Gustavian Style — by Guest Mom Leslie

January 17, 2008

images of furniture from Country Living

One of my favorite styles in interior design is the Gustavian style. (Quick history lesson: the style was named for King Gustav III, who ruled Sweden from 1771 to 1792, and the trend lasted about 30 to 40 years after his death.) Picture light-filled rooms with no rugs on the floors and bare windows. It may sound bleak and cold, but rooms inspired by the Gustavian period and the Swedish lifestyle are some of the warmest and most inviting I’ve seen. The colors of this period are creams, whites, blues and grays. With darkness covering Sweden for most of the wintertime, it’s no wonder that, for centuries, the Swedes have filled their homes with light and remembrances of summer sunshine. This classic Swedish look is also characterized by hand painted furniture, large, curvaceous clocks, and neoclassical shapes.

images from Swedish Reproduction Furniture
and A Beautiful Living, a lovely Swedish style blog

Because the style is so classical, it appeals to a large variety of decorating tastes, from period-influenced traditionalism to urban/modern. My taste hinges on the more traditional Gustavian style, but this post, at Desire to Inspire, showcases a home which perfectly translates this Swedish look into a contemporary family home.

What do you think?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah January 17, 2008 at 1:51 pm

this too is my favorite…never been to sweeden, but I CRAVE this kind of simple yet lush decor!–sarah jane


2 Anonymous January 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Great look. Love the information, too. No rugs, in that cold climate?


3 CocoBlu Studio January 17, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Pictures like that leave me so inspired!!! It is amazing how the somewhat ornate furniture can translate into such a serene & simple space.


4 Lindsey January 17, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Um, yeah–I totally love it.


5 sweetbeans January 17, 2008 at 6:02 pm

That would be perfect for this cold Minnesota winter!


6 angie January 17, 2008 at 8:59 pm

thanks for putting a name and history lesson to a style i love – but didn’t have a word for!


7 go boo boo January 17, 2008 at 9:26 pm

love the gustavian. ditto on thanks for putting a lesson and name to colors and textures I love too!


8 Make and Takes January 18, 2008 at 8:58 am

Oh, I need to rethink my house! Thanks for the fresh look.


9 Amelia January 18, 2008 at 10:42 am

Thanks for the link! is a great swedish/danish auktionsite where you can find the most beautiful old gustavian furnitures!

All the best,


10 annie January 20, 2008 at 2:54 am

Wonderful, beautiful! Love it! The light and color palette are perfect! Great post!


11 Anonymous February 22, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Thanks for including links to where we can find reproductions. This article reminds me of my many visits to Stockholm, Goteborg, and the Sweden countryside. Lovely!


12 TonicHome April 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I think it’s the soft colors that I like most about this look. Beautiful photos – thanks!


13 Paula August 6, 2008 at 4:53 pm

My goal for last 20 years has been to make my entire home over in Gustavian style, I love pale blue and white and have made each room up around that palette, even handpainting my own furniture and adding gold leaf to frames and accents on furniture. Airy but rich and warm too.
I love it when people talk about Gustavian style!
(LilyOake in Seattle)


14 Anonymous May 28, 2009 at 1:50 am

I’m from Norway, and even though our culture didn’t really encorporate a lot of the Gustavian style, it still remains a beautifully classic way of styling the home. Houses in Scandinavia have always been amazingly insulated so there has never been a need for carpets. I love that aspect of the no carpet look, it also means less dust! Beautiful pictures and great blog!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: