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Saturday, July 12, 2008

My style and how I would describe it.

or my interpretation...

How I would describe my style or 'look' for my home:

I look for anything that is Empire style or has the lines of that style in it. Then I simplify it a bit (due to not wanting the 'museum' room complete with dust and cobwebs, I want to be able to use my stuff) and then add some relaxed beach feeling to it, like I am on vacation, so I don't want to fuss. That is how I describe my look. And I feel like a guest in my own home! This keeps it FUN for me! Duncan Phyfe is a great look with mahogany woods that add a drama with their clean lines. It is best when not cluttered all in one room, but showcase each piece separately. I love white or light colored walls as a back drop and this makes the mahogany pop. I also love moldings and texture added to walls, this creates interest and shadows in late day lighting. I think the Duncan Phyfe lends itself well mixed with the more relaxed wicker and island feel that I learned to love in South Florida. I will add LoriB's comment that it is New England with tropical.

Above: I love the clean lines of the architecture in a room, this inspirational picture shows the simple dressy look of clean lines. This is a wonderful backdrop to the informal relaxed furniture in this Miami house taken from Better Homes and Garden magazine 'before and after' summer issue of 2008.
The pictures below are NOT my furniture, they are pictures I have taken off the internet as examples of what I am writing about.

Below: the Empire chest of drawers (an antique) shows the wonderful simple lines and the curve on the legs with the small lyre curve at the top of the side rails.
I also love the curves on the mullions of the glass doors. This has that splayed line that carries the Empire style.
This shows an Oak buffet unit that is an American piece with less value, but the lines are still there on the legs. I like that you can stain this piece mahogany and still see Oak grain. Some of the earlier pieces are of such larger scale and really meant for 10-plus ceilings. That is why I love the 40's Duncan Phyfe knock offs that have a smaller scale for today's 8' ceiling smaller homes and cottages. Unfortunately they are also veneered mahogany, but at least I get the feel of the dark woods and the lines.
And this lyre table was on Craig's list! (priced too high or I would own it now!)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854) was one of 19th century America’s leading furniture makers.Born Duncan Fife near Loch Fannich in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, he immigrated to Albany, New York at age 16 and served as a cabinetmaker’s apprentice. In 1792, he changed the spelling of his name, moved to New York City, and opened his own business, which eventually employed over a hundred workers. He became known as one of America's leading cabinetmakers by selling furniture for relatively low prices. He is most famous for his simple style, a reaction to the imported French designs popular at the time. Duncan Phyfe's furniture can be seen in the White House Green Room.American Federal Period also has some great furniture lines, more straight with some curves.
Below is an example of an Empire styled sofa or settee. It has the splayed legs you will recognize.

This is a new furniture manufacturer (Craftique) that makes this style new today.Here is an antique shown from an online auction house of a Duncan Phyfe china cabinet. For example, I love these antique DF chairs, but on my budget could not afford.

I found the DF set made by Drexel and the lines are not pure, but similar to this inspirational set. I love the curve in the arms that reminds me of tropical and island furniture that goes with my 'island' mix.
My set from Drexel made in the 40's with mahogany veneer (shown when I brought it home from an antique shop before the finish was renewed.My dining room shown with the bottom of my Quoizel chandelier
A view of my living room in my home with the DF china cabinet used as a book case and the buffet unit to the right in the picture.This is another DF table with 3 legs that I have in my guest room. Makes a great second DR table for a large dinner!Here is an antique that I found online, I just love the lines!And here is a picture from my house when we redid our master bedroom. The table is solid mahogany (painted black) and I found it an an antique shop. The lines are similar to above but the scale is smaller and I use it as a night stand. I intend to strip off the paint to show off the mahogany wood (when you turn the table upside down, which happened on loading it after I bought it, and the mahogany is not covered there, I was so excited!).
This is a picture I found of an online auction that shows a buffet piece. I have the same one, but mine has a better finish on it. This came from Sears in the 40's. I found the receit in the back of one of the drawers! I altered that 'factory finish' with Howard brand refinisher and then waxed my buffet and all my mahogany furniture. It gives it a nice patina that refracts light nicer and softer. The picture (opening picture) at the top of my blog is taken on top of my buffet unit.
Here is a Sherton style piece. The lines are simpler.
These are Sheraton style chairs, I just love that shield-shaped back!So, that shield shape came in my home as the mirror over my mantel. I just loved the acorn or shield shape, thought I would get the chairs, but found the other set first.

Finds! SP candle holders!

The tall SP (silver plate) candle holders were a gift from a friend (lucky me!) and the smaller set was found at a thrift store.


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