Gustavian Romance By Melissa Goldstein

A Swedish twist on French neoclassicism, Gustavian décor may date back to the 18th century, but its suddenly popping up everywhere–like Selena Gomez. Some tell-tale signs your favorite space is aligned to this trend? A pale-on-pale color scheme, intricately carved wood furnishings, and incredibly flattering date night lighting. If the aforementioned design tenets are (Nordic) music to your ears, follow our tips below to get the look. 01 Think soft focus with your color scheme: powdery whites and blues are the order of the day.

gustavian-market-01 gustavian-market-02 gustavian-market-03
Gustavian Gray Dining Table, $1574, Kathy Kuo Home Uttermost Portici Rectangular Mirror, $383, Arcadian Home Patric Chest, $2740, Bliss Home & Design

  02 Painted wood pieces finished with thoughtful but not overly ornate carved detail are a must.

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Gustavian Tall Clock, $4500, 1st Dibs Zentique Louis Settee, $1582, Amazon Provence Dining Chair, $489, Kathy Kuo Home


This aesthetic traditionally depends on subtlety and a more low-key approach to luxury, so seek out textiles in warm neutrals with nuanced texture: ivory linens accomplish all of the above.

gustavian-market-07 gustavian-market-08 gustavian-market-09
Bangalore Paisley Navy, $112, Arianna Belle Duvet Cover Basic Queen, $545, Calypso Simply Shabby Chic Patchwork Bolster Pillow, $35, Target

04 Ask yourself: Would this work in Phantom of the Opera? If the answer is yes, then that candelabra or crystal chandelier you’ve got your eye on is very likely the statement moment you’re looking for.

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Four Arm Candelabra, $625, Garde Aidan Gray Denbigh Castle Chandelier, $2250, Candelabra Candelabra Sconce, $140, Wisteria

05 Yes we know, we just got finished telling you that this trend is all about light hues, but if you want to add a modern spin, introduce a dark accent to create dimensionality.

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Handcarved Gustavian Desk, $798, Anthropologie Capital Pillow, $36, Zara Home Crown F Tortoise, Price Upon Request, Canopy Design Ltd.

Photographs: Looks Like White, The Paper Mulberry, Paintura Home, Remodelista, Chalk Farm


A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

In the March 2013 issue of House Beautiful Magazine, featured a home with a unique flair for the Scandinavian style.  The owner spent years collecting Swedish pieces, and together with her designer, Charles O. Schwarz III,  they created a home that captures all the charm of a period Swedish interior.

To give warmth to the home, Schwarz installed planking on the walls and bead board on the ceiling and painted it all Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red. beautifully they mix the red with rustic wood.In the breakfast room, dark blue walls add so much drama.  The Gustavian chandelier and mirrored sconces which draw attention to themselves in this dark room, as the lights are turned down and the candles are lit at night.


The home is surrounded by neutral furnishings and paint colors.  This color combination can be seen in the rugs, the choice of cabinetry, tile work in the bathroom and the soft Scandinavian furnishings.  A beautiful selection of wallpaper is seen throughout the house in the living room, and several bedrooms, adding a softness to this home.  Farrow & Ball’s Ringwold wallpaper complements the living room’s creamy checkerboard flooring, which was painted by the previous owner. Pay special attention to the choice of paint colors on the trim work, which nicely blends with the overall theme of each room, while at the same time highlights the beautiful architecture of this Greek revival home.  See so many more beautiful pictures of his home at the House Beautiful website

A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New YorkA Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York A Swedish Collected Home In Upstate New York

Go Bold With Red- Part 1 Grand Sophisticated Interiors

French Commode Lacquered Red From Live Auctioneers

The color red is grand, and is a color everyone considers for their home at one time or another. The color red is a symbol of privilege and wealth. Official seals often use the red, as a gesture of confidence and authority. Red can make a statement in your home in a very powerful way, although it can be hard to execute. We show you 5 ways to pull off this color with success.

5 Ways Of Using Red In Your Home

1. Use Red In The Kitchen Or Entry Way

Red is the color of passion and has been known to stimulate blood pressure and heart rate. Red also sparks passion, love, and enthusiasm, so it is color often used in romantic restaurants. What better place to encourage conversation and hunger, than at the dinner table.

