10 Different Furniture Styles

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While old-fashioned furniture may be referred to as antique, there are in fact many different styles of furniture appearing throughout history, often representing a certain period in time. Even some of those that are no longer around have influenced many modern pieces of furniture.

Gothic

  • Gothic furniture was heavily carved and decorated, characterized by columns, cut-outs and extravagant tracery. However, this furniture movement was more about style than practicality, and so was often uncomfortable. The style came about in France in the 12th century and lasted until the 16th century.

Renaissance

  • The Renaissance period began in France in the 13th century and lasted until the 17th century. Furniture styles would commonly include artwork inspired by the Bible and would be greatly influenced by Italian artists such as Michelangelo. Towards the end of the movement, geometric shapes were more prominent.

Tudor

  • Furniture during the Tudor era was very large and carved, with many straight lines. It was influenced by the Renaissance and Gothic styles throughout Europe. The Tudor period lasted from about 1485 to about 1603.

Jacobean

  • Replacing the Tudor style, Jacobean furniture was mainly made from oak and the legs on tables and chairs were often twisted. Though this style was uncomfortable at first, later Jacobean furniture was more padded. The period lasted approximately from 1603 to 1649.

Rococo

  • This furniture style was excessive, elaborate, fanciful and made use of curves. Rococo was popular during the first half of the 18th century, at first in France and then later in other European countries, especially Germany. The style was revived in the middle of the 19th century when it became popular to collect 18th century rococo furniture.

Neoclassic

  • Influenced by archeological discoveries in the 18th century in countries such as Greece and Italy, the neoclassical furniture style began in 1750 and lasted until 1880. Rectangles and bold, straight lines were in, replacing the curved shapes of the rococo style.

Art Nouveau

  • Art Noveau was an ornate and delicate furniture style that often featured long and curved lines. Furniture would sometimes include pictures; women's bodies, flowers and leaves were common. The movement began in the 1890s and ended around 1910. Just like Rococo, Art Nouveau began in France but spread to other countries, reaching the United States.

Scandinavian

  • This type of furniture is characterized by simple but quality craftsmanship using lightweight material such as plywood. Scandinavian furniture though is most famous for its high level of mass production. This style was first introduced to the world outside of Scandinavia in 1930.

Country

  • This furniture style is created by craftsmen influenced by the old-fashioned and traditional styles rather than any modern movements, producing a rustic look. This type of furniture is commonly handmade.

Japanese

  • Traditional Japanese decor styles are minimalist, with little furniture used in a room. The style is characterized by sliding doors, mats used for sitting and movable folding screens to divide the room.

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