Sunday, February 7, 2010

Design Trend -Oeil de Boeuf

I love the oeil-de-boeuf (pronounced "er-duh-BURF") windows you see on the charming buildings all over Paris.
(paris parfait)
Oeil de boeuf translates to eye of the bull, but its a common french term for small circular or oval zinc window. (paris parfait)
I have had a love for these zinc treasures since I saw them years ago sitting askew on their sides at flea markets in Paris. I wanted to hang one outside in my garden as a lovely focal point. But, at that time I lived in a small apartment with no garden, so the Oeil de Boeuf was not meant to be.
(iris monument)
Still I always have loved the wonderful patina and shape. I thought as the years went on that they would look fabulous indoors too - and I imagined them with mirrors in the center. They were large, but I loved the architectural interest and the chalky finish.
(avignon antiques)
Here is a wonderful example of a classic shaped oeil de boeuf - this one has been made into a mirror. Look at the beautiful curves and patina on this piece. Gorgeous!
(interior mitigation)
Recently we have started to see a design trend and these oeil de boeuf mirrors are popping up everywhere. As they are getting more popular we are seeing many reproduced in wood or plaster and painted to mimic aged zinc. You can find the classic shaped oeil de boeuf re created in wood and made into a mirror at both Wisteria and Restoration Hardware. As reproductions go this one above is lovely

(eron johnson antiques)
Because the original zinc pieces are not massed produced; they are varied as the craftsmen who create them. You will notice several different shapes, the one above is very unique and has also been made into a mirror. Let's take a look at the architectural zinc window/mirror in some rooms:
(tongue in cheek)
Here is a wonderful one in a living room. I love the way the zinc curves on both the top and bottom of this piece.
(tongue in cheek)
This room is sublime - Linen curtains on iron rods, industrial coffee table amid wonderful antiques. This oeil de beouf looks spectacular in this room. I love the finial on top.
(cote de texas)
The chalky finish is a perfect compliment to the Swedish chest.
These mirrors also look fabulous in a garden room.
It adds so much interest to this more contemporary space. I love how its leaning behind the headboard. (interior eden)
Finally, even this reproduction makes a lovely focal point. Made into mirrors they seem to fit into so many different styles. Have any of you used these in your home decor? I would love to see photos and hear your thoughts!

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