NEW YORK — French Country is one of the most enduring of furnishing styles.
It is warm and rich, romantic and rustic. These sturdy, homey furnishings distill the flavor of the countryside of southern France, and have become part of an overall "country" trend that has been gathering strength for the last few years.
The Pierre Deux import shops have been credited with helping to popularize the style in this country. They feature an array of Souleiado cotton prints from Provence and genuine French Provincial antiques, pillows, accessories, linens, glassware and flatware. Customers appreciated the earthy honesty of the many colorful items.
Pierre Deux was founded in 1967 by Pierre Moulin and Pierre LeVec, the two Pierres who gave the company its name. They have shops all over the United States--in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, to name but two cities.
But the look did not come cheap. Now, however, it is available to many more people.
Henredon Furniture, a manufacturer in Morganton, N.C., has introduced a lower-priced line through a licensing agreement with Pierre Deux. The collection, called Pierre Deux French Country by Henredon, is a lower-priced line of reproduction wood and upholstered pieces and fabrics. The pieces represent the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods. Pierre Deux provides the style direction and manufacturing specifications for the new line, and Henredon helps market it.
Pieces for the bedroom, dining room and other uses are made of walnut and cherry and are treated with a special finishing technique that lends something of the aura of 200 years' wear. Many of the pieces are hand-carved.
The fabrics include Souleiado prints, Toiles de Jouy patterns depicting 18th-Century events and scenes, vividly colored floral prints, plaids, tapestries and Jacquards.
Although the Henredon adaptations cost much less than genuine antiques, the prices are still high. An armoire in solid cherry retails at about $16,000, and a carved bed will sell for around $4,000. Sofas begin at $1,500.
The new line is available at all Pierre Deux shops, at Henredon stores and at Breuners in California.
In the stores, the line is often displayed in French manor-house settings with glazed terra-cotta tile floors, light-colored walls, bright French Country prints and accents such as baskets, dried flowers and old pewter pieces.