Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by SierraLivingConcepts
Know the Different Styles of Furniture
Furniture is not only utilitarian; it is used to create the right ambiance in your home or commercial setup. It has been signifying wealth and luxury for centuries, however, these days, furniture is less about status and more about personality. Hence, the style of furniture is an important aspect to consider while decorating a space. There are numerous furniture styles and each of them exudes a different character. Depending on your idea of how a room should look and feel, select a furniture style that gives you a sense of comfort and belonging. In this blog, we will discuss the types of furniture styles and their characteristics.
Contemporary Furniture Style (1970s)
The contemporary style is marked by clean lines, smooth surfaces, and neutral and monochromatic colors. Contemporary furniture is sleek, light, and clutter-free and various materials like steel, metal, and glass apart from solid wood are used. However, curved lines and geometric shapes are also used in the design of furniture with minimum ornamentation. The use of nude tones gives an airy feel and creates an illusion of the vastness of the space.
Coastal Furniture Style
The coastal style draws inspiration from the sea or ocean. This furniture style gives out a casual and holiday feel to the space by using cool nautical hues like white, green, blue, and purple. Light-colored fabrics, wicker, cane, and reclaimed wood are the main materials used to design coastal furniture. This style is minimalistic and gives a laid-back vibe to the interiors.
Scandinavian Furniture Style (1930 – 1950)
This furniture style is named after the Nordic countries of Scandinavia. Scandinavian furniture style was in vogue from 1930s to 1950s and is characterized by simplicity, functionality, coziness, and minimalism. The furniture pieces are made of natural wood and are utilitarian in form and function. They are aesthetically pleasing, clutter-free, and have neutral tones with a pop of color and vibrant patterns. The impact of Scandinavian design has been expanded far away, as its minimalist furniture has become beloved by many around the globe.
Shabby Chic Style (Early 1980’s)
Shabby Chic furniture style became very popular in England in the early 1980s when the famous designer Rachel Ashwell opened a store with the same name. This style is marked by a worn, lived-in look, muted palette, floral patterns, and ruffles with old-age charm. Furniture is distressed to exude an antique look and patina.
Transitional Style (1950s)
The transitional style is a fusion of contemporary and traditional styles. Simple color schemes, minimal ornamentation, and straight lines are the traits of this style. Transitional furniture also flaunts mirrored or glass surfaces, lacquered finishes, varied fabric patterns, and luxurious details. This type of furniture style is sophisticated, yet simple. It is stylish, yet delightful.
Modern Furniture Style (1900 – 1950)
This furniture style was born in the 20th century, bridging artistic and functional elements, and draws inspiration from several traditional types of styles. Modern furniture is made of steel, leather, solid wood, vinyl, marble, plastic, and glass. The style is distinguished by solid colors, clean designs, straight lines, and basic forms. Glossy finishes and minimal details are also its features.
Mid-Century Modern Style (1933 – 1965)
This style originated in the US between 1933 and 1965 and marks clean lines, subtle curves, minimalist silhouettes, and hand-painted elements. Organic wood finishes and solid color upholstery are used with few or no accents. Contrasting textures, splayed legs, and medium to dark wood tones are predominant in Mid-Century Modern furniture style, along with pared-down geometric forms.
Retro Style (1950 – 1980)
This style refers to furniture pieces that are not old but of the recent past. Furniture in retro style refers to those pieces that are outdated but are now back in trend. Retro furniture is sleeker and slender, as well as has bright patterns in earthly colors.
This style has a utilitarian design, mostly in rounder shapes, and is devoid of edges. Furniture in a minimalist style is simple and does not feature intricate carvings or decorations. This furniture style is found in neutral and restrained colors, such as gray, black, white, and brown.
Traditional Furniture Style
Traditional furniture style is inspired by old and classical furniture styles, which were popular centuries ago and are still in fashion. This style is a recollection of designs from the 18th-century English, 19th-century Neoclassical, French country, and British Colonial styles of the past. It boasts decoratively carved and shaped legs including bun feet, ball and claw feet, columnar baluster legs, elegant carvings and brass accents, crown moldings and other architectural elements that exude warmth and comfort. Warm, rich colors are frequently used along with upholstery in floral patterns, plaids, and stripes.
Farmhouse Style Furniture
Furniture designed in a farmhouse style brings imagery of a country homestead with a modern flair. It celebrates the romantic styles of yesteryear by the usage of distressed wood with graceful accents, neutral or beige colors, floral motifs, and an organic look. Solid wood, wicker, and wrought iron are used to build farmhouse furniture pieces. This style originated after the industrial revolution in Europe and flourished in the US during its colonial years. It came into the limelight in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as a major style form in today’s homes.
