Designing an Elegant French Lounge

November 28, 2013

French formal lounge setting with glass coffee tableGiven the task of redecorating an existing lounge to become a more formal area, Jean-Christophe decided to create a Louis style salon, taking influence from the romantic and decadent Louis XV style.

One of the first things that was completed here was the design and application of the Louis style wall panelling. This helped to structure the room and create a sense of formality. Panelling is a great way to add excitement to a room, especially if you are not looking to wallpaper or paint the room in a dramatic colour.

The shelving at the end of the room was also reworked by applying carvings and painting them the same colour white to blend in. Like the wall panelling, this creates interest and also highlights the much loved photographs and ornaments that are on display.

Instead of bringing in a whole new sofa suite, the existing chairs were recovered in a beautiful silvery champagne silk fabric. Lip cords were added round the base and sunbursts were worked into the face of the armchair. To create more depth in the room, a variety of throw cushions were brought in; large silver fine silk cushions, stitched with burnt orange flowers and resting upon them, smaller rusty colour cushions, which help to highlight the floral design in the larger cushions.

To add a special accent, something that was immediately eye catching, Louis XVI style Queen’s salon chairs were brought in. To upholster the chairs, a fine silk toile in azure blue and taupe was imported from a mill in Lyon, France, the same mill which produced fabrics for Marie-Antoinette all those years ago. These were finished in a special antique white paint, distressed with a taupe wash matching the fabric and the chair carvings were highlighted with gold.

Providing the base on which the sofas and chairs sit is the silk rug, with a floral design using the colours which inspired the upholstery of the chairs and the fabric colours of the cushions. This piece really brings the room together.

In the middle of the room is a specially designed baroque style coffee table with beautiful scrolling carving and a fine polished timber frame. So as not to distract from the beauty of the rug, the coffee table was fitted with a two-tier glass centre. A matching side table was also designed in the same style and these pieces are now part of a new Christophe Living collection.

Jean-Christophe Burckhardt

Jean-Christophe Burckhardt

An expert on interior design, craftsmanship and fine arts, Jean-Christophe has trained extensively in Italy, France and Switzerland. Since moving to Australia, he has supplied many of the country’s grand homes and collected a number of awards for his furniture designs.