Some of you may have read that I love the 18th century … everything: furniture, fashion, paintings, porcelain and the spirit of course. My home office is a mini version of a Versailles parlour. As originals are very expensive to buy I found for myself a very good method to get it cheaper: I make copies or have copies made by our carpenter – see the photo below: one of three closets, arranged like the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza by Andrea Palladio and accessible from behind.
Please do not misunderstand the “18th century concept”. I do not want you to inspire to make your home a copy of the Versailles Palace but to enjoy your life in an interior that reflects your favourite style – be it Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism, Classicism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco or “the everything in white style”, that has its followers since many years.
The essential of a historic period is the spirit of course and then the colour, after my opinion maybe more important and more inspiring than the style. I love the compounded colours of the Louis XV and Louis XVI era but also the clear colours of the late 18th century as can be seen on the photo on the very bottom – the first chest of drawers I painted many years ago and added new metal fittings.
When I asked some years ago our carpenter to make a closet I had some pieces in mind – the green library in the Hotel Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville (s. photo below) in Paris and of course the Versailles panelling you can find in every room and in different colours and shades, guilt or not. I chose a typical 18th century green for the armoires and gold for the wood mouldings. By the way, even as ours look very poor compared to the Versailles panels, there were 60 m of mouldings to paint and to guilt! As the carpenter didn´t want to do it as he never had guilt anything I did it myself. This was a long lasting job!
Colour therapy healing was not invented for nothing. The moral of the story comes always in the end: paint your rooms and your furniture in your favourite colour(s) and you will love being there. And yes, you can do it yourself. Modern coats of lacquer and wall paints are made that everybody can use. Everybody! There is an excellent English producer (it only needs two letters – like A&B – to identify them) making the most beautiful and even eco-friendly lacquers and wall paints. You can buy mini paint pots and a brush and try. You will be astonished about the multiple effect: you will love the beautiful colour and the shabby chest´s new chic aunt Heather made you a gift many years ago.