Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lief Inspires Decorating with Swedish Antiques

My recent post on Antiquing in Summerland, CA, reminded me that I also discovered another wonderful resource for antiques in Los Angeles called Lief.  I did not come across this inpiring showroom by accident.
Fellow blogger and designer, Brooke Giannetti, suggested it might be a great source and she is right! 
My son, Tim, and I walked into Lief through these very doors.
We were welcomed warmly by owner Stefan Aarestrup
This amazing showroom displays a selection of what I would call traditional Gustavian Antiques.
That is what I think of when I think of Swedish design. The lines are simple and may be detailed
with  carving. Often the finishes have a time worn patina that is frequently immitated in
today's market.

The understated elegance of this bedroom is enhanced by the
muted finish on these antiques.
I have always felt that decorating in this style is clean and fresh even when using pieces that are decades old.
The Swedish style is more edited than say, Country French.  The colors are less saturated and have a more natural feeling.
What could be lovelier than this Swedish clock?
Swedish style is uncluttered.

In this photo from Brooke Giannetti's Velvet and Linen blog post,
she describes the owner's belief in the importance of breathing room.
What a great way to describe how I feel when I look this space.
Continuing with my visit to Lief I discovered so many beautiful antiques.  They were a mix of many origins such as Empire, Biedermeier, Baroque, Chinese as well as Gustavian.  
The warm wood of this Beidermeier secretary desk mixed with the soft painted finish of the chairs is a classic mix often found in Swedish interiors.  (Photo, Lief Almont showroom, courtesy of Brooke Giannetti, Velvet and Linen)

I saw this secretary desk  in the Gustavian style in the Lief showroom.

A beautiful antique chest with a delightful  horse figurine.  Just a few accessories can add a bit of "Swedish".

These chairs are reproductions but are beautiful enough to be authentic.  Look at the charming detail.

These antique chairs are part of a larger set which is a rare find, consequently that is also
reflected in the price.

King size beds are non existent in the world of antiques.
 Lief does manufacture these beautiful reproduction beds in kingsize.

I love the finish on this armoire so much I would like to use it on my walls!

Trying to replicate this finish on a reproduction would be very costly.

The candelabra is delightful.  It feels so Swedish to me, probably because
 of a Christmas decoration I remember where a the heat from
a lighted candle makes angles fly.

I even loved this ceiling in the Lief warehouse showroom.
 It reminded me of  the hull of a boat.

I wonder if Tim is thinking about the Soap Box Derby
and the child who rode in this vintage car.

The exterior of Lief gave no hint of the fabulous treasures inside.

It was wonderful to discover the world of Lief.  How do like the Swedish style?  Do you like the simplicity, the finishes or the light scale?  How would you like incorporating Swedish antiques into your decorating?
Where do you like to hunt for treasures like these?

Please share your antiquing adventures and finds in the comment box below.  As always I welcome your insights, ideas and inspirations.

If you would like assistance with a decorating project please email me at

                       HAPPY  DECORATING! 


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit at Lief. It's one of my favorite places in LA.
    I could live in a house filled with Swedish Antiques. They are the perfect mix of rustic and refined.


    1. Thanks Brooke! I told Stefan that you recommended Lief to me and he said you were one of their favorite customers :)
      I love the way you describe it as the perfect mix of rustic and refined. Thanks so much for introducing me to such a great place and for your love of Swedish antiques too.