Have you ever gotten a chance to see Mardi Gras’?……… you’ll know there is a very distinctive design to the homes and hotels throughout New Orleans. Some more conservative interior designers might describe it as “Gaudy Victorian”………. It has a definite French influence because of it’s historic past and the French that settled in Louisiana after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
New Orleans / Louisiana Style is really like no other form of decorating. It has some elements of Victorian and Art Nouveau, but it’s informal acceptance of a myriad of cracked stucco and distressed chipped paint, goes far beyond anything the other schools of design embrace. Also…… think eclectic, unusual combinations seem to be the norm.
With a combination of Caribbean, French, Haitian, and African, New Orleans has engendered the cultures of so many diverse , that there is bound to be an equally diverse joining of fabrics, textures, materials and colors. But the one common thread that seems to weave all of those is an appreciation for the past and almost scorn for modern.
The New Orleans / Louisiana Style of decorating encompasses the past of all of those unique cultures. In doing so, a rather unique thing happens……. a rather distinct design style starts to take form. When you see it, there’s no mistaking where it started. We’ve all seen, whether in photo’s or movies, the lovely ornate iron banisters and elaborate iron grill work that is throughout the French Quarter of New Orleans. Manufacturers and foundries that made the railings, banisters etc. that have survived intact over the years, also made a myriad of iron items for every day household use…. iron skillets, utensils, cast iron boilers, mail boxes, iron beds, manhole covers for the street’s, everything imaginable. Having been made from hot poured molten iron ore, everything they made had a life span no other collectible or antique could match. Wood warps, thread bare and frayed, glass and pottery can break, but cast iron remains the same as the day it was manufactured. Antique iron beds are a true mainstay in bedroom decor for New Orleans decor. The fancier and the more distressed the finish the better. The same is the case with lighting fixtures, chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps. Old antique gold gilded finishes that sometimes show more rust and flaking than gold give continuity to the cracked plaster walls and scared wooden plank floors. Yet even with all of the “untended to” age of the surroundings, there is a “cared for” appeal to New Orleans styling. Depending on the extreme with which the designer was given reign by her client or how fixed she is on this style….. the look, if truly achieved gives the observer a “transported back in time” feeling. All the furniture, whether couches or cabinets, shelves or dressers, all appear to have survived a succession of generations.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
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