Studded Style: Classic Nailhead Trim In Interior Design

Interior Appeal:  Studded Embellishments Of Nailhead Trim
Interior Appeal: Studded Embellishments Of Nailhead Trim

Nailhead trim. A timeless added detail and enduring element of furniture design that spans interior design. Dating back to the period of 1560-1643 with the arrival of what it referred to as French Country furniture era during the reign of Louis XIII in 17th Century France, nailhead trim on furnishings endures to appeal. Beyond a visual appreciation of the studded design of the nailhead and its embellishment to classically styled furniture, a nod to the past will certainly only broaden historical appreciation for a classic element that remains a constant in interior design today.

Historically, the use of decorative nailheads served as not just decorative form but in function in furniture making.  Beyond a mere decorative trim, nailheads were used to hide areas where the upholstery was tacked into the wood frame of the furniture object.  Who knew? Form and function. Nailheads would thus aid in holding the upholstery in place attractively.  Decorative concealment in craftsmanship, indeed.  Since the 15th and 16th centuries trims such as gimp (braided trim) would be used by the upholsterer in conjunction with decorative nailheads traditionally made of brass or copper. 17th century France used nailhead trim on the ornately carved wooden seating with period upholstery coverings such as brocade, velvet, tapestries and leather. A studded pattern of design that has never faded from the world of interior design…

France's  Os de Mouton chair:  Marked the Introduction Of Nailhead Trim
France’s Os de Mouton chair

The French  Os de Mouton chair is the most well known design from the 17th century. The French word “Mouton” refers to sheep.  Thus the shape of the chair legs suggests that they resemble the legs of a lamb.  It is interesting to note that the arrival of this chair marked the beginning of upholstered backs and seats using nail head trim.

Beyond the French link to this hidden design of form and function in craftsmanship, designing with nailhead was favored with old Dutch, Spanish and English furnishings. During the 1800’s famed English furniture designer William Morris and the American designers Stickley Brothers during the 1900’s would also favor this medieval-style nailhead trimming with leather and Baroque tapestry. Designs from the past always inspire design through the decades. As with the nailhead trim, classics always endure. Although the use of nailhead trim is commonly linked use with leather-upholstered sofas, chairs and ottomans, the trim has since studded the world of interior design with modern yet timeless appeal.  Both classic and modern takes on this timeless trim are certain to inspire…

Studded In Nailhead Appeal
Studded In Nailhead Appeal
Nailhead Embellishments: Interior Delights Of Classic Appeal
Nailhead Embellishments: Interior Delights Of Classic Appeal
Tried & True: Nailhead Embellishments
Tried & True: Nailhead Embellishments
Studded With Classic Details:  Nailhead Trim
Studded With Classic Details: Nailhead Trim
Trimmed In Style:  Nailhead Design
Trimmed In Style: Nailhead Design
Styled With Metal:  Nailhead Trim Appeal
Styled With Metal: Nailhead Trim Appeal
Trimmed Appeal:  Nailhead Style
Trimmed Appeal: Nailhead Style
Stylized In Classic & Modern Appeal: Nailhead Trim
Stylized In Classic & Modern Appeal: Nailhead Trim
Studded Appeal In Interior Design:  Nailhead Trim
Studded Appeal In Interior Design: Nailhead Trim
Patterned & Dotted In Nailhead Design
Patterned & Dotted In Nailhead Design
Nailhead Inspiration:  Patterned In Classic Style
Nailhead Inspiration: Patterned In Classic Style
Masculine Edge In Nailhead Trim Style
Masculine Edge In Nailhead Trim Style
Embellished Louis:  Studded In Nailhead
Embellished Louis: Studded In Nailhead

Consider the patterned distinction of nailhead trim.  Patterns in nailheads have gone far in decorating our interior spaces in the decades that have followed since the 15th century. With timeless appeal the decoration of nailhead trim will certainly remain an embellishment in interior design. Timeless style with modern inspirations within the interior, indeed. Accentuating lines of design with sophistication, the nailhead trim design will endure to add visual interest and distinction to the surfaces of our interiors that it embellishes. Onward in enduring classic design.



