It is no surprise that people choose to take inspiration from places they’ve visited and loved. The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is a great example for those who are looking to create the feeling of a French chateaux style home. Fortunately, there are companies today who have taken it upon themselves to create updated versions of furnishings, light fixtures and other period items; so that you can have your own French chateaux.
The Biltmore in North Carolina: A Brief History
The Biltmore in North Carolina (not to be confused with the Biltmore in Arizona,) was built for George Vanderbilt and modeled after a 16th century chateaux in France. The architect, Richard Morris Hunt, would create four acres of floor space in the home-making it the largest home ever built in America at that time. The home would include 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms and 250 rooms as well as a gymnasium, swimming pool and a bowling alley.
The landscaping surrounding the home also has famous roots: it was designed by the same man who designed Central Park in New York City, Frederick Law Olmsted.
Today, much of the Biltmore Estate is open for public use as a hotel and a wedding venue.
Interior Design: Biltmore Estate Inspired Light Fixtures
While browsing online, I came across a group of products from LightingDirect.com that are modeled after lighting found at the Biltmore Estate. These pieces are great because they’re not necessarily exact replicas, but rather they’re updated versions that are usable in today’s home.
From a design standpoint, exact replicas-rather than originals-are generally deemed as “knock-offs” and are often undesirable by both clients and interior designs. However, having wall sconces or chandeliers that are inspired by a favorite place-rather than copied-are much more desirable. In the end, you’ll achieve a more natural feeling to the room as it will be true to you and not a complete replica of someone else’s home.
This six light chandelier by Elk Lighting is actually quite reminiscent of the floor lamps seen in the library of the Biltmore Estate. Like I said, they’re not exact replicas but this chandelier is a great way to incorporate the look of French design without knocking off someone else’s home.
I also recommend the wall sconces from the same Legacy Collection by Elk Lighting, which remind me of the sconces I’ve seen in various rooms of the Biltmore. These in particular are great because they incorporate the look of the Biltmore but they’ve also got a touch of Art Deco in them (note the wall plate,) so they’re inspired, still relevant to the same time period and yet, still unique as their own design.
If none of those quite struck your fancy, then be sure to at least check out the rest of the collection. Those were just my favorites but hopefully you’ll find something that works for your particular room.