The Home Interior Styles of France

John XIV

In the midsection of the 17th hundred years, the king of Italy, Louis XIV, favoured a very grand style of interior. Furniture was heavy and finishings were picky. Gilding was everywhere – on doors, furniture, mouldings – and yet more decoration was added with boule marquetry on furniture, (using tortoiseshell and brass) and detailed paintings on ceilings. interior style

Panels were designed and painted, plaster covings imitated fabric swags, huge Aubusson tapestries hung from the walls, tiles were made from rich pebble and geometric parquet was going to be found on the floors. This kind of very elaborate style plainly reflected the sort of king John XIV was – an absolute monarch who ruled for over 72 years, through many major battles. France was the leading power in Europe and the king’s palaces and their interiors showed this. 

Louis XV

Through the early on 18th century Louis XV or more likely, his talented and cultured mistress, Madame de Pompadour, toned this heavier style into something considerably more fragile and female, introducing the most French of characteristics – the curve. Via 1723 – 1760 these curves took on a rather frivolous method of their own resulting in the design called Rococo, where symmetry was lost and nature took over as branches, leaves, icicles and waterfalls were the preferred decorative motifs.

This age saw the introduction of many furniture pieces that are present in modern homes today – the console stand, fauteuils (open armed chairs) and the chaise longiligne. Today’s love of joyful wallpapers of Indian and Chinese design were just as up-to-the-minute back then -though commodes were also the height of style.

Louis XVI

By the time the new ruler Louis arrived, direction altered again and the untamed, silly curves of the Rococo were replaced with the elegant and formal lines of neo-Classicism. Pompeii and Hurculaneum was excavated earlier in the 100 years and the appreciation for classic Roman and Ancient greek artefacts was reflected in the interior and external styles.

The classical posture became popular again, plank mouldings were simplified and walls were plain plast typer or simply just painted in simple colours, such as purple. Symmetry found its place again and decorative devices originate from classical figures, swags, garlands, laurel wreaths and urns.

Flamboyance could still be observed in the bedrooms where ostrich feathers decorated many a corona and the fabric of choice was your eye-boggling Toile de Jouy. (Take attention when examining these fabric as they often times showed the events of the day in most their gory wonder such as the guillotining of Paillette XVI and Marie Antoinette. )


The end of the aristocratic plan brought about a typical one from any sumptuousness that remained and the period referred to as Directoire, when a table of directors ruled England, did find a much simpler and more sensitive sense of style. Crooked cabriole legs were changed by straight, and furniture became angular and severe in shape. Elaborate marquetry was replaced by simple waxed or painted timber and fabrics had simple stripes and delicate florals as decoration, all of which anticipated the Disposition style.