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?
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.
That lamp sounds great, Susan. I’m all for reusing, recycling things this way. As you say, it helps to make it yours.
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! 🙂
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.
[…] 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 … Continue reading → […]
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!
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!