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Rooms designed as entirely mid-century modern or entirely Georgian can sometimes feel like time-capsules, stale and uninspired. However, spaces that incorporate elements from different points in time, in a client’s life and beyond, blossom into layered and rich spaces. One “point in time” I’ve always admired is the Biedermeier era.

The period took place between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and 1848. Popular in Germany, Denmark, and the Austrian Empire, the Biedermeier style borrowed from French Neo-Classicism and English design. Known as the beginning of simplicity, Biedermeier stressed “purity of form” and a lack of surface ornamentation in its design philosophy. Bright contrasting colors, geometrics, and shellacked veneer woods stand out as major characteristics of Biedermeier furniture and accessories.

When taken out of a “Biedermeier room” and placed in a contemporary room, a Biedermeier furniture piece lends a stately and sculptural impression; and yet their reduced forms and tongue-in-cheek construction, simultaneously add a quality of playfulness.

Chair

Chair by the quintessential Biedermeier furniture designer, Josef Danhauser.

Glass Design

Biedermeier glass design by 19th century painter Anton Kothhgasser.

Armoire

Casual room with a Biedermeier armoire that adds architecture and great height.

Cup & Saucer

Exquisite Biedermeier cup and saucer by Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur. The trompe-l'œil of ribbon is my new obsession.

— Agatha Strompolos

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