11 Design Elements of Louis XV Furniture

Louis XV furniture design followed closely the creations of the Louis XIV era with more grace.

  1. Louis XV was a lighter style and much more graceful than Louis XIV.  The smaller proportions were an improvement.
  2. From the onset Louis XV used curved elements and structure, the greatest extent of the use of these elements before or after the era.  Louis XV reached the highest attainment of these elements ever achieved by any style.
  3. Near the end of the Louis XV period as the style progressed it degenerated due to all forms of ornament being carried to excess.
  4. On some pieces of Louis XV furniture straight lines are entirely absent, creating pieces that were bulging and bowed.
  5. The Louis XV furniture eventually lost its character and its usefulness when it became weakened by too much ornament and too much decorative detail.
  6. Balance, ornament, and structural elements for the most part distinguished Louis XV from all other styles.
  7. Cabriole legs of Louis XV were used almost exclusively and were the finest ever designed.
  8. Ornament was excessive and of every conceivable type: carving, inlay, Boulle work, pictorial art, veneering, painting and laquering, the use of precious and semiprecious metals.
  9. Upholstery included tapestry, fine brocades, velours, silks, damasks, printed materials.
  10. There were more colors used, brighter with a variety of hues.
  11. Walnut and mahogany woods were predominant although cheaper woods were used for pieces that were painted or gilded.