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Time Traveler: Biedermeier Sense & Sensibilities

When I was in college I spent a summer studying art, music and architecture in Innsbruck, Austria. This was a very formative time for me as I was exposed to so much, including the origin of Biedermeier style.  I came back and realized why I love this classic antique Biedermeier sofa that my parents have in a reading alcove in their house. Remember when I mentioned in the book styling post that I am a book girl…you can see where I get it from.

Biedermeirer refers to an 18th century historical era, and it is more often connected with an influential style of furniture and architecture from Austria and Germany. Throughout this time period, the emphasis was on middle class sensibilities, clean lines and minimal ornamentation.

A Biedermeirer chest in Lonny Magazine.

This armoire is absolutely striking.

This elegant desk provides a bedside work space.

The Biedermeier style was thought to be a simplified interpretation of the influential French Empire Style of Napoleon I, which originated with the characteristics of ancient Roman Empire styles. The furniture makers often used locally sourced materials such as cherry, ash and oak woods rather than the expensive timbers such as fully-imported mahogany. This also helps with identification of pieces and their time periods.

These chunky chairs add a touch of history to this modern space.

This room by Nate Berkus has a beautiful Biedermeier secretary in it.

A dark and dramatic room with a Biedermeier dresser.

Similar to the furniture pieces above, typical Biedermeirer architecture is signified by its simplicity, elegance and restraint as seen in Vienna.

I think the Biedermeier style is beautiful, and I’m on the watch for my own piece.


Image Credits: Laura Casey (1), Lonny Magazine (2), House Beautiful (3), Garrow Kedigan for House Beautiful (4) J. Randall Powers for Elle Decor (5), Nate Berkus for Elle Decor (6), Tommy Smythe & Sarah Richardson for House and Home (7),   Pediaview (8), and Essential Architecture (9).


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