways you can add time-aged character is to add marks to your piece of furniture manually giving the look of wear and tear.  Use a canvas bag that closes, or a natural type of cloth bag and fill it with bolts and nuts.  Hit the surface of the wood with the nuts and bolts, which will produce indentations in the surface of the wood.  Don’t go over board with a hammer or chisel, because they often don’t look realistic.

Painters Touch in the color Fossil is a color I use often.  You can buy it at Home Depot, although strangely enough I haven’t been able to locate the quart size on Amazon or at Home Depot. (Maybe it is just popular)  So I scanned in the formula I had Sherwin & Williams Make for me.

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Fossil Color CUSTOM COLOR Formula
Behr Paints – My Paint Suggestions For Swedish Furniture Finishes

Here are some of my suggestions with the Brand of Behr Paints.  My suggestion is to go with a color you really love.  I do enjoy working with Olive colors such as the top color UL 180-1, but I also use colors like UL200-18 in the middle.  The color I used leans towards for this project is the color in the bottom right hand corner, UL200-19, as my basket turned out darker than the pictures portray.  The key is to work within the natural colors, and within colors you really enjoy looking at.

The other paint suggestions I have are:

Martha Stewart Paints-  Heath MSL212

Martha Stewart Paints-  Mourning Dove MSL210

Behr – Sand Fossil 770C-3

Ace Paints- Dried Fern D23-6

Ace Paints – SW 6158

Swedish Furniture & Decor – Swedish Raw Wood Paint Finishes

Why A Natural Fiber Rug Is Essential For Pulling Off A Swedish Interior


 Ramie is also very comparable to linen and is also of a plant fiber from an East Asian plant.  Ramie is natural white in color, inexpensive and often mistaken for linen.    Ramie has a high luster and an unusual resistance to bacteria and molds making it also a great fabric for outdoors, although it is extremely absorbent and dries quickly. Ramie has been tested to be three to five times stronger than cotton and twice as strong as flax.

Natural fibered rugs have gained tremendous popularity over the years, as they blend well with all types of design styles and interior colors.   Natural rugs work with the glamorous modern eames styles, but also marry well with the antique scandinavian antiques, and act like a neutralizer with fussy overly ornate baroque and french furniture.  The natural fibers make it an excellent candidate to combine with the classic Swedish paint colors as many of the natural rug colors are beige or cream. Hemp fabric withstands water better than any other textile product making it an ideal fabric for outdoors, as well as for upholstery. Jute rugs are being showcased more often than luxury Persian rugs and Oriental carpets in renowned magazines such as Elle, Veranda and Architectural Digest.

 Jute is most often seen in sacks, rope, twine, and seen most frequently in rugs.  Jute rugs are clean and often times they don’t show the dirt like synthetic rugs.  While some find them comfortable, others say they are uncomfortable compared to plush tufted carpets. Jute rugs are hand-braided and hand-sewn.  Jute, being a natural fiber rug adjusts to its environment.  Dryer or more humid environments will cause the rug fibers to expand and contract.

I personally have owned many different types of natural rugs.  I have a 12 x 16 Jute in our living room, sea grass in our kitchen and sisal in our basement.  Each one is different, and every brand will differ.  While some of them are not thick, others are very heavy and sturdy.  I personally have had over 9 natural rugs and have loved them.  You just cannot go wrong with natural fiber rugs.


These beautiful natural fabrics are HEMP! Aren’t they beautiful? From Enviro Textile.

Some Of The Best Swedish Books Are Old And Sell For $4 Dollars Or Less

Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture

Jocasta Innes is the internationally renowned author of over sixty books on paint finishes, interior design and decorating. She is the founder of Paint Magic, which is a franchise chain of decorating shops which brought forth premier finishes such as color-washing and wood-washing.  Paint Magic by Jocasta Innes is still is one of the best paint technique books I own to date. Scandinavian Painted Furniture by Innes guides a reader through the background of Swedish painting.  Swedish painting has never caught more attention than in the last several years as people are still loving the lighter colored furniture, but want furniture more sophisticated than Shabby Chic.  Innes guides us through 5 countries which make up the Nordic Federation (Norway, Finland, Sweden,Denmark and Iceland) and have defined the classic Scandinavian Design through the 18th century.

