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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.


Lori Bee said...

You have such great style (and put things together so well!)I see it as New England classic meets tropical...The combination is fabulous!

Mary Ruth said...

Hi Lori Bee!
Thank you, I would describe it that way too! Will add those words to the description! I have lived a long time in New England and in South Florida, I can't hide that fact with this style! I love it because it is honest, it IS who I am... except the farm girl part, which I could express in my herb & vegetable garden.
Thanks for leaving a nice comment on my Blog, always great to hear from you!

Glenda~Many Fond Memories said...

Mary Ruth,
You know your a woman after my own heart. When I finally brought home my parents DP buffet I did the same. Cleaned it up. My mother didn't take care of it much. And years ago I found a DP dining table at Goodwill for about $25.00 The tabletop is in great condition, but the legs are not. I would like to have them repaired and use the table.
Anyway, I've always admired your style. When you move are you going to keep the same style in the next home ?


Mary Ruth said...

When you get style AND a bargain... there is nothing sweeter!
Thanks for coming by!

PAT said...

Hi Mary Ruth

I love seeing photos of your home. It's absolutely beautiful! I've truly enjoyed watching you work your magic!

I published my 200th post, on Sunday. It includes a little giveaway. Come by the back porch for details.

Hope you're having a wonderful week.

Mary Ruth said...

Pat! Congrats on your many BEAUTIFUL posts! I just love your Blog!
I will check out your celebration!
Thanks for dropping by!

Kat said...

Mary Ruth...
I finally was able to add your blog to my favs! Your post are always so full of wonderful eye candy. I enjoyed reading about your style.

twizzis said...

An absolute joy reading and rummaging through your blog. To say you have a knack is an your style!

Mary Ruth said...

Thanks twizzis,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment! Glad to see you here!

"Maggie" said...

Oh my goodness! I have almost the exact buffet (pictured above the lyre table). Do you own this piece and if not, where did you see it and do you know the price of it? Mine is over 100 years old and was my great Grandmother and Grandfathers. I also have a china cabinet and table to match and I love these pieces dearly.

Mary Ruth said...

No that is not my buffet, but I did find one on Craigslist recently (for $200, a steal) that had fluting on the applied front legs. But it was sold before I got a reply (because it was such a great deal, needed refinishing)! I have one similar but in lighter oak that is in the garage waiting for my attention! I want to stain mine in black. You have a china cabinet to match? would love to see pictures! I envy you!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! said...

Hi everyone. Those Duncan Phyfe pinwheel chairs were not made by Drexel. I made them! LOL.
You can see my watermark in the picture as well ( We actually sold the originals about 8 years ago and maybe those were Drexel. Anyways, they sold for good money back in the day. Having left the chair ad on my site as "sold", the chair consistently brought me inquiries and leads and eveyone wanted the chair. So, we copied it. They have been available on my website for a long time now, and sometimes you can find pairs of arms on sale. Right now, for example, you can take a pair for $300! You can't call that rich. Lol.
Anyways, I love your blog here and thanks for sharing our pictures and not taking credit for them! That is kind of you.
For those who want this style Duncan Phyfe dining chair, here is our website.

Maybe the admin can link us up!
I can share your blog link as well.

Mary Ruth said...

I am so glad you posted on here! I just love the furniture you show on your site! I would love for you to share my blog link! This is my blog and I am the one who posts all and monitors this site.

I have recently sold the house on this blog and we have moved to Florida. We are on the hunt for a house to 'take over'. My style will be similar to what you see here except the palms will be real and the yard will contribute more to the scenery! We love the weather here and are so glad we made the move, especially since the snow keeps coming up there!
I thought about how lucky we were as we were walking on the beach this afternoon!

Thanks for your kind words!


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