Opaline: Gustavian Chic

2.01.2010

Gustavian Chic

Quirky historical fact: Gustavian furniture -- typically painted in whites, creams and grays -- was partly inspired by the ash-filled rooms in Pompeii. The classic Scandinavian style originated in the late 1700s, around the same time that archaeologists began excavating the Italian city that had been covered in ash after Mt. Vesuvius erupted about a thousand years earlier. Experts believe that the Greco-Roman furniture (and color choices) unearthed from layers of volcanic ash influenced this expansive, welcoming style.

Gustavian style is known for curving, arched silhouettes, simple flourishes and natural woods. Along with the ruins of Pompeii, it borrowed from overblown French rococo. King Gustav III visited Versailles and became enamored with the style, but his stoic woodworkers knew overkill when they saw it. They wisely pared down the neoclassical and ornate, and played up the natural woods and clean lines. The result is Gustavian style, and it's easy to see why it remains a favorite.



Gustavian console and tub chair @ Wisteria, $1250 and $800



Images from Country Living, except the Gustavian grandfather clock @ Dooleys, £370.

Gustavian vintage bed @ Viva Terra, from $1,675

Images: Swedish Interior Design, Remodelista and Marie Claire Maison

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