Period Styles Of Furniture

Do you know the various period styles of furniture, it is necessary to decorate your home.

Years ago furniture was only made by hand and was very scarce and costly. The varieties of furniture were also limited and you would not have had many choices as to style, wood or materials. Furniture was also very hard to sit on and most furniture had no backs. The very wealthy were the only ones who could afford quality furniture as foreign craftsmen had to be hired to make the furniture.

The furniture was massive in its size, had very straight lines and was elaborate with ornamentation and only built of solid oak. There was no thought of comfort and beauty in the carvings on the furniture. Some chairs had arms while others did not. The beds were made with high headboards with high posts at the foot of he bed. Tables were large and ornamental.

You should choose only a style of furniture that suits and appeals to you and you can also mix the styles in an appealing manner that will compliment your rooms. It is very important to be careful when mixing styles as you will want to find pieces that will compliment each other. Remember your home will reveal your individual personality. You need to purchase your furniture only based on knowledge as you come to know the various styles. Styles that are similar in scale, texture and lines will go well together. You can also mix light and dark woods in the same room to provide a pleasing contrast to produce a general effect.

The type of home you have will help in your decision on a style. If you have a Colonial style home naturally you will want to furnish and decorate your home in a Colonial manner. If you have an apartment you will perhaps want to use modern combinations of furniture.

French Provincial is one period of furniture that contains court styles. Subdued curves are used in the chair backs, arms, apron and legs and restrained carving is used. Actually most of the French Provincial furniture made today is sold as Louis XV and is modified Provincial furniture in a city style. Usually the beds will have upholstered headboards with delicately curved wood frames. This city style furniture is formal in spirit as well as feminine and use silks, damasks, satins and smooth textures. The country style of this period of furniture is determined in the chairs and couches as the country style uses a ladder-back type, usually fitted with a removable squab cushion, a cane or straw mat. The lines are straight, the shape rectangular and if curves are used they are considered very gentle.

The country style with blend well with New England Colonial, the city style will blend with Queen Anne pieces.



Organic Modern furniture will create its own designs, with sophisticated new lines. Chairs are usually lightweight and molded into shapes that will conform to the contours of the body. Seats are broad and fitted with rubber shock absorbers with well formed backs to allow additional comfort. One feature is that Organic Modern furniture consists of unit and sectional furniture. This style is well suited to saving space and provides for varied groupings. This is a contemporary style for furniture, with low shapes and horizontal line.

Classic Modern furniture is adapted to the needs of contemporary living. In this style of furniture the furniture legs are simplified and tend to be clean-cut, splayed, straight or tapering. This style of furniture makes its appeal because of its essential art elements that are incorporated in its designs, and not through

ornamentation. Classic Modern emphasizes the grain and beauty of natural woods. It can be either formal or informal though it does tend to be more formal. Upholstery textures and colors will play an important part in the style as well as the finish of the woods.

Victorian styles arose during the gaslight era of Queen Victoria in England, then spread to America. This style will contain elements of Greek classicism and also Louis XV. Many pieces of Victorian furniture appear homey, delightful and quaint. Straight lines will appear while curves can be voluminous. Upholstery is usually overstuffed, tufted and fringed. The Victorian reproductions of today have modified voluminous curves and the ornamental has been simplified.

Duncan Phyfe (Federal American) is a style that has been adapted from the Georgian style to American tastes. Phyfe's work is in three periods.

He uses the pedestal base for tables, and also flared legs. The tables are usually the most outstanding, are considered elegant and formal but do blend well with Georgian styles. Some pieces have claw feet, the upholstery has a variety of colors.

English Regency is a furniture style that started in England and drew inspiration from classical styles. It has a classic form and the chief woods are satinwood, rosewood and mahogany. Black lacquer and gilt are also used with fruitwoods. Now this period of furniture is reproduced in a sophisticated modernized form. It produces an effect of richness, elegance and formality.

Pennsylvania Dutch is a gay and charming style that is still popular today. It is simple, utilitarian, varied and expresses friendliness and lightness. The tables resemble the New England style. This is a simple, sturdy country style, and mixes well with other informal, spontaneous styles, like Colonial New England and French Provincial.

Queen Anne furniture is constructed to meet the needs of the home. The fiddle-back chair, named after the shape of the center splat spooned to fit the body, is a typical Queen Anne piece. The front legs on this chair feature the cabriole curve, with a scallop shell carving at the knee and a ball and claw foot. The rear legs usually take the shape of the letter H. The round pedestal tables with a tilt top are supported by a turned shaft on a tripod base. Queen Anne furniture is known for simplicity and the use of curves.

Chippendale is a style that has been readily reproduced over the years and pieces still bring very high prices even today. The chairs are sturdy, broad and have a masculine spirit. The ladder-back armchair with its pierced horizontal rails and plain straight legs is a pleasing fusion of Chinese and French influence. The couches have arched backs, arms rolled outward and legs are straight or cabriole. The more famous ones are the cabinets, secretaries and the highboys.

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