Saturday, March 3

Why In Design-- A little bit about the Antique Bergere

The Why In Design column--
Meet the Bergere
the smaller of the two -- this bergere here showcases a lovely carved frame that has a nice patina on the legs and arms.  We upholstered them with a bit of tufting on the side and matched the repeat well so the butterfly pattern creates a lovely pattern
what does this fancy French word mean? 
"a bergère is an enclosed upholstered French armchair with an upholstered back and armrests on upholstered frames"
about the Bergere
The Bergere comes in many sizes and shapes but it can be differentiated from other antique chairs by a deep, wide seat and closed sides. It was designed to be a stylish chair for reading or relaxing so it is often quite roomy and comfortable, and belongs to the entire French armchair family, the"Fauteuil". However, the Fanteuils that came before the Bergere were smaller and had open arms.  The Bergere was born in Paris during the Régence period in the 1700s, and mostly created in the rococo style but because of its popularity, has had moments in various aesthetics from Louis XVI, Directoire, and Empire styles. It grew wildly popular throughout the 18th century as it was less rigid and upright from the earlier more formal chairs.  You will often see the arms and back painted or gilded in various woods. This was truly the first comfy chair, and it is still popular.
Today seemed a perfect time to write about these beauties.  Bergeres are large and stately.  We just delivered two antique Bergeres to our clients in East Hampton this week.  These are precious family heirlooms passed down to them over the generations. Our client wanted to keep them and use them in a less formal way, and chose to put them in the sun room over-looking the garden at their beach cottage. To juxtapose the chair's stately appeal, she fell in love with our vibrant colored toiles printed on linen/cotton from our root cellar designs' collection, so we custom colored a pair-- one in pink and the other in green in two garden-like patterns-- our flutter (which is a butterfly motif toile) and the other nutmeg.  We added channeling and tufting and with these patterns and the linen cotton combination, the chairs look more casual donning these old beauties, and brings a new, fresh modern appeal.  Upholstering old pieces with less formal and whimsical material/patterns is a great ways to incorporate antiques into our modern homes!

the channeling on the top of the chair works well with our nutmeg pattern and creates a dramatic design
Cheers to the Bergere!
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara