I fell in love with this “headboard” when I saw this photo in a decorating magazine a few years ago. Not being a fan of “country furniture,” I was surprised how much I liked it! It appears to be a reclaimed archway that would have been over a rather grand entrance. When I found the photo recently while purging homework from my decorating classes, I thought it would be fun to put together my version of a Swedish Gustavian bedroom based on this headboard that reminds me so much of that style. Here we go!
Swedish Gustavian style began in 1771 and takes its name from the Swedish monarch Gustav III. It’s a paired down version of French Neoclassicism that features an airy, delicate colour palette of toned shades of pale grey, soft blues, off-white and cream. The furnishings can also be gilded. The style is a simpler restrained design with clean lines, using less rich materials and a lighter colour palette than in France. The fabrics mostly used were linen, raw silk; the patterns were usually checks and a light floral pattern. Huge mirrors were used to maximize light and lighting included crystal chandeliers. It’s a style that is timeless, not fussy and remains a popular decorating style that works well in our modern world.
This style is light and airy with a colour scheme that includes soft greys such as Benjamin Moore’s HC172 for the walls, OC60 for any trim. The chest of drawers and night tables are painted cream, using Benjamin Moore’s CC100 which contrasts nicely against the headboard. A touch of light smoky blue accessories would work well too.
Placing two of these stools at the foot of the bed would look fantastic! They could be upholstered using a linen type fabric in a neutral tone. To keep the look light and airy, simple window panels of linen or raw silk in light neutral tones would be a good choice. Because the headboard is such a dramatic focal point of the room, the other furnishings should be a light colour. The distressed mirror mimics the look of the headboard.
The fabrics used in this style are natural ones like linen and cotton and a checked pattern is representative of Gustavian style. This duvet cover fabric goes very well with the décor chosen. I would add some pale grey or white sheets and perhaps a throw that is a darker grey or light smoky blue to finish dressing the bed. The chandelier brings sparkle and bling to the room!
Of course, we all can’t be running around buying antique furniture! But if one keeps in mind the motif’s of Gustavian furniture, derived from the Adam style, like laurel wreaths, garlands, medallions and the rosettes you see on Louis XVI furniture, the shapes of furniture and furnishings from that period, you can find pieces that will give you the feel of this style.