What was the parlour used for? Why should we have a parlour? Can this space actually cultivate the most memories in your home? In this post, I am going to explain my “must-have” for a parlour when house hunting and also showcase where I found my parlour furniture and furnishings from my previous home.
What Exactly is a Parlour? (Or Parlor)
The word parlour comes from the French word parle which means to conversate or to speak. Before the 19th century, many affluent homes had a very formal and elegantly furnished room used exclusively for the entertaining of guests. The parlor was never used by the family as a daily living room but instead for Sunday gatherings, evening card games and night caps, or for an afternoon tea.
Why Should We All Have a Parlour?
When house hunting, I made the parlour or sitting room a must have on my list. Why? More speaking. Less technology. More memories. I do have a lot of technology in my parlor with my Alexa enabled lamps and MySmartBlinds but this does not hinder from real conversations. No phones allowed!
- More Memories are Created
Having a room absent of a TV, computer, or Ipad with a little music and ample seating space invites more authentic one on one family time. Being 100% present with your friends and family creates stronger bonds and lifelong memories.
- Children Need Development
In today’s culture, there is a lot less one on one social interaction. In fact, a lot of children lack the social skills and cues they need as an adult such as, eye contact, appropriate responses that relate to the topic being discussed, or confidence when speaking to an elder or peer. Allowing our children to bypass “good ole” conversation and family bonding time has stifled their social development. Having a parlor that invites the kiddos to conversate will not only help them to develop skills outside of technology, but will also build their confidence in social settings.
Ideas for Creating Your Very Own Parlour
Start with One Focal Eye Catching Piece of Parlour Art
Choose a central wall, or if you have a fireplace the space above it, to display a piece of art that you love. This will be your starting point to bring the room together. I decided to go with an interior design that is considered traditional mixed with modern. The peacock painting above my fireplace was my grandmothers as well as the peacock feathers displayed in the floor vase beside it. Needless to say, the theme for my parlour is peacock.
Include Family Heirlooms
My father’s mother had a love for the peacocks, which is the focal design theme for my parlour. I have old photos of my great grandparents throughout the room. My mother’s mother’s china will be on display in my china cabinet and my grandfathers ornate wooden frames are hanging on the wall. I love including pieces passed down from my family to represent generations of entertainment. If your heirlooms are too dated, you can alter them a bit to match your theme. For example, in the picture below, I painted a once deep wooden frame white to add a modern twist to my traditional space.
At first glance, it seems that I only have two places to sit in my parlour. I didn’t want to crowd the space with more than two chairs but did plan for more than two guests. Against one wall there is a chaise and right around the corner in the dining room there are two other chairs tucked away in a corner that match my parlour allowing for 6 guests. The two main chairs are the room’s second focal point. They add a very modern vibe to my otherwise traditional space.
Place for Tea and Crumpets
You want to make sure that there is a space to put snacks and drinks. I love this tufted ottoman from Walmart however it does not have a hard surface for drinks or snack plates. In this case, adding a serving tray will do the trick. I also included this faux hide rug to keep my guest’s feet cozy.
Statement Accent Lighting
The main light in your parlour will be your third focal point. Chandeliers are nice, however I decided to choose a smaller crystal gold light fixture from Lowes. It reminds me of a peacock’s ornate beauty.
The parlour room should have its own coffee or tea localized serving set. What better way to chat about the weeks happenings over a cup of joe, tea, or even hot chocolate! I fell in love with thisornate tea and coffee sets. There were so many to choose from but I fell in love with this butterfly set as it best matched my color palette.
Want to checkout a few other rooms in the house?
I hope my post has inspired you to create your very own parlor! I have included some items from the post below and also some inspiration pieces.
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