By Shereen Shabnam
Authentic French furnishings manifest a history, a soul, a resplendence and a character. They have spanned the centuries without losing any of its charm. As antique furniture is timeless, it evolves and adapts to new fashions and trends. We get insights from Valérie Lasorne, Founder of French Atmospheres who is from France and has always been passionate about beautiful period furniture from the past.
After studying Law and Master in Business Administration, Valerie arrived in Abu Dhabi to launch a new phase in her life and to share with her fellow inhabitants her passion for French antiques which began during childhood vacations at her grandparents’ chateau in Picardy. She is married to Pierre, a senior Consultant Neurologist and has three daughters, a huge dog and two lazy cats living in Al Muneera Island, Abu Dhabi.
The notion of antique furniture refers to furniture made between the high period (14th century) and the 19th century. Generally speaking, a piece of furniture older than 100 years is antique. It represents not only decorative pieces but also testimonies to history and culture.
French Atmospheres isone business with two groups of clients – Individual customers and interior design professionals both sharing a common goal to integrate French tradition into modern lifestyles. Valerie’s business provides an opportunity to combine French traditional furnishing with the expertise of local designers to provide exceptional interiors reflecting the success and individuality of their customers.
Valerie strives to cater to design professionals seeking to differentiate and enhance their design proposals in providing the originality of the “French touch” with striking decorative results. Her online showroom at frenchatmospheres.com and the Facebook and Instagram pages illustrate the product range and opportunity potential.
As the products from French Atmospheres appeal to international tastes and blend tradition with modernity, Valerie welcomes collaborative projects with regional design professionals to accommodate individualised fabric choices and customer adapted solutions.
Her collections cater to all tastes. The Classic Collection is inspired by French nobility and Fabrics sourced from France with designs inspired by history to restore pieces to their former glory. The Contemporary work involves Restoring antique pieces using modern fabrics from French couturiers and designers to give them a refreshing new look. “Country Chic” pieces are easy-to-live-with furniture, in pastel colours and soft tones to provide cosy comfort for modern family lifestyles.
In each collection Valerie has seats, tables, chests of drawers and accessories. These include Art Deco dining room chairs upholstered in a contemporary fabric inspired by period motifs. Their elegant sobriety makes them timeless pieces. Among her collections is a fine Art Deco dining room table with beautifully carved legs and headband – the purity of its lines will harmonize perfectly with contemporary chairs for an unconventional and original decoration impression.
One can also find at French Atmospheres Louis Philippe style dressers, armchairs, diamond sofas or lounge chairs. Louis XV, known as the “Beloved” reigned over the kingdom of France from 1715 to 1774. The Louis XV style is characterized by its elegance and lightness. It is recognizable by the grace of the curved legs of the furniture with “pied de biche”(deer foot). The wood is natural, gilded or painted. The “rococo” style ornamentation is inspired by nature and exoticism.
Valerie’s collection has a mirror from the 19th century, an elegant Art Nouveau display pedestal, Rainbow lounge chairs and a Napoleon III armchairs in blackened rosewood decorated on the back, the belt and the legs with delicate carved flowers. The elegance of these precious wood seats is enhanced by a Christian Lacroix fabric with a stylised rose motif.
At French Atmospheres you can expect to find majestic lamps and fans made of embroidered silk and lace. There are modular tables, mahogany, rosewood and walnut chairs and armchairs with casters, Louis XVI style sideboards.
The Louis XVI style is classical, inspired by Antiquity, the shapes are geometric, the legs of the furniture are straight and light, often fluted. However, under the influence of Marie-Antoinette, the ornaments are enriched with musical and rural attributes, ribbon bows giving a delicate touch to the furniture.
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