Consider painting your dining room table red. Instead of painting the whole table red, leave the top untouched, in it’s natural wood state. To add a Swedish touch, consider painting the details in gold. In this post, you can see how lovely a red can look in a country provincial style.

2. Use Red In A Pattern on Decoupaged Furniture

There are many ways of decorating with red other than painting your walls. One way of doing this is decoupaging furniture. Decoupaging is rather easy, and you can execute the process a number of ways.

One way is to use cut outs. Simply find an image you like from a magazine or on the Internet, and photocopy it several times over, which you can then cut out, and apply it to a piece of furniture. This Swedish tiled stove would be an excellent example of how lovely a red floral pattern would look on a chest.

You can even take fabric and glue it to a chest, with modge podge glue. Add pattern into your home, or finish off a room based around patterns by decoupaging your furniture.

Inspirational Posts On Decoupaged Furniture

How To Decoupage FurnitureThe Swedish Furniture

Louis XV Style Red Lacquer Side Table From Hastening AntiquesProvincial Furniture

4 Easy Steps To Decoupage Beautiful FurnitureThe White Dresser

Decoupage Is Simple! Update Your Kids FurnitureKids Room Decor

Swedish Interiors: How To Decorate With The Color RedThe Swedish Furniture

3. Use Red In Acessories

-Add a bit of a modern glam using abstract art with bold touches of red. Consider using a heavy ornate frame with a modern poster. Modern Styled Paintings or Posters would add a modern touch in a home with plenty of antiques.

Juju wall hats are a perfect way of adding a bold touch of red in a room. You can purchase these hats in a number of vibrant colors, which can be placed above a dresser, a console table to add in a bold touch of color into your room.

-Below you see the Stockholm apartment in Sweden with the red room. Below it shows a picture of the living room based in white with natural wood furniture. If you want a room based in lighter colors, consider a large area rug in red, like they did. An over-sized floor rug can make a bold impression.

– Another way of adding saturated color into your rooms is to accessorize with red wool blankets. Point blankets can add a rustic touch to your home, and can be thrown over the sofa, or used on the bed, or stacked on a shelf.

– Chairs are a great way of implementing red into a room. Chair frames can be painted red, or upholstered in red fabric.

-If red walls are a bit too risky for you to consider then why not consider red and white bedding? Paint your bed-frame red, with touches of gold, and consider getting a comforter, sheets,a pillowcases all in red. Or paint the frame gold and red, and go with an all white sheeting as you see below.

Continue Reading…

Go Bold With Red- Nordic Country Interiors

To start thinking about how you would like to include red in your home, here are a couple questions you must ask yourself:

  • Into which room do you want to add red? kitchen, living, bath or entryway?
  • How prominent do you want the color to be? All over color or an accent pieces in red?
  • How much daylight is in the room? morning, afternoon, or both?

House Beauiful compiled 24 of the best reds from the top leading designers.  Here are my favorite 9 red shades of paint from their selection of 24


1.”This is a really deep coral, kind of like a cheerful Chinese red. Pinks and reds to me are synonymous with frozen drinks and relaxing.” –Richard Mishaan, Benjamin Moore’s Chili Pepper 2004-20

2.”When I look for red, I want a pure, true red, like the color in the American flag. Ralph Lauren does absolutely the best. It’s the essence of red. It makes me think of boating or polo.” –Suzanne Kasler , Ralph Lauren Paint’s Dressage Red TH41

3. “Red never goes out of style. It’s full of life — always fresh, always fun to wake up to. We go for reds with less blue in them and more orange because they’re happier to live with.” –William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, Ralph Lauren Paint’s Lattice Red IB57


4. “It’s a true, deep red. I like the temperature of it: it’s a bit cooler. But a little red goes a long way. It’s good in areas where you don’t spend much time or in boring areas that need a strong burst of color.” –Roderick Shade Pictured, Benjamin Moore’s Million Dollar Red 2003-10

5. Benjamin Moore’s Redstone was used in Eldon Wong’s cupboard.

6. “All my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said “I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple” — they have no idea what I’m talking about.” –Diana Vreeland, Benjamin Moore’s Red 2000-10


7. “Red is the color of excitement, and I tend to go for corally orange reds. With red, you know you’ve arrived and you glance in the mirror and realize how great you look and breeze right in.” –Keith Irvine, Benjamin Moore’s Salsa 2009-20

8.”I prefer the warm, vibrant reds to the historic reds, which are beautiful but sedate. This is a daring red, a real fire engine red. It has a playfulness that reminds me of a little red schoolhouse.” –Ruthie Sommers, Fine Paints of Europe’s Dutchlac Brilliant Tulip Red W1001B-M

9.”Lately I’m on this anti-completely-neutral kick. You have to have some seasoning in your rooms. Sangria is good, universal-donor red — not too blue, not too orange, not too dark.” –Elissa Cullman, Benjamin Moore’s Sangria 2006-20

Get samples of your chosen color, and paint a large section of your wall to determine what color looks best through out the day.   Some colors will appear more grayed, while others may appear more saturated.

4.  Paint Your Furniture Red Than The Walls

If you want an all-white based room, consider painting larger furniture pieces in red.  In this post we show you a red provincial chest in a country style.

For a rustic country look, start by striping your furniture of it’s prior paint and urethane.  I find using a heat gun the best way to strip furniture without using chemicals.  Ideally you want the wood to soak in the paint, which will allow you to distress it better, when it is dry.  I find even if I paint a piece of furniture that has urethane on top, the sanding doesn’t look as great compared to wood that is raw.  Use a flat or satin red paint on the piece.  Distressing is the key to this look.  Later, adding brown glaze to the top of the paint, which you can either paint on, or wipe off will blend the wood and paint color together to give you that aged look.  These three steps have allowed me the best results to achieving an old world antique painted furniture looks.  Don’t be afraid of going crazy with the distressing.  You cannot go wrong with over distressing, expecially when you start with raw wood.  You can always go back, touch up the areas that have too little paint, and distress again to blend the areas together.

5.  Combine Red With Natural Wood or Black Painted Furniture

The picture below shows a Scandinavian entry way in a traditional red,  featured in Lars Bolander’s Book- Scandinavian Design, this entryway is furnished like a real room instead of a transit area.  A black painted rococo side chair with gold details contrasts nicely against the red painted plank walls.

If you choose to paint your walls red, such as the room below, consider placing furniture that is painted and heavily detailed.  White, black or natural wood furniture looks the best against saturated colored walls such as the picture below.  Find furniture with some detailing.  Perhaps a solid wood unfinished chest with gold detailing.  Another way to go in the picture below is a wood chest with black detailing.

Photo by Staffan Johansson From Palm Beach Daily News

Original Photo From Lars Bolander’s Book- Scandinavian Design

Lars Bolander’s New Book- Interior Design & Inspiration- The Swedish Furniture


Same home from From Lars Bolander’s Book- Scandinavian Design

Close up of the chair….

Swedish Baroque Captain’s Arm Chair c. 1750

Beautiful 18th Century Swedish Chair. Painted black with intricate gold-leaf detail.

This lovely grandfather clock boasts the traditional curves of the Swedish Mora design. The original black paint is accented with gold flourish detail, while the bottom has a lovely pastoral scene with lake and swan in forefront.

Gods & Gårdar Magazine

2012 Swedish Winter Photo from Fantastic Frank

Period Gustavian two over two chest of drawers in red paint. Egg and dart molding at the top, with fluting and carved rosettes on the chamfered sides. Cupboards & Roses

 Swedish Cupboard Bed From Moon To Moon Blog

Classic Swedish rocking chair with unusual paint. These chairs were usually painted black. The wood grain and floral finish is rare. This six legged style was made between 1830 and 1850, after that the 4 legged version took over.

 Næslund Antikviteter – Swedish Furniture

Næslund Antikviteter – Swedish Furniture

Næslund Antikviteter – Swedish Furniture

Næslund Antikviteter – Swedish Furniture

Næslund Antikviteter – Swedish Furniture  

18th C. Swedish Rococo black painted chest with rare brass hardware decorated with crown and cross, circa 1760.

