Mar 18, 2015

Shades of green for spring in French homes of the 18th and 19th centuries

During the 18th and 19th centuries, rooms in the grand homes and those of the bourgeoisie were often decorated according to the season. Winter furnishings were in darker colors and sometimes in heavier fabrics. There were often more drapes and portières to hang in doorways and hallways to shut out the cold and the drapes for windows were often lined. Quilts and coverlets were part of the bedroom ensemble. Some quilts had two "faces" - one darker for winter and one lighter for summer. During the spring, the entire decor of a home was changed to lighter, paler and airier fabrics and motifs. For springtime fabrics, pistachio, spring green and pale greens were popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This is a piece of woven silk created for a chair seat, done in bright spring green, mid-19th century. Note the use of symbols - the shell (symbol of the sacred path, but also used as a welcome sign for pilgrims in Medieval times) and the acanthus leaf (symbol of enduring life.)

Reddish-orange poppies and white grasses are the motif in this Art Nouveau fabric with a pale leaf-green background.

This 19th century French printed cotton features scattered flowers and leaves. The pale muted green background is a lovely canvas for the brightly-colored flowers. 

This pretty 1920s fabric, with a pale yellow-green background, was inspired by 18th century patterns.