French Regency style came to life during 8 years when a non-monarch ruled France. When King Louis the XIV died, his nephew, Philippe d’Orléans took charge until 5-year-old Louis XV was old enough to rule.
Philippe governed from Paris, instead of the extravagant Versailles. He rejected the strict formality, straight lines and over-the-top splendor of the Sun King. His court set up majestic but more intimate state apartments.
Elegance with Flair and Grace
This style lightens up the look and feel of ultimate luxury. Furniture is built to highlight gracefully curved sides and legs. You can also create a warmer mood, as master cabinetmakers of the day scaled back the gold leaf to allow for beautiful wood veneer.
Two Important Design Forms Emerge
French Regency style developed asymmetry and pleasing curves. The s-shaped cabriole leg, bowing out at the top and curving in at the bottom, is the major characteristic of this style. The distinctive bombé commode, or cabinet, is a second important development, giving furniture a new profile. Curvaceous sides expand around the middle and taper in to meet shapely legs.
Decorative patterns using shells, leaves and flowers received special attention. The charm is that the left side does not have to meticulously match the right. Regency style is lavish but graceful, fit for a ruler, without being grandiose.
French Regency Style in Modern Times
Regency style gives you the freedom to reward your accomplishments with flair and exuberance that you adapt to suit yourself.
When you choose a designer your challenge is to find someone who enjoys making fine furnishings, decorative detail and rich finishes livable and inviting to you and the people sharing this style with you. You want the playful curves, but not the pompous excess. This style is your opportunity to fill your surroundings with elegant, finely made things, and treat the important people in your life (including yourself) like royalty.