Happy Birthday to Amanda and Period Furniture Obsessions

First, let’s all lift a glass of pink bubbly and have a slice of virtual cake in honor of Amanda’s birthday. Wishing you a year of health, happiness, and much reading and writing!

Now to my post…

Ever since I started looking at decorating magazines and histories of furniture, I’ve been drawn to certain styles of furniture. I used to think I ought to like Victorian furniture, but although some items are pretty, some get too fussy for me. Later, when I started studying Regency styles, I realized that was what I like best.

One item that appeals to me especially is shield back chairs. Here is an illustration of late 18th century shield back chairs designed by Sheraton or Hepplewhite. I love the shape, though I’m not sure why. At a conference, I met a psychic who said historical romance authors were trying to relive past lives. If so, perhaps I was once very happy in a house with shield back chairs. I know that once I’d seen one, I wanted a set.

Of course, I cannot afford the Real Thing, nor would I feel comfortable sitting on anything so valuable! But my husband and I saw these early 20th century reproduction chairs at an antique show. We discovered that they were both less expensive and better made than the new dining room furniture we had been looking at. So we snapped them up and have been happy with them ever since.

Another period furniture obsession is the chaise longue. I’ve just written my second scene with characters misbehaving on one. There is something I find sexy about all those elegant curves. Here is an example dating from 1810. Sadly, I do not own one even a reproduction. Maybe someday…

What are your favorite furniture periods? Do you have favorite items or styles?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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Sycorax Pine
11 years ago

God, that’s gorgeous chaise longue. I’ll always associate them with my grandmother, who had several in her house….

Jane George
11 years ago

Heavens to Morticia, I must have that chaise lounge!

Elena Greene
11 years ago

My parents and grandparents came over from Lithuania with basically the clothes on their backs, so I didn’t grow up around period furniture, or period anything. I wonder if what seems romantic to me may seem dusty or nostalgic to others…

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

I’m with you on the Regency period furniture. I would have a house full of it if I could. My Mom has several pieces in her house that she bought at estate sales when we lived in England. Over forty years ago she paid 10 shillings for my early 19th century piano and piano stool. At that time 10 shillings was $1.20 !! I have some gorgeous books and a carriage foot warmer that she acquired the same way.

One of these days I will have a little thatch-roofed cottage build on my property and have it furnished with Regency period furniture and I think there will be a chaise in EVERY room !!

I do have a nice collection of books on Regency period furniture over which I drool when I am furnishing my imaginary cottage!

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

Happy Birthday Amanda !!!!!

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

Happy birthday Amanda!

11 years ago

I’m not picky about furniture; I just want them to be comfortable. Also not all those period pieces are big enough for modern sized people (or I should go for shorter boyfriends).

11 years ago

Oops! Happy Birthday, Amanda! I hope you have a wonderful day!

11 years ago

I like Federal period furniture. Most of ours is Victorian. We furnished our house at auctions, yard sales, antique stores, and junk shops. I had the opportunity to buy a 1790 secretary from someone for next to nothing ($100), but my father wouldn’t let me keep it in the house for the few months left before my wedding. It still kills me. It was such a lovely piece.
Most of what we found was Eastlake style oak, although we do have some nice walnut pieces. We started buying the antiques because art the time, it was a cheap way to get good furniture.

Happy birthday , Amanda, my fellow Capricorn (or whatever the change it to).

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Happy Birthday, Amanda! You found the perfect cake for her, Elena.

Our house is filled with oak reproductions of early American furniture.

I love the Regency/Georgian styles, too, Elena. I used to watch Cash in the Attic on BBC America and just die of envy when a table or chair or something would auction for a low price-something I could afford!

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Thanks so much for the birthday greeting, Elena!!! I was so busy yesterday I didn’t get on the Internet, but it was a fun day. And I totally LOVE that cake!

That furniture is gorgeous. My house is such a jumble of stuff, but I often wish I could re-do my living room in a Regency style, with blue walls, white trim, and delicate furniture. And one of my favorite things to do is find the decorative arts section of a museum and dream about which pieces I would pick out. 🙂

Elena Greene
11 years ago

Glad you had a fun birthday, Amanda! Maybe sometime you can treat yourself to that redesign.