Furniture Styles

Furniture > European > English > Decorating > Antique Chairs > Painted Chairs

Painted Chairs

Furnishing with decorative painted chairs especially in the bedroom.

There is a peculiar charm about painted furniture that has always gained appreciation. Chairs with slender lines, painted perhaps in a shade of cream with little swags and festoons of painted flowers by way of decoration, achieve an effect no polished wood, however rich in hue, can ever equal.

The eighteenth century saw the growth of painted furniture spread and flourish, and furniture fashions began to travel along a new and delightful road, although such fashions were confined to the houses of the wealthy. Delicate shades of colour and whimsical pictorial work marked the progress of the new mode, and chairs would have medallions decorating their backs, exquisitely painted with classical figures by Angelica Kaufinann.

The name of Pergolesi becomes familiar too in connection with the decoration of painted furniture. The tradition is being carried on today by a number of able designers, and some modern painted furniture possesses all the grace and proportion that distinguished its eighteenth century ancestors and is perhaps more suited to the surroundings imposed by modern conditions of life.

Painted Armchair
Painted Armchair, 1880.
Armchairs with painted decoration and cane seats, like this example, were very fashionable in the 1790s and again in the 1880s. The light construction and floral decoration suggest that this type of chair was designed for a more feminine setting, such as a drawing room or boudoir.

There can be nothing incongruous in our association with it for we are living in the period of its production. Many of us are apt to forget that the taste of our own time will stamp itself into a definite period of style, clearly recognisable to those who follow us in future years, and that however much we copy and adapt old models, it will not be by our ability to produce perfect copies of antique designs that this period will be recognised, but by the actual furniture designing that is being done today, and it is in the making of painted furniture that modern craftsmen excel.

For bedrooms painted furniture is always suitable. There are very attractive chairs made on the simplest possible lines with plain slat backs, legs that taper slightly in the manner of Sheraton models, and movable seats : they may be painted and decorated to form an actual part of the colour scheme of the room. Hepplewhite chairs may be used and in a small room where a large number of single chairs is not required they need not be similar in design.

Next: Living Room Chairs.

Copyright © 2004-12 International Styles
All Rights Reserved