A calm and cozy interior style of German and Austrian burghers
Biedermeier is a provincial and modest style of interior design with sentimental motifs. Biedermeier embodies the idea of a typical 19th-century German burgher of a cozy and practical home.
It is also a separate trend in art, which combines the features of romanticism and empire, and the main character of the works is a modest layman. In addition, the term “Biedermeier” is widely used to refer to styles of furniture, architecture and fashion from the period of the first half of the 19th century.
Features of the Biedermeier style
Biedermeier, unlike most traditional interior styles, has a pronounced functional focus. There is practically no luxury and pomposity in it, but great importance is attached to practicality and home comfort.
The main distinguishing features of the Biedermeier style include:
- the predominance of free space in the room;
- elaborate lighting with large windows and elegant lamps;
- warm colors for decorating rooms in yellow or brown tones;
- the simplicity of furniture made from light wood species (walnut, ash, cherry, pear);
- elegant decoration of voids and niches with uncomplicated decor;
- the predominance of smooth transitions and lines in the interior, the absence of sharp corners;
- an abundance of textiles with colorful colors, as well as floral ornaments and patterns in the upholstery of upholstered furniture;
- modest decoration of walls and ceiling in soothing colors.
The floor in Biedermeier-style rooms is usually made of parquet. Nowadays, laminate is also often used, skillfully imitating a parquet board. The central part of the room is often covered with a carpet with a long pile. Curtains for windows are selected from expensive fabrics (velvet or muslin).
Furniture plays an important role in the setting, especially a large table with chairs on curved legs. Such a set is installed in the central part of the room, and along the walls there are cupboards, chests of drawers, sideboards, whatnots, a bureau and a dressing table. As upholstered furniture, wide sofas are used, as well as a variety of pouffes and low chairs. The beds are distinguished by the simplicity of forms and the absence of complex carved decorations on them.
The decor is also an invariable attribute of the interior in the Biedermeier style. Old engravings, watercolors and family photographs look impressive on the walls. Figurines and caskets occupy a prominent place on the shelves of whatnots, and porcelain dishes and ceramics in sideboards. Embroidered tablecloths and openwork napkins emphasize the coziness of a homely atmosphere. Fresh flowers in pots symbolize the inextricable connection with wildlife.
History of the Biedermeier style
The history of the Biedermeier style has more than 200 years, and the main reason for its appearance was the cardinal political changes in the life of the German and Austrian bourgeoisie. In 1815, the turbulent era of the Napoleonic Wars ended in Europe and people got the opportunity to return to a calm, measured life. Many German and Austrian burghers wanted to get away from reality, immerse themselves in simple family concerns and take a break from revolutionary events.
Biedermeier was formed from several main components. From the English Georgian style, he borrowed the rationality and simplicity of forms, from the French Empire – constructiveness, and from the Rococo – the smoothness of forms and lines. For 30 years, Biedermeier was rapidly gaining popularity on the territory of the German and Austro-Hungarian empires. During this time, it became the predominant provincial style of interior design and developed distinctive features.
But the popularity of the Biedermeier turned out to be very short-lived even in Germany and Austria, and in other European countries it was not in demand at all. Already at the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, this style ceased to be in demand, and at the beginning of the 20th century its name even received a pronounced negative connotation.
Little interest in Biedermeier has only been revived in modern times. Today, this traditional style of interior design cannot be attributed to the most popular, but it has its admirers in different parts of our planet.
Biedermeier is ideal for people who are tired of the bustle of the city and appreciate the comfort of home. This style is able to fully satisfy the needs of a person in inexpensive practical housing and create a comfortable environment. And today it remains as sentimental, charming and romantic as it was 200 years ago.