The truth is that I've been busy gathering new pieces, picking fabric and just the right paint with which to breathe new life into some of these antiques. A lot of my pieces on 1st dibs were just recently shipped to a lovely woman in NY who is building her beach house in Rhode Island. Others went to a house that is in the process of being built in Hattiesburg, MS. I am delighted that my lovely furnishings have found a new life and a new home. I feel very connected to these pieces which I hand pick and rescue from their "old age." These are pieces that were once glamourous and graced the most beautiful apartments or palazzos in Europe. Some are pieces that were brought on ships with immigrants like me who were starting a new home in distant lands. Whatever their past and destinies, they have stories to tell. They've seen more in their hundreds of years of existence than you and I will ever see in a lifetime. Like the movie, The Red Violin (and if you haven't seen it, go rent it!), they are pieces that were passed down from generation to generation -- perhaps not within the same family -- sold, resold, handed down, tossed away.
Recently, I have been captivated by the simplicity and palette of swedish antiques. In the next few weeks, you will see this influence in a lot of my new inventory. When we think of Swedish style, we often think of the familiar white and blue-hued images of the Gustavian period. However, the Swedish design is vast, including the Baroque, Rococo, Karl Johan, Biedermeier, and Modernist periods. The secret to the Swedish aesthetic is having the confidence to mix old and new while maintaining a clean and simple balance.
What is most interesting about Swedish furniture is that its style and even color scheme were a direct result of the environment in which Swedes found themselves. The long, dark winter months contrasted so greatly to the Swedish summer's constant light. In order to maintain an interior blance throughout the year, Scandinavian style allowed for the maximum amount of light to enter their interiors, even in their darkest days of winter. Hence, their use of mirrors and crystals became popular as were clean interiors, painted with light and earth toned colors, efficient and welcoming.
To me, Swedish antiques and furniture breathe light and freshness. In New Orleans and other coastal cities with mild climates and hot and humid summers, the Swedish color palette fits right at home. For me, it has always given me a sense of calmness and relief.
Enjoy some of these photos of some favorite Swedish interiors that have inspired my sense of style and direction. These and more can be seen in Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems gorgeous book, Swedish Interiors.