Furniture has undergone several changes, modifications and improvements throughout the centuries. From crude beginnings of roughly made tables and chairs to the luxurious, leather clad furniture of today, furniture has been made into several styles unique to the makers. The most recent furniture styles are styles that are used in today's homes.
Early American Styles
Early American styles rooted mainly from European styles christened after famous leaders, such as William and Mary and Queen Anne. This style usually includes rigid lines, dark colors and ornate carvings, lending a somewhat Gothic influence. Furniture in this style was usually made from local rather than imported wood. Queen Anne is a more graceful version of the William and Mary style, with more ornate drawer pulls, fiddle back chairs and legs that ended in a drake foot or pad rather than tapering off.
American furniture styles fall mainly into three categories; modern, antique and rustic. Modern style furniture focuses on clean lines and simple design. Furniture is mostly made of chrome, plastic and vinyl. Antique furniture imitates the simple design of colonial period furniture. Antique furniture was created for use, not display, therefore it tends to be more practical and plain. Rustic furniture reflects the area in which the house itself is placed. This type of furniture has a more home-like feel and focuses on handmade pieces.
European styles can be traced mainly to English, French and Italian influences. English styles tend to be plainer than other European styles, depending on the period in which the furniture was used. Dark colors, natural lines, the use of oak, walnut and mahogany and less frills are predominant in this style. French furniture, on the other hand, is almost extravagant in lines, frills and decor. Italian furniture was influenced by 15th century Rome during the renewal period. The use of unusual materials such as marble and stone in furniture making make the Italian style distinct.
Arts and crafts and Art Noveau both focus on art, but the two are almost completely opposite. These styles were in vogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The arts and crafts style emphasized straight lines, plain leather as the main materials and darker woods for every day furniture. The style is relatively plain, especially in contrast to the vivid, ornamental styles of Art Noveau. The phrase means "New Art" in French, indicating a newer, more extravagant deviation from arts and crafts.
- Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
Difference Between Traditional & Contemporary Furniture
Traditional and contemporary furniture styles vary in dramatic ways because their designers draw on different periods of history for inspiration. Traditional designers...
Difference Between Enamel & Latex Paint
It can be trickier to select the type of paint for your weekend home upgrade than it is to pick a color.
What Is the Difference Between English Oak & American Oak Furniture?
Oak is a hardwood, and approximately 295 types of oak may be found around the world. Fifty of these grow within the...
How to Paint French Provincial Furniture
Update reproduction French Provincial furniture fearlessly if you want pieces that look current and not thrift-store style. You don't need to preserve...
What Is the Difference Between Shaker and Mission Furniture?
If you take the time to examine a Shaker and Mission style piece of furniture side-by-side, at first glance, it may be...
The Difference Between Sideboards & Buffets
Sideboards and buffets are two furniture pieces that serve a purpose beyond serving food. Other than their history and some design elements,...
Furniture Styles of the 20th Century
The evolution of major furniture design movements in the 20th century began as reactions to what artists perceived as the limiting and...