Antique Style Furniture
Antique furniture refers to those collectible furniture pieces that are usually a hundred years old. They showcase the styles and features of the time they were crafted. Antique furniture can be called an art form. These days, furniture is designed to give an antiquated look. At Sierra Living concepts, we have a wide collection of furniture that has an antique look and feel.
Industrial Style Furniture
This style is influenced by the look of factories, warehouses, and similar industrial setups. Industrial style furniture uses natural and salvaged woods, metals, and leather, and imparts a rugged look. The wood used can be varnished and shades of black, gray, and brown are used on the materials. Furniture flaunts an edgy silhouette and leather upholstery.
Rustic Furniture Style
This style originated in England in the late 19th century and was inspired by the Romantic Movement. It is featured the use of natural materials like solid wood, reclaimed wood, and leather. It employs natural methods like milk paint, chip carving, peeled bark, and silver or gold brushwork. Rustic furniture can be identified by its organic textures, muted tones, and unfinished lines.
Vintage furniture is a term used for pieces that are at least 20 years or older and speak of the era in which they were created. However, the vintage look is not limited to old furniture. Woodworkers can recreate furniture styles belonging to another era and emit a vintage look. Sometimes, wood from old furniture, boats, and doors is upcycled and refurbished into new furniture that gives a vintage charm. Neutral colors such as beige, gray, and cream are used, and furniture pieces can be artificially weathered to give a worn-out look.
Mission style furniture originated in the late 19th century. Furniture belonging to this style is characterized by straight lines in 90 degrees, rectangular shapes, and spindles. This furniture style is simple, very sturdy, and typically bulky. It features flat paneling and finishes that highlight the grain pattern.
French style furniture is typically constructed with oak, maple, walnut, rosewood, and mahogany. This furniture is decorated with gilded features and gives out a majestic look. It comes with exquisite carvings and exquisite upholstery that accentuate the curvature of the furniture. Other features include cabriole legs, scalloped or shaped skirtings, rich colors, bold patterns, and golden accents and embellishments made of copper, iron, and brass.
Art Deco Style (1910 – 1940)
Coined from the French word art decoratifs, Art Deco was in style in the 1920s and 1930s. Furniture of this style has streamlined geometric shapes and uses metals, plastic, mirrors, stainless steel, exotic woods, and ivory inlays. It is characterized by luxury and denounces a utilitarian simplistic design by using bold and vibrant tones.
Victorian Furniture (1840 – 1910)
This style became eminent during the reign of Queen Victoria. Furniture in this style is bulky and has dark finishes. Walnut, mahogany, and rosewood were used along with upholstery of velvet and leather. Heavily adorned with carvings of foliage in the shapes of crockets, trefoils, and quatrefoils, it is noted for opulence and elegance.
Chippendale Style (1750 – 1790)
This furniture style is the creation of Thomas Chippendale, a London cabinetmaker. It became popular between 1750-1790 among the rich and elites. It is characterized by ornate carvings, cabriole legs, ball and claw feet, and pediment scrolls.
Country style furniture evokes a cozy and warm look that brings the vibe of simple rural life to the space. Muted colors as well as bright earthly ones, like red, gold, and orange, are used. It features functional furniture pieces with minimal decoration. Solid wood, wrought iron, and brass are used.
Craftsman Style Furniture (Late 1800s)
This style is based on the beautiful designs of Gustav Stickley and came to prominence in the late 1800s. The craftsman style features clean and simple lines, robust construction quality, and little decoration. Solid wood was used; however, oak wood was mostly used. The style is all about producing high-quality furniture.
Shaker Style (1750 – 1850)
Shaker style furniture uses pine, cherry, and maple woods as well as wicker; and was common during the late 18th to the mid-19th century. The style emphasizes function rather than form. It hallmarks neat and simple design, unadorned lines, tapering feet, exceptional quality, and unparalleled craftsmanship.
Queen Anne Furniture (1700 – 1755)
When Queen Anne ruled England in the early 18th century, this style was in fashion. The furniture of this style is famous for cabriole legs with a pad or drake feet. Walnut wood was primarily used to make Queen Anne style furniture. The style boasts graceful curves and minimal decoration.
Hepplewhite Furniture (1765 – 1800)
Popularized by London-based designer George Hepplewhite, this furniture style first became a hit in the US between 1765-1800. The main elements of this style are Neoclassical influences, tapered legs, inlays, contrasting veneers, and a delicate demeanor.
Louis XVI Furniture (1760 – 1789)
The Louis XVI furniture style became famous during 1760-1789. Though it was named after the king, the style was designed for his queen, Marie Antoinette. This furniture showcases Greco-Roman influences, carved detailing, and classical motifs.
