A French style entertainment center can mean many different things to different people. It may conjure up images of the simple life in the country, or the delicate details often associated with Marie Antoinette. Deciding which style of French dcor you prefer will help you find an appropriate TV cabinet for your home.
A French Style Entertainment Center – The Armoire
When referring to French dcor, many people think of antiques, and most antiques don’t necessarily lend themselves well to being entertainment centers. The easy solution is to look to any type of armoire. Regardless of what era it comes from, an armoire is usually large enough to hold a TV and still remain true to the look.
The Different French Styles
French furniture design comes in several distinct styles, and while some have become more generalized, most are classified by the era they come from.
The French Country style is one of the most common. Its design is based on a simple and rustic lifestyle using natural materials, such as pine. The wood of the TV cabinet should be stained to bring out its natural tones and have hand-carved details. Painting the wood and distressing it is another common technique used to achieve the French Country look.
The “empire” in this look refers to Napoleon, who was greatly influenced by Egyptian symbols and inspired by Neo-Classicism. A TV stand replicating this era is both masculine and very grand in scale, with gilded metal details, Egyptian symbols and veneer finishes on the wood.
An armoire from the Louis XVI era also has a Neo-Classical look, but is smaller in scale, making it more elegant and delicate. The lines of a Louis XVI style TV cabinet should be straight with fluted legs and made out of wood, such as mahogany. The wood should be stained, instead of painted, to retain its natural tone.
Louis XV – Rococo
If your look is much more feminine and delicate, then you’ll want a Rococo armoire from the Louis XV period. Associated more often with Marie Antoinette, this look is very decorative with lacquered surfaces, painted pastoral images and intricate carvings. In addition, the lines of a Rococo TV cabinet should be curved, and the scale should be small and delicate.
Where to Find French Dcor
When looking for furniture in a specific French design, the first thing you need to think about is whether you want to purchase a genuine antique piece or a reproduction. If money is no object, an antique can be a wonderful addition to your furniture collection. Though antiques can be hard to find, many stores specialize in them and can help you find an armoire that can be converted to a TV cabinet. If a genuine antique is not what you’re looking for, a reproduction can be more affordable, made to function as an entertainment center and found in a variety of stores.