Looking at the Classics for Inspiration looking at the classics for inspiration


It is by studying period pieces, houses and structures that we gain an understanding of the authentic style and gain inspiration to reinterpret that into a contemporary design. So let’s do just that… let’s take a peek back today, looking at the classics for inspiration. You may be surprised to see this period piece, and see just how much it can influence today’s styles…

A couple weeks ago, I shared with you about our trip recently to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (MIA). It was a fun trip my husband treated me to in honor of my birthday. (for us, time together is a valued gift!) We saw so many wonderful pieces of art, but this piece I’m going to show you today was stunning in some ways.

It is this beautiful c. 1870 Norwegian cupboard, found close to Mount Horeb, WI and is attributed to Aslak Lie. c. 1870 Norwegian CupboardAslak Lie

First, the color grabs you from across the room, as the orange tones and bright blue contrast. Norwegian 1870 cupboard at MIA

Then as you approach it and see the detailed painting and grain painting applied to the cupboard, it grabs you again! Norwegian 1870 cupboard side

As you closely examine the shape of the piece, the finely cut scrolled elements begin to be noticed. Norwegian cupboard hinge detail

I have found that taking pictures of things, such this Norwegian cupboard, has actually helped me to note so much more of the details, like these wonderful, but so simple hinges on the doors. I think if I wasn’t taking pictures of it, I would have walked away only remembering the fabulous painting and never even noticed the simple, but authentic hinges and hardware. Norwegian cupboard detail

Like this simple white ceramic or porcelain keyhole plate. and how about those dimensional squares detail running vertical along the center of the two bottom doors.

And then there’s this: script of Norwegian cupboard

The hand painted script inside the back of the cupboard announcing about whom this wedding gift was made for, ‘John and Brithe’. So sweet! c. 1870 Norwegian CupboardAslak Lie

So what inspiration strikes you from this classic piece?

How do you think this classic antique 145 year old Norwegian cupboard will influence and inspire you the next time you go to paint a piece of furniture, or even, how you will think about color combinations…

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This post is linking up at:

Miss Mustardseed

I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Uncommon Designs

Nifty Thrifty Things

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  1. Phyllis E. says

    Thank you for posting this. I LOVE decorative folk art painting, especially Norwegian Rosemaling. Although this piece isn’t in the style of typical Rosemaling, it has a similar type old-world, folk-art “feel” to it overall. Thanks for all the close-up details.
    I agree with you about studying the classics for inspiration and understanding of authentic style and characteristics that have timeless appeal and sense of beauty. I love feeling echoes of a connecction to the past in my home’s décor and architecture–without doing a kitschy imitation!
    I’d love to see more from that museum and hear more of your thoughts on this subject!

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