Sunday, August 31, 2008
In June 2007, I visited the Royal Copenhagen shop in Copenhagen, Denmark. The upstairs floor had an exclusive gallery that showcased the Flora Danica collection. It was very impressive. A couture interpretation of 18th century european garment fashion display was included in the gallery with mannequins adorned is sumptous fabrics embroidered with botanicals that mirrored the collection. A single dinner plate from this collection costs $2,000.00(ouch). Some of my entire formal dinner sets are worth that much. However, as beautiful as they are, none reflect the detail and craftsmanship displayed in the Flora Danica collection. These pieces are worthy of their untouchable status.
The History of Royal Copenhagen
The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain factory was founded in 1775, under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie, by the chemist, Frantz Heinrich Müller, who following years of experimentation and trials finally mastered the production the coveted hard porcelain.
The three waved lines, symbolising Denmark’s three straits: Øresund, Store Bælt and Lille Bælt, are adopted as the trademark. one above the other, were adopted as a factory mark in 1775.
The factory was beset by difficulties during its first few years, but the problems of 'poor raw materials, lack of experience, unsuccessful firings, disappointing experiments' were eventually overcome, and in 1779 the absolute monarch King Christian VII assumed financial responsibility, thus guaranteeing the future of the porcelain factory.
One of Royal Copenhagen's most famous patterns is the 'Flora Danica'. This service, still in production, is renowned as the most exquisite and most expensive in the world.
The 'Flora Danica' was originally commissiooned in 1790 by the Danish king, according to legend, for Catherine the Great of Russia.
Danish flora is reproduced on the porcelain copying the copperplates published in one of the Age of Enlightenment’s greatest botanical works, Flora Danica. When the service is delivered to the royal family, twelve years later, it comprises 1,802 pieces. The service is revived for the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the future King Edward VII of England, in 1863.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I purchased 2 of these chairs from an Ebay auction for a steal of a deal. I love the
bones of the chairs but wanted a more elegant fabric so I purchased 2 beautiful patterned fabric online. The primary fabric will be the trellis/diamond shaped design which will go on the seat and backrest of the chairs. The second fabric which is damask medallion patterned fabric will be on the very back of the chairs with the same fabric as a rectangular decorative toss pillow for the seat. Both fabrics are a cotton-silk blend. The wood frames are being refinished in a pale grey patina with subtle antique white undertones to mirror the Swedish's Gustavian milk paint finish which is once again becoming popular with Designers. The carved embellishments on the frame will be enhanced with gold leafing.
These pieces will flank the living room fireplace and will compliment the color palette of the room perfectly.
Mark with Remarkable Refinishing on 24th Avenue in Sacramento has a terrific furniture restoration and refinishing business. I also have a terrific upholsterer named Walt who owns California Upholstery with his wife and son here in Sacramento and in my opinion is the best. In fact, he has done several upholstering projects for former first lady Nancy Reagan when her husband was Governor of California at the time and they lived in Sacramento during his time in office at the capitol. California upholstery has reupholstered and/or slipcovered over 20 pieces in my home and all are very professional and beautiful. I hope to pick up the new chairs within the next few days. Please stay tuned for the end result....
Thursday, August 28, 2008
This is a list of some of my favorite places to shop either online or in person. These businesses provide great traditional home furnishings and accessories.
Michael C. Fina
Gracious Style Fine Linens
Ralph Lauren Home
Great Bargain Finds/Shopping:
(TS Company & Antique Furniture Depot are my 2 favorites)
Great Department Store Shopping in California:
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Creating design concept boards are a perfect way to visually see how the various colors,textures,patterns and materials you've selected for your project will look side by side. Here are 3 sample boards I created for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom vacation home for a Museum curator.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
In June 2007, My partner and I vacationed in Stockholm, Sweden for the first time. We fell in love with Sweden's Gustavian style. I loved the soft calming palette of the fabric and milk paint wood finishes. It felt soothing. Coincidentally, we were in the process of re-decorating many of the rooms in our home. We decided to incorporate the Swedish Gustavian style into our home. I purchased 2 sets of Parlor chairs with the goal of infusing our new Swedish influences to the Living room and Office/Library room. A set of French parlor side chairs and a pair of Victorian parlor chairs. I felt both resembled Swedish designs but needed a makeover. This project has really given me a greater appreciation for the Gustavian style. Below is a brief history of emergence of this Swedish influence on design.
A brief history from Sweden's Gustavian period
(taken from realgustavian.com)
In 1771, the future Gustav III returned to his native Sweden from the French court of Versailles to ascend the throne as king after his father’s untimely death. The young monarch had been inspired by French architecture and decorative arts and saught to create the "Paris of the North" within the borders of Sweden. Trips to France and later to Italy gave further impetus to Gustav’s passion for the classical. During his reign (1772-1792), Sweden experienced an artistic flowering, never known before. The king transformed this once removed European country into a cultural forerunner within Europe, setting a standard of style that continued well into the 19th century. Though the introduction of the Gustavian style actually predates Gustav III's reign, it was the young King that was responsible for disseminating the new style throughout the country.
Early Gustavian decoration was clearly inspired by the French Rococo and later the Neo-classical movements, but the late Gustavian style was more closely identified with Italy, after engravings from the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii began to circulate in Sweden. The return from Italy, of Swedish court architects and artisans such as Rehn, Adelcrantz and the Masreliez Brothers, is often seen as marking the transition between the morer romantic Early Gustavianstyle and the stricter lines associated with the furtniture of the Late Gustavian period.
Following these foreign impulses the Swedes created a more restrained or austere style of decoration more suitable for Sweden than the over embellished continental Baroque and Rococo styles.
Today it is the Gustavian that is most closely connected to Swedish style internationally and continues to inspire designers world over.