Sculptural Form Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone” Chair

A Classic In Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
A Classic In Design: The “Wishbone Chair”

The “Wishbone Chair”. The name itself provides intrigue. Pair that with the striking design & craftsmanship and it is no wonder that it has become an icon from the 1950’s of Danish Modern style…

A Design Classic In  Form & Function:  Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner's 1950's  "Wishbone Chair"
A Design Classic In Form & Function: Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner’s 1950’s “Wishbone Chair”

In 1944 Danish designer Hans Jorgen Wegner began a series of what are referred to as “China Chairs”. Hans is said to have been inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting upon Ming thrones of Chinese emperors. Who knew? Touching briefly upon this designer’s history…born to a shoemaker, Wegner was trained as a cabinet maker. At the age of 17 Wegner was apprenticed to a carpenter, H. F. Stahlberg, at which time he developed his first design. At the age of 20 he moved to Copenhagen to study at the institution now known as The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design (then known as “The Artisan College”). Beginning his career as an architect, it was as early as 1940 that Wegner began to design for master carpenter Johannes Hansen. The talents of Wegner combined the skills of both and architect and a craftsman produced work that certainly garnered attention. Since 1950, Danish company Carl Hansen & Søn has produced the chair that is known as the “Y”, “CH-24” and iconically, the “Wishbone” chair. It is no surprise that the production of this sculptural chair has never halted.

On the website of Carl Hansen & Søn, it is stated:
Hans J. Wegner is widely considered to be one of the leading figures in 20th century furniture design – and a driving force in the “Danish Modern” movement that changed the way people looked at furniture in the 1950s and 1960s.”

“A master carpenter first and a designer second: Perfectly finished joints and exquisite forms. A deep respect for the wood and its character and an everlasting curiosity about good materials. He gave minimalism an organic and natural softness. He is considered as “the master chair-maker” and designed more than 500 chairs during the course of his life”.

Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007)   ) Danish Designer/ Carl  Hansen & Søn
Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007) ) Danish Designer/ Carl Hansen & Søn

A designer of many chairs, it is perhaps the “Wishbone Chair” of 1949 that has been considered Wegner’s triumph. Clean lines and simplistic design made from natural materials, the chair is certainly striking from all angles. It is perhaps the characteristic “Y”-backed shape that held the strongest reference to this lightweight chair with the steam-bent solid wood frame. A product of skilled wood joinery paired with craftsmanship. Form and function, indeed. A key & unique component to this chair is the seat that is hand woven from paper cord. Of note, paper cord was was a durable material that was developed as a substitute for jute during WWII. Again, who knew? Still used today, it is said that there is over 400 feet of paper cord per chair (120 meters). Imagine! Hand woven style that adds further distinction to a silhouette of great style.

“Many foreigners have asked me how we made the Danish style. And I’ve answered that it…was rather a continuous process of purification, and for me of simplification, to cut down to the simplest possible elements of four legs, a seat and a combined top rail and arm rest”
-Hans Jorgen Wegner

Steam-Bent Wooden Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Steam-Bent Wooden Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Form & Function In Danish Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Form & Function In Danish Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair":   Enduring Design
Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”: Enduring Design
Lightweight, Wooden Style:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Lightweight, Wooden Style: The “Wishbone Chair”
Craftsmanship & Design:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Craftsmanship & Design: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Natural Style:  The Curved Form Of The "Wishbone Chair"
Natural Style: The Curved Form Of The “Wishbone Chair”
Straightforward, Clean Style:  Wegner's  "Wishbone Chair"
Straightforward, Clean Style: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
The "Wishbone Chair":  Striking From All Angles
The “Wishbone Chair”: Striking From All Angles
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort:  Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Wood Joinery & Style:  The Enduring "Wishbone Chair"
Wood Joinery & Style: The Enduring “Wishbone Chair”
Sculptural Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Sculptural Design: The “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's  Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship:  "Wishbone Chair"
Hans Wegner’s Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship: “Wishbone Chair”
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”

Whether found in a solid oak, walnut or beech frame or renditions with painted or clear lacquer or an oiled finish, consider with appreciation the classic lines and simplistic style of the “Wishbone” chair. Distinctive style that stands the test of time. For certain, beyond its Modern Danish style, this chair can fit within a multitude of interior spaces. Iconically. A chair of comfort and style. Form and function at its best. Sculptural form of enduring appeal, indeed…


“A chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles”
-Hans Wegner

“A chair is only finished when someone sits in it”
-Hans Wegner

Rings & Swirls of Wooden Style: Burl Wood In The Interior

Unique Pattern Within The Interior: Burl Wood
Unique Pattern Within The Interior: Burl Wood

Burl wood. Known for its extraordinary and unique style, the beauty of this highly desired wood endures to enthrall us with layered objects within the interior. The warmth and visual interest that the swirling patterns and rings of distinction that burl wood presents when found in the interior continually delights us with classic and timeless appeal. Unique and exotic, “one-of-a-kind”, grained objects rich in texture and visual interest. Burl wood certainly lends a luxuriousness to even basic furniture design. Unusual patterns of distinction.