Asian furniture style incorporates influences from Chinese to Tibetan, Japanese to even French styles. It includes Chinoiserie style blending French Rococo elements and Chinese imagery from various eras and dynasties; more simplistic Japanese furniture styles, bold, colorful, and contemporary ming style, black lacquered furniture with dragons and religious motifs, and hand-painted Tibetan furniture style among many others.
Jacobean Style (1600 – 1690)
This style gained prominence around 1600-1690, during the early Renaissance Age when James I was the king of England. Jacobean furniture features richly ornate carvings and marine motifs. The style was noted for its arches, scrollwork, thick columns, and massive size.
A sought-after style in the US during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Colonial furniture style is a blend of Queen Anne and Georgian styles. It features solid, square lines and carved furniture made of pine, birch, maple, and mahogany woods.
Federal Style (1780 – 1820)
Crafted mostly using Mahogany and cherry wood, this style came into being in the early 19th century and shows French influence. Federal style highlights sharp geometric forms, straight legs, contrasting veneers, pictorial motifs, and geometric inlays. It boasts bold military and patriotic elements like shield-shaped chair backs, trophy-like urns, etc.
Sheraton Style (1780 – 1820)
With credit to George Sheraton, this furniture style was in vogue from 1780 to 1820. Sheraton style furniture is a feminine refinement of the late Georgian styles and adorns simple, yet elegant, straight lines, tapered legs, contrasting veneers, and neoclassical designs.
Art and Craft (1800 – 1910)
This furniture style surfaced in 1880-1910 during the Arts and Crafts movement. It is characterized by a simple and utilitarian design without any ornamentation. Oak was the preferred wood.
Pennsylvania Dutch (1730 – 1830)
Popular during the late 17th century to the mid-19th century in America, Pennsylvania Dutch furniture is often made of pine, maple, walnut, and fruitwood. It is rather simple, but solid and boasts colorful paintings.
William and Mary (1690 – 1735)
This style was common between 1690 and 1735 and was inspired by the Dutch and Chinese styles. It is characterized by both straight lines and curves, elaborate carvings, woodturning, and Oriental lacquer work.
American Empire (1800 -1840)
American Empire furniture style was popular in the US in the 19th century and was influenced by the French style of furniture. The elements of this style are a dark finish, the use of detailed carvings, and ornamentation.
It is a form of the traditional style of furniture that comprises almost all the styles from the British Colonial period. Hence, the American colonial style features all the important characteristics of Jacobean, Queen Anne, William and Mary, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Chippendale styles. This furniture style is graceful, refined, and full of utility.
The influence of European styles fused with African and casual furniture styles to create American Design furniture that fits the homes of the 20th century. This style flaunts the handmade look of solid wood furniture with distinctive grains and finishes. It uses both traditional and non-traditional materials including stone, live edge, metal, and leather.
With a minimalist stance, furniture of the relaxed modern style displays a cool and sophisticated look with sleek silhouettes, plush furnishing, and plenty of natural materials. This style is all about glorious comfort for everyone in the house, thus including a variety of pieces made using different materials.
When rustic finishes are blended with an elegant style in a nude color palette, you get the casual luxe style. Furniture pieces in this style are often generously scaled and spacious, most importantly cozy, and ooze out a casual yet luxurious feel.
The urban collective style contains traits of boho chic and mid-century modern design and uses reclaimed wood with a distressed look, metals with a slim design, and personalized upholstery that results in a unique style with layers of texture.
We hope this detailed information on types of styles may have helped you to choose yours.
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Awesome, so knowledgeable. Thank you
Would like to send a picture of a few pieces I have, and trying to find out what type of furniture it is.
We would love to help you. Please share your pictures on [email protected]
This has helped me a whole lot now, as a furniture maker here in Nigeria
This is a well-detailed article. I am looking for a furniture style that will suit our new apartment. This article helps me to choose.
Thank you, for this wonderful article on furniture styles. It was a very useful tool. It helped me personally as an influencer and blogger.
Thank you very much for your appreciation! We have a wide variety of products. Please visit us at http://www.sierralivingconcepts.com
It’s nice that you pointed out how the style of furniture is an important aspect to consider while decorating a space. We just renovated our master bedroom and I think the current bedroom furniture doesn’t fit the style of the room anymore. So, I am planning to shop for a new bedroom furniture set that would fit the current style of the room.
Hello Luke, that’s great that you’re planning to update your bedroom furniture to match the newly renovated room style. It can really bring the whole space together and create a cohesive look, If you’re planning to buy bedroom furniture, you must check out Sierra Living Concepts bedroom furniture. We offer a wide range of furniture styles and designs that fits the style of your renovated room.
I appreciate the information you provided on styles and really liked the beautiful craftsman-style dining table and chair set that you mention.
Awesome article. It helps me a lot to decide what kind of setup I need to choose, especially in my field as Visual Merchandiser.
We are glad to hear that you found the article helpful!