We have all seen these “Louis-Style” chairs repeatedly over the years; however, do you know the history and differences between the styles? Here is a quick CliffsNotes style version of how time has influenced the royal seating.
Thou shalt not be afraid to infuse classic or neo-classic Louis-Style Chairs in thou home. Beginning from the latest design and working back to the earliest :
Louis XVI (1774–1792) : The fluted style legs with carved straight lines are influenced by the Roman and Grecian columns. Whether a rounded or rectangular back, you can always spot this neo-classic style by the legs. Florals are banded by geometric patterns for a sophisticated balance. It was during this period that chairs were first designed strictly for ornamental reasons. The upholstery technique and exposure of wood frame did not change much from the Louis XV period.
Louis XV (1715–1774) : Nature motifs, lavish woods, lacquers, and hand-painting were all important elements of this era. The main things to look for are curved legs, medallions, and ornate details. This style is composed of continuous curves while the Louis XVI chair is more angular with at least straight legs if not more. The most typical chair style is the bergère, a very wide low and deep arm chair. A comfortably angled back makes for the perfect occasional chair in guest rooms, offices and occasional seating areas.
Louis XIV (1643–1715) : Where it all began. The King who built his chateau, The Palace of Versailles, as a testament to his love of the arts. He declared departments within the government for architecture, painting, the gardens, and cabinet making. This era designed the classic style of royalty. Seeing as he had departments of the arts, it makes sense this is where the original “Louis Chair” was born. Tapered baluster-shaped legs with H or X-shaped stretchers serve as the base to a heavy upholstered wide seat with a high back. Large and regal enough to support headdresses and room for two. The future XV and XVI chairs do not balance in comparison to this hefty throne-like design, but they do carry the richness of definition and detail.
Check out our New Classic Interiors Book for more ideas on how to place a Louis Chair into your home
Mix these antiquities with mid-century modern to create a more transitional feel. Use for seating in the office, dining room, living room or bedroom. They are functional and high-style.