Welcome to my personal A to Z Challenge on the subject of Home. The goal, in a year time, is to elaborate and dissect topics regarding the Home not as containers of stuff, but as a cocoon for the soul, mind and heart. I will touch on decorations, style, trends, history of home and sometimes technical information. On Jan. 14, 2014, my challenge will be over and I am feeling the heat.
Of all the furniture styles ever designed Queen Ann style has been the style that has passed the test of approval through the centuries. In my experience, I have always found details of Queen Ann furniture in most houses I have visited in North America. This style, also called “late Baroque” refers to the historic period (1702–1714) during which Queen Ann Stuart reigned Great Britain.
Queen Ann was considered the quintessence of ordinariness, often described as vulgar in taste and a drinker. She received a limited education similar to that of an aristocratic girl: music and languages, but had no knowledge of military matters or civil laws. Perhaps her ordinariness brought her to simplify the ornaments of furniture while putting the emphasis on lines and forms. Skilled British craftsmen brought this classic simplicity to the American colonies and ever since the style had its appeal in traditional and country décor.
Today Queen Ann style is considered formal and very elegant. I don’t see anything ordinary about it. Keep in mind a few simple elements if you want to decorate in this style .
Woods: walnut and burr walnut veneer, cherry, maple and mahogany are the woods that will give Queen Ann style a formal, sophisticated look.
Chairs are padded, smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than the predecessors William and Mary Style. The back of chairs is shaped like a yoke and the seat take a horseshoe shape.
Furniture are curvier and structured with designs of C-scroll and S-scrolls shapes. Shells on relief, scallops, or acanthus leaves represent the limited ornamentations.
The signature of Queen Ann style is cabriole legs with pad foot that replaced the ball foot. The claw foot resisted for a while, somewhat common to find it in this style.
We use tables with drop leaf or tilt top as space savers, they were made for the Queen and it’s hard to believe she needed space in her palace.
A room decorated in this style has at least one comfortable desk often made in a round shape with écritoire accessories.
Today, even the most conservative style as the Queen Ann style can be reinterpreted in a whimsical way to decorate a colorful room for young people or young at heart. Italian company Moro-Pigatti produces Queen Ann style chairs for indoor and outdoor in eco-friendly recyclable linear polyethylene (plastic) at a “snip” price of $895.00 a piece. Accessories such as champagne bucket and ottomans made of the same material make good pairs with the chairs.
As far as architecture, Queen Ann style homes in the true sense of the word are no longer built, we can only enjoy the lavish examples left through the years, especially the years of the industrial revolution (1880-1890), when bankers, new capitalists, rich merchants and industrialists built their homes in great excess to be showy. It didn’t matter if many architectural details didn’t belong together, in this hodgepodge style was important to accumulate interesting look. A Queen Ann home might have half-timber details typical of the Tudor period, or gingerbread typical of Victorian era, but at the same time it might have columns typical of Italian Palladian villas, turrets and round towers typical of castles. Large porches, verandas, bay windows, dorm windows and balconies might be found all together in one Queen Ann style home.
Don’t we see the same details in our modern homes? We either want more for our money, or we got accustomed to impurity. Love to help you finding the right style for you. I am available through Skype. Ciao,
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Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. She is well-know for designing custom furniture. She cares to make spacious and functional pieces, but she doesn’t forget to introduce the element of surprise, sinuous lines, attractive shapes and colors in the style fit for each of her special clients. She is the author of ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors, Check out her books on