Swedish at Tone on Tone Antiques

Swedish Gustavian Bench, 18th century, with traditional “Falu” red paint

D.LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel

Louise Bourgeois exhibition at the Nordic Watercolour

Distressed Red Chest From Gruvgatan13 Blog

Gustavian style white dining room in a classic Gustvian style, with painted wooden furniture and red accents. The red is given a pink partner seen in the slipcovers for a soft look. House To Home

Swedish-style Dining Room – House to Home Magazine

Antique Vintage French Fabric  ~ Project Bundle From Loody Lady on EBAY

Varke magazine at

Combine Red and Gray Together-Næslund Antikviteter

With its simplified lines and absence of ornament, our classic Gustavian Chest captures the rustic charm that is an essential element of Provincial home decor. The warmth and beauty of bleached reclaimed elm sets off its casual design and fine craftsmanship, as well as providing a lived-in authenticity. Harrowset Hall Furniture

HGTV Dream Home 2006 Bunk Room

Bright red bunk beds (painted in Sherwin-Williams’ “Cherry Tomato”) line
two walls on either side of the big window facing the front of the
house and a northern view of the mountains. Above the window, almost 10
feet off the ground, is a fifth bright red bunk, nestled beneath the
peaked roof. A red rolling ladder, of the kind found in libraries or
bookstores, provides access to this top bunk. Small built-in shelves at
the head of each bed (and individual reading lamps) create the sense
that each bunk is its own little room.

Consider using gray with red, such as this gray painted mora clock from Lone Ranger Antiques

Paint the interior of your cabinets intead of the walls- Under The Spanish Moss Blog

Another all gray interior with a red chair as an accent. 

French Elle Decor December 2008

A Close up of the chair

The French Elle Decor December 2008 issue

A Bleached/Painted Gustavian Commode with Reeded Front- $5,500

Baroque Commode Germany circa 1760

Dream Buying Tours In Sweden- Shop With A Swedish Antique Dealer For A Day

How would you like to shop for antiques with one of the top Swedish antique dealers?  The Antiques Diva® & Co is now offering Scandinavian Tours which allow exclusive opportunities to buy Swedish antiques at wholesale prices alongside a professional furniture antique dealer.  Get the opportunity to shop where the dealers shop, and see some of the off road shops and warehouses that most tourists wouldn’t know about.

Daniel Larsson -owner of D. LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel (A Swedish antique store based in Helsingborg) is the guide for the Swedish tours.  He shares with you insider tips and tricks of the trade. Feel confident purchasing antiques with a dealer at your side.  He will share the history behind certain pieces, and explain the regional differences in Swedish antiques.  You will have an expert who can authenticate purchases and give advice on what to watch out for in spotting reproductions and fakes.

Rest assured that if you buy 1 or 2 pieces or a whole container load of furniture on the tour that Daniel can help you fill out customs paperwork and find affordable shipping solutions for bringing those rare finds to your home. You don’t pay tourist prices when you shop like a local or a dealer for a day.

The Antiques Diva® & Co is Europe’s largest antique buying tour company offering tours in 8 countries – France, England, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. They offer Scandinavian Antique Buying Tours for both the trade as well as private individuals, offering everything from a customized 1 day buying tour to a full on 4 day tour.  Each tour is customized according to your travel dates and shopping list.


They can book book Scandinavian Antiquing Tours in:

– Copenhagen
– Helsingborg
– Southern Sweden
– Swedish Countryside
– Wholesale/Warehouse Tours

Contact for more details or see to book your European tour.

D.LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel
Wrangelsgatan 13
254 39

Tel: 0734 381843

Antiques Diva Toma Haines enjoying the Swedish antique buying tour

 Daniel Larsson -owner of D. LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel

Lars Bolander’s New Book- Interior Design & Inspiration

Lars Bolander: Interior Design & Inspiration offers a fresh take on Swedish decorating. Lars Bolander has been referred to as one of Sweden’s foremost interior designers and a pioneer of Swedish design, yet he doesn’t limit his personal design style to only the Gustavian period style, rather he introduces a new approach to designing around antiques.  His books Lars Bolander: Interior Design and Inspiration and Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design offer expert advice about infusing the Scandinavian style into your home, while at the same time mixing in the traditional and modern elements into one’s living space.

Bolander has been featured in House Beautiful, Vogue, Home & Design, World of Interiors, Southern Accents, The Robb Report, American House & Garden, English House & Garden, Chinese Residence, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and The Wall Street Journal.

Lars Bolander: Interior Design & Inspiration,

Lars Bolander’s Previous Book- Scandinavian Design

Review By D. Fowler

David Lindley claims that Lars Bolander has “the ability to mix objects in a very satisfying, but surprising way.” My first perusal of the book drew my eye to Lar’s affinity for Gustavian and Swedish Country Styles of decorating. The touch of neoclassical furnishing and decor in some settings brought a refined elegance to rooms, especially those with an obvious Swedish Country Style. Bolander has a rare malleability that allows him to not only incorporate what he envisions for a home, but also what his clients envision. One of the more striking examples, shown on the cover of this book, is a magnificent example of his raw talent.

Find Lars Bolander

Lars Bolander NY Shop, The Fine Arts Building, 232 East 59th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10022

Lars Bolander Palm Beach Shop, 3731 South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Contact: Michael Hale email:

Lars Bolander Official Website- Here

Lars Bolander Blog- Here

Lars Bolander Facebook- Here

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Click here, then click on the magazine, and the pictures blow up, allowing you to read the full article

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Lars Bolander’s Home Featured in Home and Garden Magazine

Quest Magazine April 2007

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander- Southern Accents Magazine Sept October 2002

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander-Veranda September 2007

Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design- Residence Magazine

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Lars Bolander Quest Magazine- The Palm Beach Issue

Sweden’s Empire Decorated Rosersberg Palace

Rosersbergs Slott From Lennatt Durehed Photography

Corridor and Niche at Rosersberg Palace From Corbis Images

Rosersberg Palace (Swedish: Rosersbergs slott) is one of the Royal Palaces of Sweden. Situated on the shores of Lake Mälaren, on the outskirts of Stockholm, it was built in the 1630s by the Oxenstierna family and became a royal palace in 1762.  It was then that the state gave it to Duke Karl (later Karl XIII), the younger brother of Gustav III of Sweden.

Today at Rosersberg the rooms remain almost untouched from the 1795-1825 period.  The interior takes you back in time to the authentic royal interior from the turn of the 19th century.

The second half of the 17th century, the Renaissance Palace became to be dated.  Chancery President Bengt Oxenstierna acquired the estate, and renovated the home in the Baroque style that was fashionable at the time.  He sought out the country’s leading architect, Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, and new wings were added to the building.  The tall Renaissance gables were taken down and the exterior of the building was updated with a new hipped roof.

Then in 1747, Rosersberg was acquired by Baron Erland Broman.  More alterations to the buildings were directed by one of the country’s most prominent 18th century architects, Jean Eric Rehn.  On Broman’s death in 1757, the property was acquired by the State.

The property was then placed at the disposal of the young Duke Karl (later King Karl XIII) of Södermanland.

When Duke Karl (XIII) moved in around the 1760s, he modernized the palace in late Gustavian style. The interiors at Rosersberg Palace differ from the Gustavian style interiors of other royal palaces in Sweden. At Rosersberg the style has been known to trend after the Empire style.  The palace combines the two styles: Neo-Classicism and the “Empire style”.  Get some ideas from this beautiful castle for your own home.

Sweden’s Rosersberg PalaceFrom Flicker

Pair of Louis XVI carved and painted Fauteuils. Having oval backs, carved flower crest and apron on stop fluted legs.

Pair Classical Pate-sur-pate Vases Urns & Lids From Vintage Views Ebay

A Swedish Empire Sofa with Classical Gilt Detailing Upholstered by Talisman circa 1790

Continue Reading…

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York Part 1


Eric Pike is Creative Director of Martha Stewart Living. Stefan Steil is an interior designer and founder of Stelish. Some of his design work can be found at Stefan Steil. Portraits taken at their townhouse in Manhattan.

There are very few Gustavian styled homes photographed that are truly ALL Swedish inspired.  After looking at thousands of photographs, I KNOW it is rare to come across a home that is decorated or renovated all around the Swedish styles. Even if a home isn’t decorated to look centuries old, I find it rare to come across a person passionate for a particular period design that is pigeon-holed into a particular category.  It is thrilling to say the least to see a home that is based entirely around a theme, such as Georgian, Egyptian, Early American, or my favorite  Gustavian.  When a designer sticks to a particular style of antiques, and thinks through the architectural elements and paint colors carefully, a story emerges that allows you to walk back in time.

Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on antiques, or money to change the architecture, flooring, cabinetry or fixtures, so many of us have to start somewhere with one bench here, and a chair there.  Building up a home that is entirely from one period and time frame can be incredibly exhilarating, and also quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.   You don’t need to have ALL genuine antiques to get the Gustavian appearance in your home.  In this blog, I have put together dozens of posts with decor and furniture that look Swedish and aren’t.  Some are costly, and others aren’t.  My own home is filled with a ton of vintage furniture that is made over to look Gustavian. Incorporating a few genuine pieces sure help! Your home should be what makes you happy, and not what a blog or a magazine tells you it should be.

It is truly rare to come across a home that is based entirely around the Gustavian look, and not exist in Sweden, and that is the case with Martha Stewart’s creative director Eric Pike.  His townhouse in downtown NYC is one of these rare homes where the entire house is designed around a Gustavian palette.

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse- Photo Credit An Afternoon With Blog

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse

Eric Pike And Stefan Steil’s New York Gustavian Styled Townhouse

The Blog,…..  An Afternoon With posted some incredible pictures of the home giving you extra ordinary angles that allowed you a better glimpse into the rooms.

In one of the pictures a stunning oil painting hangs in the bedroom of Daniel Webster, a Massachusetts senator in the mid-1800s and an ancestor of Eric’s.

While the whole townhouse looks like it is within one color, several tones are used.  In the bedroom, and the office, the ceiling is a light blue.  A light beige is used in the office with storage in a coordinating color.  Vibrant colors are used in the closets, keeping the overall palette neutral.

Martha Stewart’s Creative Director- Erik Pike’s Gustavian Townhouse In New York Part 1

Pike tells Martha Stewart Magazine that he faced a challenge that we all face: the need to maximize storage. He sacrificed a few feet in every room to allow for deep doorways that contain hidden, paneled closets, each devoted to specific belongings. “I’ve been collecting for years, and I’ve made everything work in this space,” he says.

Many Gustavian styled homes aren’t cluttered, and here you will see an excellent example of a paired down look. Collectibles are grouped together much like the closet featuring Pikes tableware and silver urns, or grouped on side tables. The look is very much clean and organized.

Look at the impressive storage in the above three photos.  Boxes are used in closets for odds and ends keeping everything in place.  In any home, there needs to be a lot of attention paid to storage if you want an uncluttered appearance.  This is especially true for smaller sized apartments.  For my own home, I have used the over-sized boxes that come with Crate and Barrel for my blankets which sit in the closet.  When I go into my closets, they look clean and organized even if they are in boxes.

In this post I show where you can buy large boxes with lids for as little as $3  Paint the boxes with flat paint, and customize your closets by painting the interior and the boxes so both match.  If you have a home that is based around gray, white or beige, consider doing something extra special for the closets.  In my storage room in my garage, I am going with a Alpine green with boxes to match.  Why not!  Consider a bold blue or even a baby blue for your closets.  Pantry and linen closets can be one of the most creative areas to experiment with color.

Jo lee of Swedish Interior Design talks about Swedish Antique Furniture

Jo Lee of Swedish Interior Design talks about Swedish Antique Furniture

Shabby chic reared its ugly head about 10 years ago as a cheap way of renovating furniture and giving your home a different feel. Based on the French and Swedish painted furniture and gustavian country pieces that had become distressed with age and use, it was the perfect way to find a cheap piece of furniture – lets say a chest of drawers- and smother it with white paint followed by a bout of sandpapering. You see this at fairs like ardingly where dealers try to offload their own ‘brown’ victorian furniture with a new coat of paint.

This in turn spawned the reproduction industry that now pervades the high street with cheap Chinese imports, some of which claim a ‘7 stage antiquing process-.

What a load of cobblers.

If you are happy with the rather clunky repro look (which really is now a look in itself) then go for it. You really see the difference not just in the paint finish but the poor quality of carvings especially on repro armoires.

But actually aging a piece convincing is a lot more complicated and time consuming than just hitting the sandpaper.

First of all you need to prepare the surface to take the paint smoothly and use the right kind of paint depending on the effect you are trying to create.

