When it comes to the Rococo style of decorating, one phrase jumps to the front of the mind: over the top! How could you not just fall in love with the extravagant beauty that makes up this historic movement? The light colors, curved organic details… I am simply smitten!
This spirited style is known for its lavish and playful elegance, and comes complete with a rich history to match! The image above is of the Aman Hotel in Venice, and is the quintessential example of the Rococo sensibility. A sub-style of Baroque decor, Rococo stayed in line with the heavy grandeur of its parent movement but sought to make the style more playful by introducing lighter colors and more flowery motifs. Though this is far from what we would consider to be “restrained” today, decorators believed they were dialing back on the heavy ostentatiousness of the Baroque style of decor!
The Rococo style developed in the 1700’s during the reign of Louis XV. Life during this period can best be described by what paintings of the time depicted… aristocrats at play. The reign of Louis XIV marked a very prosperous time for France, and at the time of his death he had left the country as an international superpower. This marked a time of great wealth for France, and with the new king came a revived interest in arts and culture. Not as focused on military victory as his predecessor, Louis XV was more well known for his taste in the lighter things in life and had a reputation for his penchant for partying. And from this, the exuberant Rococo was born!
Rococo style furniture is known for the organic “S” and “C” shaped carvings that undulate and curve throughout the piece. Gilding was common and slight asymmetry was the rule! Mirrors were popular in spaces as they reflected the light and airiness this movement looked to emulate. These design principles can be seen in this gorgeous mirror that I have in my very own bedroom, where the naturalistic carvings seem to bend in asymmetric ways and the mirror itself takes on a more playful form. I love the way these pieces can be mixed with other decor, adding a whimsical and exaggerated element to what otherwise may seem like a more serious and structured space.
As I mentioned earlier, France had become somewhat of an international superpower, which led the French people to become cultural influencers! Their fashion and style were imitated across Europe, from Italy, to Germany, to Spain… Eventually the Rococo movement made its way to Sweden. Swedish Rococo style is one of my absolute favorite incarnations of this decorative period, and I am in love with the way it pairs the playful lines of Rococo with the lightness and simplicity of gustavian painted furniture. This beautiful drop-leaf table we have in our warehouse is an excellent example of the sophisticated elegance of the Swedish Rococo style.
All this talk about Rococo furniture has me so excited for the reveal of my latest container, bringing some absolutely gorgeous Swedish, French, Italian and more pieces right back to my warehouse! Be sure not to miss this exclusive event offering two days only of wholesale pricing on August 25th and 26th from 9am-5pm! Hope to see you there!