Timber was widely available in the Nordic region which made it accessible to create new furniture, and common enough to transform with paint.  Classical Greeks painted marble, the Medieval English painted stone, and the Swedes were blessed with wood which they painted.   These few countries in the Nordic region left us a heritage of beautiful designs known world wide.

What makes pre-twentieth century scandianavian furniture so appealing is the detailed paint finishes that have lasted through generations.  Scandinavian furniture painting added color and provided much needed light into dark homes.  Swedes found themselves depressed by the notoriously long northern winters where daylight would last an hour or two.  Many homes were dark through the long winters, and without electricity, candles provided the majority of the light.  Homes remained so dark that extra measures over time such as paint used on furniture and on the walls was almost a necessity to bring in any extra available light.

Painted pieces were not limited to just free standing furniture, but also included cupboards, built in shelving, dressers and lets not forget the walls.  Painting furniture provided an appeal and allowed for variation than just wood furniture that decorated the home.  They also believed that layers of paint would deter beetles, as well as guarded against dirt, grime and wear and tear.  Old Scandinavian paint formulas contain vitriol and lime which did deter insect parasites which did eat tunnels through furniture, which overtime just fell apart.

There are two different styles of Antique Scandinavian Painted Furniture that developed in the Nordic countries.  One style was a rural peasant type of decoration that flourished within the middle class, and another style referred to as “gentlemanly” which was often found in the higher class grand homes.

Scandinavian / Swedish Peasent Furniture:

Rural country peasant furniture is often referred to as folk furniture which is often distinguished by strong colors and a wealth of decoration.  Peasant art and painting was not notable for its originality or self expression.   Each distinct area would have specific colors much like national sports teams.  For example the NFL is made up of  30 teams started out of the major cities of the United States.  The Seattle Sea-hawks wouldn’t wear the Washington Redskins uniforms, much like the Scandinavian regions wouldn’t paint anything but their own distinct motifs which were passed down through generations.  Painters were content to work within an inherited regional collection of motifs and colors.  Much of this resulted just from the inspiration in their local areas.  They didn’t have the internet to compare different styles, but they did from time to time discover new techniques and  embellishments which they would just adjust some changes on their basic themes.   A regional style or a typical color scheme once laid down, was then faithfully copied in its essentials by the succeeding generations of painters and craftsman.  Today, as they sift through different Swedish furniture which a name is accredited,  is often individual artists which had an acknowledgement of local reputation.


Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Folk Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Scandinavian / Swedish Gentlemanly Furniture:

The other renowned definitive painted furniture most people are acquainted with is referred to as “gentlemanly” furniture, thus making the distinction between the peasant farms and gentleman estates.   This furniture was made for upper class grand homes, and castles than the wooden villas and urban middle class homes.

This type of Scandinavian furniture is all together different in its use of paint, color, shape and function.  These classes of people were well educated and travelled and were familiar with areas of high influence such as Paris, London, Berlin and St Petersburg. The styles of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassicism were then repeated in their Scandinavian homes with the aesthetic remaining the same, but the overall design distinctly Scandinavian.

By the 18thcentury, soft colors became quite popular. Putty, straw yellow, blue and green were finished with layers of glazes and combined with gold leaf.   Upper class furniture had a restrained sense of color, typically simple with limited decoration.  The overall finish was sophisticated, formal and elegant, than fussy brightly painted country styles.  Furniture was often made of softwood, and its shape, style and function imitated foreign models from other countries.

Higher Class Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Higher Class Furniture ~ Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Scandinavian / Swedish Country Provincial Furniture:

As high society moved on to country estates, so did the furniture.  Some of the most appealing Scandinavianfurniture comes from this style, as it is known as “provincial”, with local touches.   Jocasta Innes’s step to step painting guides are some of the best painting books on the market.  Scandinavian Painted Furniture details over 20 projects typical to Swedish painting and decoration.

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture
Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture

Swedish, Gustavian, and Nordic Style Furniture


How To Stain Fabrics With Tea To Get An Antique Appearance


Tea Stained Fabric From Country Living Magazine

Tea staining is one of the best kept secrets that designers use to distress and alter upholstery fabric to give an aged look when recovering antique chairs, drapery and linens.  Staining fabric can turn some of your existing fabric remnants into naturally aged material which could be a source of new accents for your home.   Tea staining a fabric doll could be the perfect centerpiece for your child’s bedroom, or create some vintage throw pillows for that room that needs a touch of old-fashioned character.

How to Naturally Stain Fabric with Tea

Tea staining works the best with natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, muslin, and linens.  Synthetic materials will not accept stain.  The very first thing you will need to do is wash the fabric which removes the chemicals and starch from the manufacturing process.  From the wash, you are ready to dye your fabric with tea. Your fabric is needing to be damp, than dry.  If you’re starting with dry fabric, soak it in water briefly, then squeeze out the excess water.  Utilize a pot big enough to hold your fabric allowing ample room for the water to move around the fabric and folds easily.  Bring the water to a boil, and add in the tea bags.

NEXT let tea bags steep for about five minutes in your boiled water, and then remove the bags from the water. Mixing both the tea bags and fabric together will result in darker stains which could be a detail that may look  horribly dirty than naturally stained. Remove after the color achieved is to your liking.

“Tea” comes from the Chinese who transformed this popular drink from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. There are six basic varieties of tea; white, yellow, green, black, oolong, and pu-erh. The differences are determined by how they are processed, as some such as green tea are dried, but not wilted, while others go through a enzymatic oxidation, which is called fermentation.  Standard black teas will give a soft brown or cream color to your fabric, while some of the herbal teas leave more of a red tone.


 Rit Dye Taupe, Rit Dye Golden Yellow, Rit Dye Dark Brown,Rit Dye Kelly Green
Rit Dye Teal,Rit Dye Liquid Cocoa Brown,Rit Dye Yellow
Rit Dye Tan, Rit Dye Pearl Grey, Rit Dye Apple Green,Rit Dye Tangerine

 Round Galvanized Tub Oval Galvanized Steel Tub

Other tips:

Your fabric will dry a shade lighter.  If you find that you have waited too long and the dye has turned out darker than anticipated, bleach could turn it a few shades lighter.

Either, 1- Fill up your washing machine with water with some bleach, and allow it to go through a cycle in the wash, or…….

2- Fill your galvanized bucket with water and bleach and turn your material around in the bucket until you are happy with the color.

WARNING- If you choose to use the bucket method, please please please cover your face with a mask and a exterior towel over the mask.   Proceed at your own risk, and always consider using this technique outdoors.

For additional Information on dying fabrics check out this article by Dawn Jacobson who gives some unique tips that I have found useful.

Dying textiles can recreate something quite ordinary into something with antique charactor.  It can transform a set of roman shades, a vintage stuffed animal, or a childs vintage dress.  Dying fabrics will never go out of style and could be a technique to add some historical character into a your home.

I don’t have a tremendous amount of time for projects, but every once in a while I am able to get in a painted chest, or a sewing project. We all have different skill sets, and for me, the quicker and easier the project the better! I love drum lampshades, but I find that the over sized drum shades don’t work as well with thinner lamp stands. I found some smaller scaled drum shades at a local thrift store so I thought I would try re-covering them. I removed the shade of its previous fabric, and hot glued a beige linen fabric to the outside. I didn’t glue anywhere except the top and bottom metal frame at this point in the project. I then measured the inside and sewed together an inside fabric and glued it to the top and bottom of the frame on the outside. Lastly, I finished the frame off by sewing a strip of the same fabric to the top and bottom of the frame to complete the look. If I were ever to do this project again, I would work only with very light linen, as I find when I turn on the lap the light doesn’t project through the fabric. Lighter fabric would illuminate the room better than thicker linen. This project takes a good days work, or for some of you quicker workers, perhaps half a day work. I would certainly do it again for the right lamp!


41 Pictures Of Designer Swedish Inspired Homes

Carol GlasserCarol Glasser

Carol Glasser; one of one of Houston’s finest interior designers immediately sought the insight of renown interior designer Katrin Cargill and author of Swedish Style: Creating the Look to create the overall look of a Huston Townhouse.  Katrin Cargill who is one of the leading authors on Swedish design, publishing more than 14 books on interior design, transformed this Huston Townhouse along side Glasser, which landed on the the 2007 issue of Home Beautiful .  Katrin Cargill shares her secrets along with Carol Glasser to Home Beautiful’s Christopher Petkanas.

Cargill tells us that room-to-room views are a hallmark of Swedish style, and that they created that look in the Huston home by taking out a number of the doors to create the open look of classic Swedish homes.

Enfilade the formal architectural term is actually a series of rooms aligned up with one other commonly seen in museums and art galleries. Ideally with this arrangement, a person can get an eye view into 2 or three rooms, as the entry doors are aligned perfectly with the the connecting rooms. This European architectural feature was a common design in the Baroque period.

