Regency-inspired decorating

Lately, I’ve been busy reworking some furniture to suit the new life I’m creating for myself. Although I’m more sure about my taste than I used to be, I’m still drawn to design that evokes something of a Regency or neoclassical feel.

A while back, I bought a set of dining chairs that are early 20th century reproductions of earlier styles. Here’s one of them, followed by the image of an English chair c.1780.

My newer projects include restoring some vintage items that I got inexpensively due to condition issues. Again, the lines remind me of late Georgian design. Here’s a dresser I got which I believe is in the style of Duncan Phyfe, an American designer in the Federal (neoclassical) style, who was inspired by English designer Thomas Sheraton.  For comparison, it’s followed by a Duncan Phyfe sideboard.

Although most of the dresser is in good shape, the top was quite damaged. Here, just for bragging purposes, are three of the stages of the restoration. I still have to do the final finish, but I’m happy with the progress!

I’ve also been remaking some furniture I already had, including this armoire. The nice people at the Purple Painted Lady helped me with materials and instructions. I had to custom mix the paint, and it was only after I was finished that I realized that it was Wedgewood blue, reminiscent of Jasperware created by Josiah Wedgewood.

Here’s a late 18th century jasperware scent bottle so you can see how close I got, without knowing that I was trying! In person, the color contrast of the blue and white is a bit stark, but I have to give it a dark wax glaze which should soften the contrast and bring out some of the details.

Anyone else find themselves decorating with elements of earlier styles? Anyone else try  refinishing or painting furniture, and how did it go?


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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7 Responses to Regency-inspired decorating

  1. Susan in AZ says:

    When we married, my husband had an ugly yellow lamp with some stucco decoration on top of the shiny yellow glaze. I repained the shiny yellow part in Wedgewood blue model airplane enamel. It took three coats of enamel, painted on with a small brush, but the end result was gorgeous and looked much more expensive than the lamp had been. Hubby still loves his blue “Wedgewood” lamp.
    Paint your furniture any colors you like. It’s yours, after all.

  2. Elena, you have such a good eye! And of course, it’s natural, I think, to be drawn to the designs from our favorite period. That dresser is turning out beautifully, and I love the color of the armoire! I’ve stripped and refinished a few pieces of furniture in the past –it’s very satisfying work! And somehow, it feels like a “bonding” process with the piece being worked on. It becomes very personal. I’m still very attached to the antique wooden chair on which I learned the period techniques of faux wood finish and also stenciling. Too bad we can’t attach photos to these replies! 🙂

    • Elena Greene says:

      Thanks for saying I have a good eye, but if it’s in reference to matching Wedgwood, I can only say it happened without any conscious intention! I would love to see a picture of that chair. I think if you posted the picture somewhere you could put a link here.

  3. Pingback: Austen’s World Wrap Up. January 25, 2018 – Vanessa Riley's Regency Life

  4. diane says:

    As close as I can come to this, I looked back on my wedding photos and realized I chose a Regency wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses. It was years later that I discovered Regency romances and Georgette Heyer!

    • Elena Greene says:

      I think it is a similar thing, and I remember seeing your pictures. Definitely a Regency vibe, and you looked so beautiful-rather like one of our heroines!

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