In 1804, Emperor Napoleon I put in fashion a decorative style of Empire with ancient Roman motifs. Empire in translation from the French – “imperial style”, as well as the style of late classicism in architecture.
Interior style Empire can be used in private country houses, cottages and mansions, in which spacious rooms. A special feature of the Empire style is luxury, so expensive and natural materials are used for decoration. To decorate the walls used expensive fabrics, such as silk, velvet and satin.
The main artists of the French imperial style, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, were talented decorators and used their talent mainly for creating interiors and furniture design.
Signs of Empire style
The main features of Empire style are beauty and imperial luxury.
1. The two main ampire ornaments have a different but equally ancient origin. A classic acanthus, a decorative form in the form of stylized leaves or stems of acanthus – an antique motif.
2. The true sign of the Empire is animal motives. Lions, eagles and snakes, associated with courage, strength and wisdom, were the most popular “Empire” animals. (the heads and paws of lions, eagles and snakes were decorated with armrests and furniture legs, the backs and side panels of armchairs and sofas made in the shape of an eagle’s wing)
3. Color palette – monophonic tone.
Empire refers to the so-called “royal styles”, which can be characterized by theatricality in the design of architectural buildings and interior interiors. The peculiarity of the architectural empire consists in the obligatory presence of columns, pilasters, stucco moldings and other classical elements, as well as motifs that reproduce almost unchanged antique samples of sculpture, like griffins, sphinxes, lions’ feet and similar sculptural structures. These elements are arranged in the Empire in an orderly manner, with the observance of balance and symmetry. The artistic design of the style with its massive lapidary and monumental forms, as well as its rich decoration, the content of elements of military symbols, the direct influence of artistic forms primarily of the Roman Empire
As a floor covering use a parquet, ceramics, a marble, a carpet. The selected material should emphasize the general atmosphere of the room.
Furniture in the Empire style plays an important role, it is thanks to the right selection of furniture that you can dilute the general atmosphere of wealth and luxury with a drop of restraint and officialdom. Typically, for the interior in the style of Empire chosen furniture, made of high-quality wood. As a decorative finish, you can use the gilding or bronze overlays (preference is given to the first option).
All furniture must have the correct geometric shape, massive appearance and low seating. When choosing upholstery for upholstered furniture, it is better to choose natural leather or leatherette. The legs of the furniture can dilute its classical shape somewhat. As a rule, they have a curved appearance, and even completely executed in the form of paws of mythical animals.
Chests are considered mandatory attributes of Empire style. Like all furniture, they have a very mundane shape, but they are made of expensive wood, for example, from a red tree, which allows them to harmoniously fit into the overall picture of the interior. Such chests of drawers can be decorated with columns or figures of ancient gods from the side of the jambs.