Joni from Cote De Texas tells us the inside story on this home, being that it belonged to a personal friend of hers. Joni also holds the story of the same house which appeared in Country Living magazine a few years prior. She tells us that the owners sold everything from their former house and only kept everything they absolutely loved, which they then designed around. They wanted to design the home to be as authentic Swedish as possible.

It was pleasing to hear the owners spent years acquiring a house full of furniture – piece by piece. Buying authentic swedish furniture or reproductions could cost an arm and a leg if you didn’t collect over time. In addition, swedish furniture is very hard find in the United States. As you see in this Huston home, not everything is antique. The standard swedish cotton check gives an antique look to the modern sectional. Combining authentic textiles with antiques can give you the genuine look while making it affordable.

If a person has a draw to a particular style, over time your most priced pieces will fall into a category of design. She tells us that each purchase was deliberate and thoughtful, as she didn’t mind waiting years for just the “right” table or the “perfect” lamp to turn up as Joni tells it.

Cargill tells us the key to this design is not having any heavy upholstery, rather furniture that has graceful legs. The house was finished with wide Canadian pine-plank flooring were installed and finished in a chalky limed treatment typical of classic Swedish flooring. The family room featured a beautiful antique French fireplace that had a beautiful aged faux finish. The rustic paneling gives a feeling of a Swedish home that might have the wood walls painted. The walls were graced with Italian oil paintings, backed with light blue painted walls. Faux painted yellow and red walls, toile wallpapers lined bedrooms. The Swedish Mora clock was the first to inspire the entire house colors which were the classic pastels such as pale blues, pinks and reds.

The Townhouse Decorated in Swedish style and Furniture can be found on Katrin Cargill

View More of this home at Home Beautiful – here

Katrin Cargill & Carol GlasserThe House in Home Beautiful

Mora ClockPhoto by Karyn R. Millet

Swedish Botanicals

The designers had an artist hand-color and glaze 18th-century black-and-white Dutch engravings for the sunroom; eleven are originals, the balance photocopies that are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.


House-Beautiful-Carol-Glasser-Katrin-Cargills-Swedish-Transformation-Swedish-Furniture-Style2This room seems to have more of a shade of green than blue, in some of the pictures below

Katrin Cargill & Carol GlasserA Close Up Picture of a Portrait Painting

Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser

 Katrin Cargill & Carol Glasser’s Swedish Interior

(Swedish painted sofa, the other with a sprawling Charles sectional from B&B Italia. Walls faced in rustic planks are painted Low Tide below the faux chair rail)

 Carol Glasser Interiors Directoire Style Table From Cote De Texas Blog

Jill Dienst

In the September -08 issue of Martha Stewart, Swedish antiques dealer Jill Dienst, and owner of Dienst & Dotter revealed marvelous Scandinavian Antiques and Furniture in her Sag Harbor home. Dienst started collecting Swedish furniture after working for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in the European paintings department. Dienst spent decades at some of the finest public and private institutions in the art, design and antiques. The Metropolitan Museum of Art gave her the trained eye to distinguish original century-old paint from modern paintings and Didier Aaron (a legendary dealer of European pieces) gave her the platform she needed in antiques which allowed her to gain a legitimate reputation that Dienst + Dotter needed to specialize in creditable objects from the 17th century to the mid-20th century.

Dienst + Dotter was launched in 2005, specializing in Scandinavian antiques, paintings and furniture.

After selling French antiques, I found Scandinavian ones so refreshing,” she says. “They’re lighter, quirkier. They pare everything down to the simplest form.” She tells Martha Stewart Magazine

Jill and her husband Daniel tell Martha that they stumbled across their home after being drawn to the water that Sag Harbor’s small-town atmosphere provided. Only after a few hours, they found a home they loved and made an offer the same day.

Photos From Martha Stewart and Space For Inspiration Blog, See the additional photos at Martha Stewart Magazine.