A “Burl” (in American English), “Bur” or “Burr” (referencing “Burl” in other countries) is commonly found in the form of a “rounded outgrowth”, filled with small knots, on a tree trunk. Of interest, burl wood is the result of a fast growing, abnormal growth found on a tree that has typically experienced environmental stress or damage. Who knew? The infection grows on the root or trunk of a tree in an oval lump shape or twisted knots. When opened, the beauty of nature’s design is revealed. Once the tree is cut, thin veneer slices (“leaves”) are carved from the burl wood. “Leaves” of style, indeed. Of course, it is said that the beauty and preference of a cut of this striking wood is within the eye of the beholder. Artistry. A wood that has been prized by artists for centuries to create furniture, sculptures and other decorative items, the stylistic patterns of unique and natural design endure in its appeal.

Burl Wood:  Nature's Wonder Of Distinction
Burl Wood: Nature’s Wonder Of Distinction

Of further interest, the number of trees that produce burl wood is considerably low, causing a high demand for the swirling effect of nature. Of additional interest, often, a tree that has developed burl wood can still be healthy and continue to thrive. Who knew that trees can actually develop burl wood shoots that are so heavy that the weight leads to the tree’s early demise? Once the tree holds no more life, the shoots are reviewed to reveal the pattern inside. Often, a single shoot can produce several different pieces for artists to work with. The skill of the artisan’s eye is required, indeed. Burl wood veneer is prized for the tightness of the swirl and consistency of the color. What is referred to as “Figuring” (burl clusters), the artisan’s goal is to select the pattern that reveals the stunning and interesting ringed pattern of nature’s artistry. And of the decoration of burl wood in veneer layerings covering classic pieces of furniture? Enduring decoration of “wooden” appeal.

Unusual Patterns That Swirl With Interest & Distinction
Unusual Patterns That Swirl With Interest & Distinction
The "Warmth" Of Wood Paired with Unique Shapes & Ring Patterns:  Burl Wood
The “Warmth” Of Wood Paired with Unique Shapes & Ring Patterns: Burl Wood
The Beauty Of Wood:  Burl Wood Within The Interiors
The Beauty Of Wood: Burl Wood Within The Interiors

Consider nature’s wonder of burl wood within the interior. A rare and beautiful pattern designed by nature, burl wood is linked to “Unarguably the best designer and inspiration for all of us”nature. Certainly, an appreciation for the woody warmth and visual interest of the swirling patterns of distinctive style are worthy of gracing our interiors. Beauty from nature’s force. Striking style of cause and effect with a warm appeal within our interiors. Certainly there are decorative objects of burled beauty that also deserve focus, yet it is the veneer of beauty and distinction that embellishes key elements of furniture design that fill our spaces that my attention swirls upon. Rings and swirls of distinction, indeed…


“We can only shape the burl and treat it, so that it lasts a life time…One can be sure of the exclusivity of burl furniture as nature never repeats its design.” -Unknown/artisan

The Brass étagère: Distinctive “Open Shelving” Of Form & Function

The  Distinctive Brass étagère
The Distinctive Brass étagère

An étagère is termed as a piece of “lightweight furniture consisting of a series of stages or open shelves for the reception of ornaments and other small articles”. A “stage” for elements of personal style and decoration, for certain. Extensively made in France during the late 18th century, the word étagère was taken from the Middle French word, estagiere, referring to “estage floor of a building or station”. Of interest, the first known use of this word of French style was in 1840. These graceful and elegant open shelves are perhaps best known in the brass construction. Yet the history of the étagère, that even Louis XVI adored, began in exotic woods. Who knew? Elaborately carved or molded spindles interlaced between the shelves create a towering effect of lightweight visual style. Holding perhaps the “frippery” and collected articles of elegance, refinement of aristocratic style, these dainty, yet substantial shelves provided visual pleasure within the interior. Collected groupings of coveted objects on display. And of our collected “frippery”? Objects of personal style, for certain. Beyond the wood that formed the early étagères, often, metals such as brass and pewter would be interspersed throughout the structures of distinctive style. In fact, some even were embellished with jewels. Again, who knew?

