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Dec 01, 2017

How to Redesign Your Decor to Complement a French Fireplace

French Baroque architecture is arguably the most sought after influence in modern home designs and interior decor. At its peak during the 17th century, it was the epitome of luxury, opulence and extravagance.

Strongly influenced by the exquisite detailing of the Palace at Versaille and its elaborate French Baroque Architecture, Louis XIV’s extensive remodelling and extending of the original palace has forever connected his name with this period of timeless style and the very embodiment of grandeur.

Versaille housed 1200 fireplaces, which were made of traditional limestone or marble. The size of the hearth meant that the surrounds and mantle needed to withstand extreme heat for extended periods. At Richard Ellis Design, we have emulated this by creating our hand-crafted masterpieces out of the the same traditional materials to make them both aesthetically beautiful and highly durable.

Decor Dynamics

The inclusion of a French style fireplace bestows both elegance and warmth to a home. The Cabriolet lines, scalloped edges and filigree ornamental work can provide a focal point to a large room--at once enhancing the feeling of space yet highlighting the intimate warmth. It sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to spartan or minimalistic design.

Light and contrasts were heavily featured in this era since optimising light in a room was limited to candles and mirrors to capture, reflect and embellish both natural and artificial light sources.

Candelabras and gilt mirrors were used to spectacular effect to bounce and control light. In modern homes, the introduction of Buillotte or Bouillon table lamps with their faux candle brackets creates a soft ambience, reminiscent of candlelight.

In contrast, the lines found in small apartments during this period were simpler and more streamlined yet nonetheless beautiful. This more restrained style can complement utilitarian rooms such as studies, libraries and bedrooms. The reign of Louis VIII epitomised the era’s understated elegance and sleek finishes.


The reign of Louis XIV was the principal era of the Baroque architecture and style. It was focussed on creating a royal aura and thus sumptuous use of deep reds, blues and purples and the extensive use of gilt and gold.

Soft furnishings and artwork can be used to amplify or mute the effect of the these colours. Contemporary art can blend seamlessly through the use of thoughtful placement and blending of colour palettes.

Introduce floral arrangements of crimson, gold and white to continue the theme of regal luxury.

Living Areas

For many contemporary homes the inclusion of baroque furnishings can be somewhat overpowering. Parisian chic can bestow a gracious charm which is fitting of the era but with a contemporary edge.

An imposing fireplace would rightly take centre stage in the lounge area, with seating arranged at each end. Furnishings should consist of European antiques and reproduction ‘Louis’ chairs combined with rounded bureaus with gilt ormolu detailing, soft furnishings and drapes.

Interior decor was heavily scrolled and festooned with cupids, floral garlands. Leaves and foliage adorned wood work, wallpaper, floor rugs and even ceilings.

At Richard Ellis Design, we design and manufacture an elite range of fireplaces from every pivotal architectural point throughout the centuries including Victorian, Georgian and Tudor along with contemporary and retro designs.

Unlock the potential in your home by calling us today on (03) 9489 7654 or contact us via our website to arrange a personal consultation.