Gustavian Style

I don’t know what kind of leader King Gustav III of Sweden was, but he really had some design sense!  After spending much of his early life in the French courts of Versailles, Gustav developed a style that was heavily influenced by French Neo-Classical design, as well as Italian Classicism.  Gustavian style is one of my all-time favorites, and I have a heavy dose of it in my own home. 

Gustavian style is marked by grayed pastels, lots of whites and creams, painted furniture, clean simple lines, and fabulous lighting.

This style is rather austere and not overly ornamented.  Lots of leggy furniture, bleached wood, and reflective surfaces/mirrors.

Swedish Country style is Gustavian, but at it’s most informal.  Lots of whites and lots of rustic.

The more formal version of Gustavian features a bit more color, lots of reflective surfaces, and crystal chandeliers.  And gilt, like I blogged about here.

What kind of fabrics, you ask?  Linen, raw silk, and simple checked cotton. With the exception of the occasional light floral, checks are the only patterns used in the Gustavian or Swedish style.

If you want a dose of this style in your own home, a tall Swedish clock goes a long way.  So does an oversized farmhouse table.

I think what appeals to me most about the Gustavian style is the dramatic juxtaposition between the informal and the formal, the comfortable and the refined,  the elegant and the rustic.  And the gorgeous chandeliers, of course!


Photo Credits: Country Living (1,4,7), Vintage Simple Home ,  House Beautiful, Home Companion, Belgian Pearl.


  1. I love Gustavian style. It’s so elegant but has an overall rustic feeling which make the rooms warm and inviting. The photographs you selected are lovely!

  2. I love the Swedish style for all of the light, airy colors. I suppose since they spend so much of the year in winter’s dark they like to bring in the light whenever possible. Love your pictures in this post!

  3. Lee, you are right! I’d love to visit the homes and castles of Sweden – but I could never take that cold and dreary climate!

  4. Oh I think I REALLY like the Gustavian style! Just beautiful!


  6. Mercedes says:

    Just lovely, thank you for sharing… Gustavian style is one of my very favorite, simple elegance..

  7. This is one of my favourite styles and you have shown excellent images to support your post! As a fellow designer I am very impressed with your work.

  8. Kristie: Thankful for your blog. Your post on Gustavian style and colors inspired me as I rebuilt my house in 2011 after a devastating fire. Today, Dec. 28th, marks the first anniversary of moving my family back in our gorgeous home – all done in pale blues, greens and grays with the occasional deep gray wall. I’ve told lots and lots of people here in New Hampshire about your entertaining and informative blog. Thanks for sharing your engaging thoughts with all!

  9. Everyone loves it when folks get together and share views.
    Great website, keep it up!

  10. lovely piece – we stock an amazing selection of original swedish gustavian furniture gustavian furniture and over 60 antique mora clocks

    let us know if theres anything you like and we ship worldwide


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  3. […] I have really been digging the Swedish Country Gustavian style. According to the Decorologist,  it is a style that is “marked by grayed pastels, lots of whites and creams, […]

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