Furniture Friday: Jacques Carcanagues Inc.

It’s time to

switch it up….out with the armoirs and tall boys, and  in with the trunks and chests!

Today’s Furniture Friday is all about Jacques Carcanagues Inc. A fabulous company whose furniture has a serious worldly feel – as you all know my love for ethnic furniture runs deep, and this stuff is no exception.

I fell head-over-heels for these apothecary chests and chunky (treasure?) trunks.  I’ve been craving working on an interior that I could experiment with different pieces in for a while now…like flipping a tribal drum on its side and using it as a side table, or taking a vintage set of leather suitcases and turning them into a coffee table (similar to what I wrote about in THIS POST). I’ve seen apothecary chests popping up more frequently (Elle Decor has featured them and so has Pottery Barn) and I am hoping this isn’t just a passing trend.

Don’t forget that it’s easy (and fun!) to blend modern and traditional pieces, so long as you maintain balance. Add one or two worldly pieces into your contemporary space to add visual interest, just be sure to choose a conversation piece that matches other furniture in terms of scale, proportion and colour.

Monastery Chest: Embossed painting depicting the Phoenix. 19th Century, Tibet.

Black Elmwood Cabinet: Painted cabinet with hinged doors, original brass fittings, 19th century, China.

Monastery Chest: Tantric Symbols, 19th century, Tibet.

Mongolian Blanket Chest: Painted with dual compartments, 19th century, Mongolia.

Leather Trunks: Parchment interiors and brass fittings. 1940's, China.

Chinese Apothecary Chests: Antique ivory painted finish with red Chinese characters, 1900, China.

Elm Medicine Cabinet: 45 drawers with rustic vermilion fronts, 1900, China.

Apothecary Chest: painted white with Chinese pharmacopedia labels, 1900's, China.

Ooooh I just LOVE apothecary chests. All the tiny drawers – they make me feel like starting a new collection of small treasures (like marbles, beach glass or antique figurines).

Here are some examples on how to integrate ethnic pieces into a contemporary space. I love this look by interior designer, Marie Olsson Nylander (it’s actually her private residence as well!). She balances worldly furniture with bright, vibrant, contemporary colours…you can too!

This antiqued medicine cabinet looks fresh and new with a vibrant coat of paint. (Image courtesy of

Despite it's large scale, this tall cabinet is neutral which doesn't compete with the bright cushions and lamp. (Image courtesy of

A white interior almost always looks fresh and contemporary - it makes for the perfect backdrop to incorporate worldly furniture pieces. (Image courtesy of

Here’s a few more photos of how to incorporate apothecary chests into your space:

Apothecary table at entry. (Image courtesy of

This apothecary chest looks right at home against these glossy dark walls. (Image courtesy of

On the other hand, this apothecary chest becomes a conversational piece in this space due to the striking contrast. (Image courtesy of

If you’re a fan of mixing ethnic and contemporary furniture and accessories, let me know! I’d love to see your take on an eclectic design style (and would be happy to update this post with a photo of your space).

Hope you enjoyed seeing some Jacques Carcanagues Inc. pieces.

All furniture photos courtesy of Jacques Carcanagues Inc. Click HERE to visit the official website.

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