Vintage Structures Of Form & Function:   Étagères
Vintage Structures Of Form & Function: Étagères

Popular once again during the Victorian era, the excess of details would additionally adorn the shelves of style. Gilded carvings, marble shelves and mirrors would perhaps add a weighty appearance. Yet this decorative piece crafted by artisan cabinetmakers would eventually evolve into the stylistic elegance and simplicity of the brass étagère. In fact, it is said that the brass étagère originated as a collaboration of the venerable furniture studio, Frederick P. Victoria & Son and American interior design legend, Billy Baldwin. Known as a classicist and a modernist, it is no wonder that the open shelving would acquire gleaming brass and towering height at the helm of Baldwin’s design lead paired with the craftsmanship and artistry of a furniture studio of timeless design. Of additional interest, Baldwin’s designs for Cole Porter’s Waldorf Towers Apartment has eternally linked them to be referred to as “Porter étagères”. Again, who knew? The timeless triumph in design within Porter’s library of tubular brass floor to ceiling étagères lined against lacquered walls has certainly gained iconic appeal. Enduring design, for certain…

Design Legend:  Billy Baldwin & His étagères
Design Legend: Billy Baldwin & His étagères

Of course, the design inspiration is also said to have originated from the lines of the English Regency rosewood rolling cart which was also known as a ‘dumbwaiter’. Function with design. With resemblances in design, Baldwin’s étagères certainly became a design of a much larger scale than the English Regency shelf unit. Great design evolves, indeed.

An English Regency dumbwaiter:  A Rolling étagères
An English Regency dumbwaiter: A Rolling étagères
Etagere:  A Vintage Variation Paired With Height
Etagere: A Vintage Variation Paired With Height

Of additional interest, the original Baldwin-Porter étagères were adorned with domed finials with “Gadrooning” (a decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series). Alas, as time moved onward and the étagère became widely made, the halt of production during the mid 1960’s allowed for a gap in design. Perhaps a “forgotten detail” of the finials that once graced the towering structures was a result that would change the future design. With or without these finial caps of style, the resurgence and evolution in design of the étagère would certainly experience a revival in the decades following. Earning it a timeless addition to an interior, for certain.

étagère:  Graceful Shelves Of Styled  Possibilities
étagère: Graceful Shelves Of Styled Possibilities

And of the reference to the excessive brass and metallic trend that swelled during the 1970’s? Indeed, the brass étagère was included in the excess of metallic display of the Seventies. Alas, when brass is used in moderation with sophistication and elegance the metallic addition will shine in style within the interior. The étagère will complement and provide a stylish backdrop of your collected and decorative whims. A changing backdrop, for certain. Stylish possibilities. The étagère is certainly not a “book shelf” but rather a “Stage” of decorative style. With the brassy glow that exudes visual interest as well as warmth in its tone, the brass étagère is an element that will endure in lightweight, visual style…

Lightweight Style:  The Open Shelved  étagère
Lightweight Style: The Open Shelved étagère

Brass has certainly remained an enduring classic metal for centuries. Clean lines and simple form, the minimalism in a brassy metal would rise in popularity in time. Of course, there are those étagères that are in graduated sizes, spiraling upwards in vertical style, but it is the simplistic and elegant gracefulness of the open and repeating brass shelf that earns focus of its timeless appeal. Horizontal style options in a vertical bliss of decorative function, indeed.

"Victorian Brass" Étagère: Details In Design
“Victorian Brass” Étagère: Details In Design

Consider the étagère. A decorative piece of furniture that provides a distinctive and unique backdrop to adorn any space. With its bright, yellow gold warmth, the appearance of this styled open-shelf of distinction will provide you with enduring appeal. Of course, beyond the glow of brass construction, there are certainly other materials that earn praise. That said, I return to the focus of brass. A metal that deserves our focus and appreciation, especially when styled so distinctively with sharp lines of vertical and horizontal interest and style. Distinctive “open shelving” of style. Form and function, indeed…