Introduction To Fine Furniture Styles

As my second blog post, I thought a good way to kick things off would be a short introduction of the various furniture styles that are out there.  There are several different styles – some modern, some classic, and some that never go out of style.  Whether you are interested in heavy carvings, light carvings, curves, cabriolet feet, or just plain and clean lines, there is a style out there for you.  So, let’s begin!

Chippendale – Named after the English cabinetmaker, Thomas Chippendale, this style is characterized by the use of flowing lines, carvings in the form of C-scrolls, floral motifs, fret work and acanthus leaves.  The carved cabriole leg ending in the ball & claw foot is another unmistakable feature of this style.  Here is an example:

Chippendale Dining Table Pedestal

Chippendale Dining Arm Chair

HepplewhiteGeorge Hepplewhite’s design is known for its light construction, serpentine shapes, the use of pale colored woods like satinwood inlaid with exotic woods and finally thin and tapering square legs for chairs and cabinets.  The shield-back chair is a popular type associated with this style.  Here are some examples:

Antique Flamed Mahogany Hepplewhite Sideboard

Shield Back Hepplewhite Dining Chairs

Louis XV – It wasn’t until the 18th century that France became a major hub for furniture design.  The Louis XV cemented France as a leader in style with its sweeping curves, fancy decoration and the use of asymmetrical patterns.  The popularity of this style soon spread to Britain and then America with designers blending their own styles with Louis XV. A major characteristic innovation of the Louis XV period was the broad and wide open upholstered chair – one of the most popular designs for reproduction furniture.

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