Acrylic can be good in some circumstances although it has a tendency to peel if the wood beneath it moves. Emulsion can be good for some topcoat finishing techniques if used sparingly – really depends what you are trying to achieve. Also be brave and create your own colours by mixing paints to make a statement in a particular room.

Even use several layers with slightly different colours to create texture.

Next the sand paper – be very careful to use the right grade and also composition as different types and weights of sandpaper give very different results – you may end up using several different types on a single piece.

Think careful where you distress so it looks natural – where would an old piece have got knocked about and where would it be marked from usage? Its actually fairly obvious when you think about.

Sometimes work with the grain and sometimes against it for effect and go slow – you can always do more but will have to repaint if you get too carried away. ‘Slowly slowly’ is the motto for this kind of work.

The key stage is then creating the patina of dirt that would accumulate on an old piece – this is what gives it a convincing feel and an aura of authenticity. I saw a cupboard recently done by someone which had been painted and sanded back rather badly.

And that’s just what it looked like because it didn’t have the sheen of ‘dirt’ that authentic pieces have. How do to do this well is somewhat of a trade secret and its down to getting the right colour mix for the ‘antiquing’ and applying it with subtlety. Again paying attention to where dirt and grime would naturally accumulate.

This is why repro stuff looks odd because you cant mass produce this feel convincingly as it takes time and artistry to do well.

Finally you might consider finding some old handles, escutcheons etc to give the piece a further lift – its amazing how this can elevate the feel of a piece quickly and make it your own

JO LEE is director of Swedish Interior Design

Swedish Interior Design

1900s Swedish Gustavian Grey Dining Table Extendable,1800s Antique Marble Top Gilt console table ,1800s Antique Swedish Pine Table In White- Swedish Interior Design

1800s Antique Swedish Gustavian Sideboard, 1800s Antique Swedish highly carved gustavian white side table, 1850 antique swedish handcarved gustavian gilt sofa, 1900s swedish carved pair of gustavian carver chairs with white upholstery, 1900s swedish classic gustavian white double door sideboard, 1900s swedish gustavian carved 2 seater, 1900s swedish gustavian cabinet, 1900s antique gustavian corner cabinet-Swedish Interior Design


1800s Black Handpainted Rocking Chair, 1800s White Swedish Antique 6 leg Rocking Chair, 1800s Swedish Antique 6 leg Gungstol Rocker in Original Swedish Blue-Swedish Interior Design

Original paint ‘1836’ blue folk art Antique Swedish Mora Clock, White Antique Mora clock with gold detailing, Swedish Antique Gustavian mora clock with flower motif  Swedish Interior Design

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s Swedish Decorated Home

Picture Credit Antique Vintage European Textiles On Ebay

Green Glass Distillery Bottles –Debenham Antiques On Ebay

J. Cutler’s captivating film, The September Issue, has put Vogue editor Anna Wintour in the spotlight worldwide.  Not as though she has ever left the spotlight, as Wintour has been American Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief since 1988.  The documentary shows behind the scenes of the every day happenings at Vogue as they put together the publication of the famous September issue.  The film details the glamour behind fashion, as they travel the globe for model shoots, and talk with the most famous  clothing designers to put together the famous pages found in Vogue magazine.

19 th Century Painted Daybed- Debenham Antiques On Ebay

19th Century Painted Sidetable Debenham Antiques On Ebay

Would it surprise you that Wintour’s home is decorated in classic Swedish furnishings?  The home was featured in The World of Interiors magazine, and draws a comfortable feel, so opposite from the glamour Wintour is immersed in every day.  The house features lovely wood painted walls, and exquisite Swedish Gustavian furniture.  Serene paint colors, comfortable furnishings, and furniture showing years of love would be the ideal escape for any person who has such a busy lifestyle.

Excerpt From The World of Interiors Magazine:

“It was perhaps eight years ago that a neighbor’s change of fortune resulted in my good luck. The property that adjoins my 1820 Long Island summerhouse (WoI March 2006) came up for sale when its owner left in a hurry. It had an 1834 farmhouse, with loads of additions and 12 poky bedrooms. It had a perplexing reception room with difficult, though grand, proportions. It had lawns that tumbled down toward a beautiful-to-the-eye, toxic-to-everything-else river.”