Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Is Louisianastyle Decor

The "Vieux Care" of New Orleans is of Spanish origin.

When anyone mentions Louisiana, usually the first thing that comes to mind is New Orleans and Mardi Gras. People also associate it mostly with French architecture and cuisine. What makes Louisiana so fascinating is its history and the cultural influences that color its architecture, cuisine, language and home decor. With its mix of Spanish, French, African and Caribbean ancestries, Louisians's home decor is a captivating cocktail. Does this Spark an idea?

Historical Style Incursions in Louisiana

The opulence of Louis XIV's Versailles arrives in Louisiana.

In the 1500s, the Spanish came to the mouth of the Mississippi River and began to explore the territory. In the 1600s, the French came to settle, bringing with them the opulent style of Louis XIV's court. In the early 1700s, the French began to import slaves from Africa, adding yet another element to the Louisiana culture. Toward the end of the 17th century, the Spanish were back, with their own Baroque brand of style.

The Splendor of Louis the XIV

Plantation owners competed with French chateaux for grandeur.

The introduction of slaves brought great wealth to the citizens of Louisiana, which motivated them to build their plantation homes with as much glitz as palace of Versailles. Not to be outdone, the city dwellers brought many of these elements into their homes. Gold gilded chairs and sofas, with intricately carved legs and arms and upholstered in velvet graced the mansion's parlours and dining rooms. Crystal chandeliers celebrated the ceilings, and large oil paintings in golden museum quality frames adorned the walls.

The Opulence of Charles III's Court

Baroque style architecture

When the French relinquished their control of Louisiana to Spain, the Baroque era was at its height, and Charles III's court displayed its extravagance in architecture, art, music and furnishings. This decor included patterns on top of patterns, curving sinuous lines, over-the-top decorations, gold and crystal -- all encompassed within a unifying harmony of materials.

Louisiana Decor Reflects Its Cultural Diversity

Louis XIV meets Charles III and Africa on a Lousiana porch.

No matter its exterior or size, a Louisiana home will blend the court splendor of Louis XIV of France and Charles III of Spain with the cultural sensibilities brought by the slaves of Africa and trade with the Caribbeans. Eclectic describes the blend of these influences: intricate wrought iron details from Spain intermixed with a gold leaf Spanish Baroque mirror matched with a Louis XIV console and chair and, overhead, a very Caribbean-style ceiling fan.

Tags: architecture cuisine, home decor, with French