There are many period styles that are becoming increasingly popular for sumptuous interior designs, Louis XV being one of them.
For example, the palatial Royal Suite in Le Bristol hotel in Paris – part of the establishment’s five-year €150 million (£130 million) restoration project – is absolutely classic. The room boasts fabrics by Mulberry, Meissen and Rubelli and furniture in the style of none other than Louis XV and France’s subsequent monarch Louis XVI.
If it’s tasteful and elegant enough for Le Bristol, it’s likely to be good enough for your home. But what exactly constitutes this period style and how can you get the look?
What is the period style of Louis XV?
The French style from the era of Louis XV – often referred to as rococo or perhaps late Baroque – blossomed from the mid-early to mid-late 18th century. While the style of his predecessor was bigger, bolder and more masculine in terms of its overarching feel, the style and furniture heralding from the time of Louis XV was far more effeminate and elegant in form, boasting extreme craftsmanship.
Pieces were light – both visually and physically – while the overall impression was one more of romance and sensuality, due to the elegant and regal finish of a rococo-styled room.
Fans of more arresting pieces might describe the look as somewhat precious.
Rather as was the case with the women Louis XV looked upon approvingly, unbroken curves were one of the primary features of designs favoured at the time – the legs, the back of pieces, the feet, the seat itself. Straight edges were just not the done thing.
This transfered to the architecture too, with panelling boasting sweeping curves instead of hardened edges and straight lines.
How can I get it in my home?
If you’re looking to create a regal, Louis XV look in your home, you need to start thinking along the lines of curvacious chaise longues, golden gilding, beautifully upholstered dining chairs and small cabinets free-standing on long, slender legs.
While original antiques are truly a treasure to behold for many homeowners, sometimes the price tag can prove prohibitively expensive. Therefore, investing in reproduction mahogany furniture could be the perfect solution as it affords you the chance to own quality Louis XV-style furniture, without having to fork out the equivalent of a small mortgage to buy it.
As with designers at the time, you must see the room upon which you wish to bestow a rococo feel as a piece of art in its own right, with small sculptures, ornamental mirrors and perhaps even tapestrys to complement other pieces in the room.
For a really authentic look, you might like to consider reliefs or perhaps some moulding on the ceiling, painted gold against a creme background for a classically regal finish.
Overall, the room should feel graceful and soft as opposed to bold and overpowering, which is why it could be perfect for the sitting room, as it will invite people to relax and unwind in its sumptuous surroundings.