The History of Furniture Design
Ever wonder what would have furniture look like in ancient times? Did you ever think what would have been made in the furniture stores of old times, without machines and modern tech but only pure handmade craftsmanship? The décor design of medieval times and the renaissance period or the early 90s. Well sit back and relax reading this article while we take you on a journey back in time to understand some of the artistic styles used by people.
For thousands of years, furniture has been a crucial component of human civilization, having both practical and adornment functions. It has developed and adapted to meet the changing needs and fashions of each era, from the earliest forms discovered in ancient societies to the contemporary styles we see today.
In this article, we will see the vibrant history of furnishing designs throughout the timeline till the modern age:
The Mesopotamian Civilization Furnishings:
The earliest forms of furniture in ancient Sumer, date back to around 4000 BCE. The people of Sumer used a variety of materials such as reeds, rush, and clay to make furniture that was simple and functional and included items such as stools, chairs, tables, and also beds, which were made from wood and adorned with animal skins.
The Indus Valley Décor:
The furniture found in Mohenjo Daro provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived there thousands of years ago. The furnishings were mostly made of wood, including chairs, benches, tables, and even beds. Interestingly, it was often crafted using complex joinery techniques, such as mortise and tenon joints, which were used to create strong and durable pieces. These furnishings also often featured intricate carvings and designs, which were likely used to symbolize the social status of the owners.
Furniture Stores From The Land Of Pyramids:
Ancient Egyptian furniture was made using a variety of materials, including wood, ivory, and metals such as bronze and gold. It was often ornately decorated with intricate carvings, paintings, and inlays of precious stones. Chairs, beds, and tables were common in ancient Egypt and were often designed with curved or sloping legs, animal feet, and other decorative elements. Furthermore, it also served a symbolic purpose. For example, the throne of the pharaoh, which was usually made of gold or ebony and decorated with precious stones, represented his power and authority.
From the Stone Stools to Marble Effect Tables Of Santorini:
Stone fitments were often used in outdoor spaces such as courtyards, gardens, and temples. Stone benches, tables, and stools were popular, and some were decorated with intricate carvings of mythological scenes or ornate patterns. While stone furniture was durable and long-lasting, it was also quite heavy and difficult to move. As a result, it was often left in place and became a permanent part of the landscape.
The Viking’s Dining Chairs:
Medieval furniture, which spanned from the 5th century to the 15th century was primarily made by skilled craftsmen using traditional methods and tools and was typically handcrafted from oak, a durable and readily available wood. Bar Stools, tables, benches, chests, and beds were common during this period. They were often heavy and ornate, with intricate carvings and embellishments.
Rebirth Of Rome’s Furnishing Culture:
Furniture shapes underwent a significant transformation in the Renaissance Period (14th to the 17th century), moving away from the heavy, Gothic style of the Middle Ages and towards a more refined and elegant aesthetic. Furnishings were characterized by their ornate details, fine artistry, and the use of luxurious materials such as walnut, ebony, and ivory. Chairs and tables were designed with curved lines, intricate carvings, and decorative motifs inspired by classical architecture.
Furniture from the Jacobean Era:
Jacobean furniture was characterized by sturdy and heavy pieces, made primarily of oak, with simple turned legs and stretchers. Upholsters were often carved with a solid panel, while chests and cabinets had plain panels or a simple geometric look. Chairs were designed with a solid, rectangular seat and arms, while tables were often square or rectangular with bulbous legs.
Dawn of Vanity in European Colonies:
Colonial furniture is typically made from indigenous woods, such as oak, mahogany, and pine, and features simple designs with functional features. Some common features include straight lines, simple carvings, and practical storage solutions. These dressing tables typically featured a large mirror, several drawers for storage, and a comfortable seat.
With Love and Lounge Furnishings from Venice and Naples:
Furniture pieces were made using exotic woods such as mahogany, rosewood, and satinwood, with marquetry and intricate inlay work also common. The upholstery was typically done in luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet, and brocade, often featuring floral and rocaille motifs. Console tables typically had a curved or serpentine shape and were often elaborately carved with intricate details such as floral motifs, scrollwork, and other decorative elements. The legs were typically cabriole, which means they were curved and ended in a scroll or foot. The tabletops were often made of marble or other luxurious materials.
Following these eras were the Revival and the artistic crafting of Art Nouveau designs which now are rare collections owned by many wealthy decor enthusiasts around the world.
After the dawn of the industrialization of the furniture market across the world in the late 18th century, new designs started to emerge like Bauhaus, Art Deco, Modern and Contemporary styles bringing in the use of much stronger and sophisticated materials such as metal, manufactured wood, fibre materials, and tempered glass. A lot more has to be established for the future of the furnishing industry and fingers are crossed for many new designs and eras to come.