Antique Styles and Their Paired Florals
Whether it's an anniversary, birthday, marriage, or any celebration—chances are you've seen or been given a bouquet. Perhaps you have happy childhood memories of your grandparents or parent's home, fresh garden, or wildflower bouquets decorating spaces.
Incorporating flowers and greenery in our homes or spaces have been part of human history for ages. The earliest known recorded dates of giving flowers as gifts go back to the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and the Roman Empire. Flowers were used as gifts, decorations, as part of various religious traditions, and even props for storytelling.
Have you ever walked into your favorite room in your home, decorating with your treasured antiques or antique reproduction, and felt that it was still missing something? Have you ever thought a room still felt cold or less inviting than you wished?
It is possible to change the entire ambiance of a room with the right florals. But how do you match florals with certain antique styles? We can help you with our designer's expert suggestions on what florals work well with each antique style.
French Provincial Furniture Florals
French Provincial antiques are a down-home country feel paired with elegance and hints of fine Parisian craftsmanship. The color palette in French Provincial antiques and interior design embraces creamy whites, light grey tones with ivory, or very subtle blues and hints of green for a delicate country style that French Provincial is famous for.
When pairing a floral with a room full of French Provincial antique furniture, the first step starts with choosing the proper foundation with a vase or the vessel to arrange flowers in. There are many different containers you can choose from, but some of our favorites are:
- Antique milk delivery basket with antique milk bottles of antique mason jars
- Vintage metal watering cans
- White or enameled antique jug
- Distressed or white-washed ceramic jugs or pots
- Distressed white urn vases with or without handles
- Wicker baskets (pots or vases hidden inside.)
Whether dried, live, or faux, these delicate violet-colored buds have long graced the kitchen counters, dining room tables, and side tables of country homes for centuries. For a room filled with French Provincial furniture, add lavender to a distressed urn vase or a pale blue or green vessel for a seamless addition and beautiful wash of color.
Dried or fresh, the scent of lavender is synonymous with warm, welcoming, and comforting—a feeling that the French Provincial style also evokes.
White or Pink Cabbage Roses
Named for its dense swirl of tightly packed petals, this lovely flower is a country charmer. The cabbage rose is a hybrid created in the 17th Century by Dutch rose breeders. The size, gorgeous watery dew-like scent, and versatility have cemented this bloom as a country favorite for centuries in gardens, textiles, paintings, and wallpapers. It's the perfect floral for a Parisian country-styled space.
Chippendale Furniture and Florals
The hallmark of Chippendale furniture is its exquisitely carved cabriole legs—an elegant, serpentine-shaped leg like in Queen Anne furniture but with variances. Chippendale legs often ended in the iconic ball and claw, the lion's paw, or a round club-type foot. Later in the Chippendale era of furniture, straight legs with a block foot occasionally appear.
Chippendale often created furniture with the highest quality woods, such as mahogany imported from the West Indies, which could support the elaborate hand-carved details in this style.
What vases or vessels were commonly used to arrange flowers during the Chippendale era?
- Blue and white Chinese Ming porcelain ceramics
- Italian Terracotta jars
- Earthenwarewabi-sabi-like vases
- Bidri Hookah Base or Vase
- Miniature Hatcher style vases
- Moroccan Pitchers with handles or water jugs
What florals pair flawlessly with Chippendale furniture? Since Chippendale's era was in the 1700s, here are some of the most popular flowers grown in gardens.
Related to the common primula, or primrose, auriculas have rosettes of semi-evergreen foliage topped by upright stems and circular flowers in bold and beautiful colors ranging from maroon-carmine, coral pink, and deep orange to maroon-black with yellow primrose centers. These blooms are dainty, delicate, and show-stopping, ideal for any room for a glorious display of color along with your Chippendale furniture collection.
With white-grey stalks covered in glowing magenta, pale pink, or white trumpet-shaped flowers, it was a prevalent flowering plant found in 17th-century gardens all over. It is also an easy-to-grow, trouble-free floral that isn't fussy about soil or exposure. Bundles of Rose Campion can bring a joyful burst of vibrant color and life to your space filled with Chippendale furniture.
The Empire-style furniture era was between 1804 to roughly 1815 and embraced ancient art as suitable analogies to the new French Empire. The Empire style focuses on Grego-Roman models, spare, noble, and massive, with a look of grandeur and beauty. Like Chippendale, mahogany was the wood of choice for Empire-Style antique furniture, but when it became unavailable due to a blockade, wood like walnut, beech, ash, maple, and burled elm were used.
Which vases or vessels were popular for floral arrangements during the Empire-style era?
- Berber Pottery
- Porcelain and Gilt Bronze mounted vases
- Lacquered wood or ceramic apothecary jars
- Italian Art glass vases
- Victorian-styled silver vases
- French porcelain vases
- French jardiniere waves
What florals pair well with Empire-style furniture?
Lilacs were a favorite to decorate French homes during the Empire era. As a true sign that spring has arrived, the lilac tree or shrub only produces its blooms in mid-spring. With striking, delicate flowers and enchanting scent, they can come in deep royal purple, violet, and even white shades.
Many paintings of floral arrangements during the Empire-style era showcased blooming peonies. Peonies also grow in various colors, such as pink, red, orange, yellow, and white, making these blooms seamlessly fit with any color palette within a room full of Empire-style furniture.
If you have the room or space of your dreams but feel it still needs something and are unsure what, why not add these era-appropriate florals and vases? You might be surprised how an arrangement can take a room from cold and impersonal to warm and inviting in moments.
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