Furniture Styles and Design
Furniture styles have changed over the years, just as dress styles have changed and hair styles have changed. Furniture styles probably changed due to availability of tools and materials in the earliest of days.
Of course, as with everything else, societal tastes come into play. And, yes! It is probably like clothing and hair styles, car and truck shapes and sizes, too. Someone creates a design or style and marketing makes it popular enough to gain a style name and a place in history.
What Is YOUR Style?
That is the real question, isn’t it? What is your style?
I do not know a single person who says, “I love Queen Anne style furniture” and then fills the house with Queen Anne furniture. The predominant style may be Queen Anne, but there will be other pieces used in the decor that are complementary to the Queen Anne style. But, we will talk about that later.
What is important, if you are just starting out or if you are moving to a new home and plan to purchase new furniture or if you can afford to change the entire home decor just because you want to, is to know what makes you feel comfortable and at home.
I cannot caution a potential furniture buyer enough. Do not purchase a style of furniture because your parents like it, your best friend likes it, your sister or brother likes it. Purchase the style of furniture you (and your spouse or partner) like. After all, you are the one(s) who is going to live with it day and night, get up and see it first thing in the mornings, sit on it while watching television, eat upon it, and sleep on it.
Get the idea? Suggestions are nice, but the final decision should be with YOU. After all, you are going to live with it and probably pay for it. So, you decide on your style.
Become Familiar with Design Elements
The design elements of traditional styles should be somewhat familiar as you begin to define your personal style. I have created a section that explains what to look for in many of the style periods. Just as it was when new styles developed, older styles were still co-mingled. No one, not even Louis XVI, decided to get rid of all the existing furniture and replace it with a new style.
In fact, most homes today are somewhat eclectic in style. There is a mixture of styles that seem to work together quite well to create the individual’s personal style and decor.
Needless to say, some styles seem to blend well with others and there are some styles that just look awkward and unappealing when combined. For example, placing an ultra-modern chrome and glass table in a room filled with Louis XVI styling creates a look of the elephant in the room. The eye should be able to roam the room as a whole without immediately going to a piece that should be removed.
When decorating and combining styles, always remember the game children play. It is called “what does not belong?” If you can scan a room’s decor and immediately find the piece that does not belong — well, it should not be there. Use your eye to make the determination.