Scandinavian Furniture - From Dienst + Dotter

Scandinavian Furniture – From Dienst + Dotter

Scandinavian Furniture - From Dienst + DotterScandinavian Furniture – From Dienst + Dotter

gorgeous window at Dienst plus sign Dotter Antikviteter nyc

Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter… Gorgeous window display at Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter in NYC

Picture Credit –finderskeepersmarketinc.blogspot.com

Gustavian Swedish Decorating Shannon Bowers From VerandaGustavian Swedish Decorating Shannon Bowers From Veranda

Shannon Bowers’s home is still one of the prettiest homes ever to be featured in a magazine showcasing Swedish styled decor. The house was filled with endless antiques all featuring stunning distressed paint finishes. Each room is enough for me to ramble on and on about the lovely choices she made for her home. Among all the rooms, the nursery was by far the prettiest of the rooms. One of her design secrets is obviously picking great pieces, as they speak for themselves in a room. As you will see, her home isn’t cluttered with endless antiques, rather well chosen pieces in keeping with the colors of the Swedish palette. The crib is painted a light blue, which brought forth a nice contrast against the creamy white walls. She layers in wood and natural linen in the upholstery to give it a very natural comfortable appeal.

The rug gives a distinct Swedish touch. The balloon chandelier gives a whimsical element that every babies room should have. Consider the Orb Chandelier by Currey & Co Wiggins, which features a spherical pendant wrapped in natural burlap and banded with wrought iron. This chandelier sells close to 1K, however if you are looking for something less expensive, consider a hanging a number of blue paper lanterns.

The antique tricycle really sets apart this room from other nurseries. If you keep your eye on ebay,many unique tricycles show up from month to month.

One of the more subtle elements in the room are the window shutters. They almost blend in to the wall paint in Bower’s room, but add a very antique feel when mounted to the walls. Color is everything when you are pulling together a Swedish Gustavian styled room. I am sure you will agree with me, there isn’t a prettier nursery than Shannon Bowers!


Swedish Baby Decor

Rustic Swedish Baby Decor – $93 on Amazon

Stripe Rug on AmazonInexpensive Striped Rugs $177.75 Amazon

Swedish Home

Located in Water Mill, this c. 1910 estate was formally a retreat for nuns, but purchased by Nine West founder Vince Camuto for $35 million back in 2005. After putting six years of intensive renovation, the couple decided to put the house on the market once again.  – See the rest on Home Bunch Blog

An 18th-century Swedish corona from Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter complements the Ralph Lauren Home bed and linens. At the foot of the bed is a TV cabinet designed by Egan and covered in a Bergamo horsehair.

Swedish Style HomeIn the breakfast room, a chandelier from English Country Antiques is suspended above a Lars Bolander iron table with a bleached-oak top; the settee is by Roark Modern, and the antique Swedish side chairs are upholstered in a Holland & Sherry linen.

Swedish Design

d*s road trip 2008, www.designsponge.com

Veranda November December 1999Veranda November December 1999

Mary Douglas Drysdale is a designer to study if you are looking to decorate in period design. Her her offices are located in Washington, DC, and has been published both nationally and internationally. Drysdale Design Associates was founded in 1980, and focuses on both commercial and residential interior design. Known throughout the United States and abroad she is the recipient of numerous design and achievement awards. Mary Douglas Drysdale is best known for developing a traditional architectural background combined with antiques and period furniture. She is also recognized for her effective yet brilliant ability in using color in design. If that is not enough, Drysdale has created over 100 custom furniture pieces through the years. Borrow some brilliant looks from Mary Douglas Drysdale for your Gustavian styled home.

Mary Douglas DrysdaleRon Blunt has some additional photographs of Mary Douglas Drysdale’s interiors on his website.

Things-That-Inspire-Blog-500x397This lovely picture is from Things That Inspire Blog

Mary Douglas DrysdaleDesigner Mary Douglas Drysdale, featured on The Avolli Blog

Designer Mary Douglas DrysdaleDesigner Mary Douglas Drysdale


Borrow some ideas from Todhunter Earle for your Swedish and Colonial decorating. Their company was founded in 1988 by Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle joining as her partner 1998. The firm has designed everything from English castles to well known restaurants, yachts and nightclubs throughout Great Britain, Europe, Russia, South America and the United States. Below are some pictures with Swedish Gustavian looks that you can replicate in your own home. They mix a modern contemporary looks such as graphic wallpaper with antique painted distressed furniture. Natural linen is mixed with contemporary glassware. White and cream and gray hues are used throughout the rooms to create a clean and natural appearance.

Beautiful paneled walls are painted in a muted blue, and accented in brass hardware. Look though Behrs vast color selection for great color inpirations.

Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-2 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-4 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-8 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-10 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-12 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-13 Todhunter-Earle-Interiors-66