It's time to grow up. If you are re-thinking your abode, want to ditch the flat pack or high street furniture and invest in pieces to stand the test of time, how about giving dark wood furniture a chance? Some of our favourite interiors bloggers are embracing the trend for traditional French furniture in warm mid-dark wood tones against modern moody colours and eclectic accessories, and here’s how it works with one of our favourite collections...
You see dark wood furniture has been a little shunned over the past decade in favour of light painted French style furniture - which of course is one of our specialities! But our darker American oak and mahogany pieces are equally as beautiful, and absolutely as easy to work with. Dark wood furniture has a reputation for being a little austere-looking and fussy, but look at it through fresh eyes and you'll see a classic well-loved piece or collection to be passed on from generation to generation - whether it's a French bed, bedside table or French mirror, it will be a modern antique of the future!
Clockwise from top left: Etienne Rattan Oak Luxury Bed: £1460 for a kingsize. Etienne Foot End: £630. Etienne Oak Bedside Table: £275. Etienne Oak Bedside Cabinet: £230. Etienne 2-Door Oak Armoire: £1695.
Etienne Mirrored Armoire: £1545.
Our Etienne collection in particular is truly timeless-looking - that's the good thing about a piece of French furniture with a natural wood grain finish - it's versatility through the decades of styles and micro-styles. It will always stand the test of time if it is beautifully designed and beautifully made. Hand carved from American oak, Etienne is then hand varnished with a warm mid-tone satin finish to show off the beautiful wood grain.
There are two bedside tables in the Etienne collection of French bedroom furniture - one with an open shelf below a slim top drawer, perfect for popping bedtime reading onto with ease in a sleepy state, and the other with a cabinet door under the drawer, for housing lotions and potions, leaving plenty of tabletop space for a stunning bedside light. Two grand French armoires with beautiful carved crests and elegant feet provide substantial and stylish storage space for your French bedroom or general living space. The Etienne bed features scrolling canework head and footboards which is perfect for not looking too heavy in a scheme as the light can still flow through the textured panels. Lastly a linen buttoned upholstered foot end will sit elegantly at the end of a French bed, under a window, or along a narrow hallway as an impromptu seat. The collection and its details are just as pretty as any of our antique-finished painted shabby chic furniture.
1 Rusty Brown Icelandic Sheepskin Rug: From £70. 2 Portrait of Godfrey: £120. 3 Elma Chai Pouffe: £145. 4 Cherished Chesterfield Brown Leather Vintage Sofa: From £1395 for a 2-seater. 5 House Wall Light: £95.
6 Windhund Table Lamp: £135.
Once you've chosen your darkwood pieces, complementary colours such as olive greens or neutral earthy shades will sit harmoniously with them because of the natural warm tones and grain in the wood. Think smart linen upholstered bedroom chairs or the well-loved and aged chestnut leather of our Cherished Chesterfield Sofa for a classic look, and introduce layers of textiles such as sheepskin rugs or woollen throws for a cosy, homely feel.
For a truly modern look though, think bright or dark. Stark, bright white walls provide a stunning contrasting backdrop to the depth of tones in the warm wood, showing it off beautifully in a light and airy bedroom scheme. On the other hand the dramatic contrasting backdrop of matt, chalky black or grey walls for mid-dark wood furniture to sit against is an unashamedly fabulous look. The Design Is Mine blog's selection of images here depicts just how amazingly well traditional woods can look against this moody palette of colours and we love it! Take a look and be inspired!
Author: Georgia Metcalfe, Managing Director, The French Bedroom Company