French antique furniture is the most popular European antique furniture style now. Personally, I prefer the country French look more so than the more formal styles. But that is one reason French antique furniture is so popular. It has a style for everyone’s taste.
Country French Antique Furniture
Country French antique furniture is know for its simplicity.. It was not manufactured in the major cities but in small towns and villages. Also known as French country furniture, it is so warm and inviting to me. One of my favorite French country furniture pieces was the antique farm table. A side note here, many pieces of antique French furniture have been damaged by worms. Because of this, most country French tables have repairs on their legs. The combined damage caused by water and worms on the bottom of the legs usually caused the bottoms to be rotted. So don’t be alarmed when you see repairs on the bottom of the legs. Sometimes this also adds a little height to the table since originally they were pretty low.
Another problem that is common with French country tables is they tend to split after a while. I have a friend who has a shop in Colorado where it is very dry and she really has this problem. When you find the table which has been waxed and is ready to use, most of the time the bottom of the table has not been touched. I used to own a refinishing shop and we always finished the bottoms of everything. If you don’t, the wood on the bottom of the piece tends to dry out much faster than the top resulting in splitting. This can happen on nearly any piece but it especially true with tables. I have seen beautiful country French farm tables have a crack running down the middle of the table. So please seal the bottom of those farm tables with either wax or just with a can of spray lacquer. You have been warned. I have provided 2 photos to illustrate, one shows the top and the other the bottom. All photos are from 1stdibs.com.
For people that love the look of French country antique table, but need a larger one, there are a few dealers in the UK, where I shopped, that will take two farm tables and make one longer one by using the second table to make leaves for the first one. Otherwise it is difficult to find ones longer than 6-7 feet. Another favorite is the French wine tasting table. These neat round tables are so versatile and come in many different sizes. There is a photo showing one. You can see they can fold down if you need the extra room. Those two types of tables seemed to be at the top of everyone’s shopping list. Country French has become all of the rage in design. Many look for what is the latest in Country French decorating in the latest country French magazine.
Formal French Antique Furniture
At the opposite end of the scale is the formal French antique furniture with fancy carving, marble tops, inlaid veneers, and ormolu. Some even like to mix country French design with some more formal antique French pieces that are more formal. Some of the elegant French antique mirrors can work well in so many different settings.
Most people looking for French antique furniture seem to be looking for either bedroom or dining room furniture. There are a lot of complete sets of antique French bedroom suites. These often consist of a bed, dresser, armoire, and bedside cabinet. Many antique French beds can be made to accommodate a queen sized mattress. One antique store in Dallas does a great job of taking matching twin beds and converting them to a king size bed, and the resulting bed looks great.
Shoppers looking for an antique French dining room suite can often find matching tables and chairs, and then many different French antique sideboards will complement these. I might add something here. Because of problems you can have with antique chairs, especially French antique chairs with the worm problems, some designers prefer to use new country French reproduction chairs that are more sturdy, especially if large men and teenagers will be sitting in them. All glue, especially the glues used originally when the antiques were built will break down over time. So be sure they are sturdy and hopefully reglued before you purchase them.
There are many different periods of French antique furniture, like those of any country. But the country French look has captured the fancy of many Americans. There are even country French homes and country French kitchens. So naturally the popularity of French antique furniture has increased also. For instance in Dallas, my hometown, if an antique is not French or English, not many people want it. Dallas, as well as Houston, is a very European town when it comes to antiques. Hopefully I have peaked your interest in French antique furniture.