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Biedermeier Style

Biedermeier Style

Throughout the early 19th Century the Biedermeier style was fashionable in Germany and Austria and to a lesser extent Scandinavia. It was contemporary with the French Empire Style, with it’s classical shapes and solidity.

The main differences in furniture were that it was more practical, less pretentious, the use of pale timber with detailed ebony inlay and only minimal amounts of carved and guilded decoration.

The interior decoration followed the same unpretentious theme; the floor was kept simple, usually bare floorboards or parquet (light timber) and the wall simply painted in bright or pale single colors.

Biedermeier decoration and furniture can be recognised by its key factors – clarity, proportion and restraint.

Decorative materials were marble and sandstone used for ornamentation. The dominating colours for the style were clair bois (pale wood) and black ebony inlay.

As mentioned this was used for furniture but could also be seen on skirting boards, doors or other small areas.

Airy light colors prevailed but vibrant contrasting colors to the pale timber could also be seen.

Soft simple natural fabrics were used for drapery.

Understated neo classical detail was simply columns, pilasters and urns. Again simple lines for chair legs, straight or sabre.

More information on Styles and Periods of Interior Decorating

Styles and Periods
Furniture History
Decorating Styles
Period Decoration
What is Style?

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse