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Furniture Styles and Where They Came From

Furniture has been an essential part of human existence for centuries, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. Over the years, various furniture styles have emerged, each with its unique history, features, and cultural significance. Lets explore different furniture styles and their history.

Ancient Furniture Styles

The history of furniture dates back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These civilizations created furniture pieces that were not only functional but also reflected their culture and art.

Egyptian furniture

Egyptian Style

Made of wood, stone, and metals such as bronze and gold. Furniture pieces were ornate and decorated with symbols, such as the sun and the lotus flower, whichds were significant in Egyptian mythology.

Greek furniture

Contrasting Egyptian style, Greek furniture was simple and functional, reflecting the Greeks’ belief in the importance of physical fitness and discipline. Greek furniture was typically made of wood and featured geometric designs.

Roman furniture

Heavily influenced by Greek and Egyptian styles. It was made of marble, bronze, and wood and featured intricate carvings and designs.

12th Century to 18th Century Furniture Styles

Gothic Furniture Style

The Gothic style emerged in the 12th century in Europe and was popular until the 16th century. Gothic furniture was characterized by its ornate and intricate designs, featuring pointed arches, elaborate carvings, and stained glass.

Gothic furniture was made of oak and walnut and was often painted black or dark brown. Gothic furniture was heavily influenced by the Gothic architecture of the time, which featured pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. This style was typically used in castles, churches, and other grand buildings.

Renaissance Furniture Style

The Renaissance period, which lasted from the 14th to the 17th century, was marked by a revival of classical art and culture. Renaissance furniture was characterized by its elegance and sophistication, featuring intricate carvings, gilding, and luxurious fabrics.

Renaissance furniture was typically made of oak, walnut, or mahogany and was often decorated with inlays of ivory or mother-of-pearl. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were ornate and decorated with symbols such as cherubs, grapes, and lions.

Italian Renaissance Style Chair
Renaissance Style Chair (Italian)

Baroque Furniture Style

The Baroque period, which lasted from the late 16th century to the mid-18th century, was marked by a grandeur and opulence in art and architecture. Baroque furniture was characterized by its elaborate designs, featuring curvilinear shapes, ornate carvings, and gilding.

Baroque furniture was typically made of mahogany or ebony and was decorated with gold leaf, mother-of-pearl, and other precious materials. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often used in grand palaces and royal residences.

Rococo Furniture Style

The Rococo style emerged in the early 18th century in France and was characterized by its playful and whimsical designs. Rococo furniture was heavily influenced by nature, featuring designs such as shells, flowers, and foliage.

Rococo furniture was typically made of wood and was decorated with elaborate carvings and gilding. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often painted in pastel colors and adorned with lace and silk fabrics.

Neoclassical Furniture Style

The Neoclassical style emerged in the mid-18th century in Europe and was marked by a return to classical art and architecture. Neoclassical furniture was characterized by its simplicity and elegance, featuring straight lines, geometric shapes, and understated designs.

Neoclassical furniture was typically made of mahogany or satinwood and was decorated with inlays of brass or ivory. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often used in grand homes and public buildings.

Shaker Style Furniture

Shaker style furniture refers to a type of furniture design that is inspired by the principles and aesthetics of the Shakers, a religious sect that originated in the United States in the 18th century. The Shakers believed in simplicity, functionality, and quality craftsmanship, which is reflected in their furniture.

Shaker style furniture is characterized and identified by its simplicity, minimalism, straight lines, quality craftsmanship, functionality and natural finishes. Shaker style has had a significant influence on furniture design and continues to be appreciated for its timeless appeal, craftsmanship, and understated elegance.

Colonial Style

Colonial style refers to a design aesthetic that takes inspiration from the architecture, decor, and furniture of the colonial period, particularly in America. This style draws influence from the European styles prevalent during the colonial era, which spanned roughly from the 17th to the 19th century.

Colonial style can be identified by its symmetry, warm color palette, and rich textiles. Overall, it is characterized by its timeless elegance, traditional influences, and attention to detail. It offers a classic and refined aesthetic that pays homage to the colonial era.

Check out a more in depth look at Colonial Style Furniture

19th Century to Present

Industrial Style Furniture

Industrial style furniture refers to a design aesthetic that draws inspiration from industrial spaces, such as factories, warehouses, and workshops. It emerged as a popular interior design trend and has gained significant popularity in recent years. Industrial Style typically utilizes raw and rugged elements, metal accents or structures, distressed finishes, reclaimed or repurposed elements, a neutral color palette, and often uses a combination of textures.

Industrial style furniture is favored for its unique blend of ruggedness, simplicity, and urban appeal. It can add character and a touch of nostalgia to a space, making it a popular choice for contemporary interiors, lofts, and modern industrial-inspired homes.

Check out a more in depth look at Industrial Style Furniture

Art Nouveau Furniture Style

The Art Nouveau style emerged in the late 19th century and was characterized by its fluid, organic designs. Art Nouveau furniture was heavily influenced by nature and featured curved lines, floral patterns, and asymmetrical shapes.

Art Nouveau furniture was typically made of wood or metal and was decorated with intricate carvings and inlays of exotic materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often used in private homes and public spaces such as cafes and hotels.

Art Deco Furniture Style

The Art Deco style emerged in the 1920s and was marked by its sleek, geometric designs. Art Deco furniture was heavily influenced by the modernist movement and featured materials such as chrome, glass, and lacquered wood.

Mid-Century Modern

Art Deco furniture was characterized by its sharp angles, bold colors, and symmetrical designs. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often used in high-end homes and public spaces such as theaters and cinemas.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Style

The Mid-Century Modern style emerged in the mid-20th century and was characterized by its clean, minimalist designs. Mid-Century Modern furniture was heavily influenced by Scandinavian design and featured materials such as teak, walnut, and rosewood.

Mid-Century Modern furniture was characterized by its simple lines, organic shapes, and functional designs. Furniture pieces included chairs, tables, and cabinets, which were often used in modern homes and public spaces such as offices and museums.

Check out a more in depth look at Mid-Century Modern Style Furniture

Contemporary Furniture Style

Contemporary furniture is a broad term used to describe furniture designs that are currently popular. Contemporary furniture is characterized by its innovative designs, use of new materials, and focus on functionality.

Contemporary furniture pieces include chairs, tables, and cabinets, which feature designs such as sleek lines, bold colors, and unusual shapes. Contemporary furniture is often used in modern homes and public spaces such as hotels and restaurants.

To Sum Up

Furniture styles have evolved over the centuries, reflecting changes in culture, art, and technology. Styles will continue to evolve and more over time. From the ornate designs of ancient civilizations to the sleek lines of contemporary furniture, each style has its unique history and cultural significance. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all styles but hopefully by understanding some the history of furniture styles can help you choose the perfect furniture pieces for your home, reflecting your personal style and cultural preferences.

 

Not sure how to narrow down your design style? Check out this guide to get you started.

Beginner Woodworking Tools

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Curious about getting started in woodworking? When it comes to woodworking you can easily go over the deep end when it comes to tools. The market is thick with specialty tools, odd jigs and expert level solutions. If you have the cash laying around you can definitely throw money at every solution you come across. However, a more measured approach may be wiser. Not only will it be less expensive to start small, but having a limited selection of tools will help you develop some creative problem solving. Over time you will begin to learn what tools will be right for the projects you like to do. Here is our list of some beginner woodworking tools we use almost every day that will set you up with a good foundation. 

  1. Tape Measure – Sort of self evident, but a good tape measure  is vital. I prefer these Fastcap tape measures. Lots of features to it but there are two I like the most. First there are labeled markings down to 1/16th of an in. I prefer tapes that label the markings rather than just have the hash lines. It’s one less thing to think about when taking measurements. The second is the split units. This tape has inches on one side and millimeters on the other. Most things we do are in inches but occasionally we need to use millimeters and it is nice to have it on hand without having to find a different tape.
  2. Mechanical Pencil – Obviously you need a writing utensil. What some people don’t think about though is how much the thickness of the pencil can impact your measurements. If you are not careful you can end up being an 1/8th inch or more off of your line just by how sharp the pencil is. Using these fine point mechanical pencils makes it easier to get an accurate mark and not worry about how sharp your pencil is.
  3. Carpenter’s Square – When you are measuring for your cuts you need a square to mark your cut. You can use any square of course but these squares are quite handy. We find that having both sizes help with different size boards as well as having flexibility to check just about any joint for squareness. 
  4. Adjustable Square – The carpenter’s square is great for laying out your cuts but sometimes you want some adjustability. An adjustable square is great for when you need to mark a line at the same distance/depth across multiple boards. Using an adjustable square gives you a higher degree of accuracy and confidence that the marking line is the same over each piece you are marking
  5. Drill Driver set – You need something to help you drill holes and drive screws. Whether you are using screws to build your projects, or making jigs to make your life easier. An impact driver is not 100% necessary but it definitely makes life easier, and they are typically sold as a set. People have very strong loyalties when it comes to what brand of power tools are “best.” In reality it doesn’t really matter as long as it fits in your budget. I do recommend trying to stick to one battery system as it will make it easier as your tool collection grows to not have to buy new batteries all the time. My advice is to find the best deal you can and stick with that brand. When I was buying tools there was a good deal on the Makita Drill / Driver combo and I have been very happy with the Makita brand ever since.
  6. Circular Saw – You need a way to make straight cuts and a circular saw is the simplest way to do that. Making your cuts square takes practice but this is the simplest tool for the job.
  7. JigSaw – You may also need a way to make curved cuts. The thin blade of a jigsaw will let you cut along curves or circles. You can make straight cuts with a jigsaw but it is even more difficult than using a circular saw.  
  8. Wood Glue – There are more wood glues on the market than I will ever be aware of. Try not to get too into the weeds on where to start. The most important part of using any adhesive is following the directions on setup and cure times. We have been using this Gorilla Glue wood glue for quite some time now and has become the main glue in our shop. It is easy to work with, sets up quickly and has plenty of strength. 
  9. Random Orbit Sander – Regardless of what your plan for finishing is (Stain, Clear Coat, paint, natural oils). You will need a clean smooth finish. Whether you dread it or are able to find some zen in it, sanding is a necessary part of woodworking that you will quickly become familiar with. Most if not all of your sanding can be done with a random orbit sander. The head of the sander will spin in alternate (random) directions to help prevent leaving marks on your piece as you are sanding it. 
  10. “Mouse” Sander – While the bulk of your sanding will be done by a powered sander, sometimes you need to hand sand. Maybe you need to soften the corners of boards so they are not sharp, or sand a small space that the powered sander won’t be able to reach. This mouse sander is very helpful for getting a nice finish on the entire piece.

If you are interested in getting started in woodworking the best advice is to start with the basics and add to your tool collection as you grow your skills. You never know what form your woodworking will take. You could start out making signs and end up building cabinetry, or musical instruments, or decks. Each area of woodworking has its own specialty tools that will make what you’re building easier and more accurate and those specialized tools are not always universal. These beginner woodworking tools will be helpful down almost every path your woodworking will take and you can purchase everything on this list for about $600. 

 

 

 

Interior Design Basics

 

Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. It involves a combination of creativity, technical knowledge, and an understanding of human behavior, and requires a keen eye for detail. With practice and a little bit of direction you create beautiful and functional living space. These interior design basic rules should help get you started and get you closer to successfully transforming the living spaces of your home.

 

Functionality

The first and most important rule of interior design is functionality. The space must be designed to meet the needs of its occupants. If you’re designing a living room, it should be comfortable and inviting, with plenty of seating options and adequate lighting. The layout of the space should also be carefully considered to ensure that it flows well and is easy to navigate. Different considerations are needed for a bedroom. While it should be comfortable and inviting, a bedroom is meant for rest and relaxation.

 

Color

Color can greatly impact the mood and atmosphere of a space. When choosing colors for a room, it’s important to consider the purpose of the space and the emotions you want to evoke. For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while cool colors like blue and green can promote relaxation and calm.

 

Balance

 A well-balanced space feels harmonious and cohesive, with each element working together to create a unified whole. Balance can be achieved through the careful arrangement of furniture and accessories, as well as the use of color and texture.

 

Scale and Proportion

The size of the furniture and accessories should be appropriate for the size of the room, and the placement of these elements should be carefully considered to ensure that they are in proportion to each other. For example, a small piece of furniture in a large room can feel out of place, while an oversized piece of furniture in a small room can feel overwhelming.

 

Texture

The use of different textures can add depth and interest to a space, and can help to create a sense of balance and harmony. For example, a plush rug can add softness and warmth to a room, while a rough, textured wall can add visual interest and depth.

 

Lighting

Lighting can greatly impact the mood and functionality of a space. When designing a space, it’s important to consider the natural light sources, as well as the placement of artificial lighting fixtures. Different lighting sources can be used to create different moods and atmospheres, and can help to highlight certain elements in a room. A well-lit room will not only be functional, but will also create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

 

Harmony

Harmony is the overall feeling of a room, and it’s important to consider how all of the elements in a space work together to create a cohesive whole. When designing a space, it’s important to choose elements that complement each other and work together to create a sense of harmony. This can include the use of color, texture, and scale, as well as the careful arrangement of furniture and accessories.

 

Contrast

Contrast is the use of opposing elements to create visual interest and excitement in a space. This can include the use of contrasting colors, textures, and shapes. When used properly, contrast can add depth and dimension to a space, and can help to draw the eye to certain elements.

 

Focal Point

A focal point is a prominent element in a room that draws the eye and serves as a visual anchor for the space. When designing a room, it’s important to choose a focal point that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, such as a fireplace, piece of artwork, or a statement piece of furniture. The focal point should be highlighted with lighting and arranged in such a way as to draw attention to it.

 

Unity

Unity refers to the sense of oneness or cohesion in a space. When designing a room, it’s important to consider how all of the elements work together to create a unified whole. This can include the use of a consistent color palette, the repetition of certain shapes or patterns, and the careful arrangement of furniture and accessories. However don’t get too hung up on sticking to a single style. When done appropriately mixing and matching styles can complement each other. A space can be unified without being uniform.

 

Personal Style

It’s important to remember that interior design is ultimately about creating a space that reflects the personal style and preferences of the people who will be using it. While there are certain rules and guidelines that should be followed, it’s also important to allow for individual expression and creativity. Whether you’re working with a professional designer or designing your own space, it’s important to stay true to your own style and preferences. Need help narrowing down your specific and personal style? Read our guide to help you narrow down your personal style.

 

 

To Sum Up

The basic rules of interior design are intended to help create a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and harmonious living space. From functionality and color to balance and unity, each of these elements plays a vital role in creating a successful interior design. Whether you’re designing a small apartment or a large family home, by following these basic rules, you can create a space that is both beautiful and functional, and that reflects your personal style and preferences.

Interior design can be complex and multifaceted. However, keeping in mind the basics and careful consideration of the many different elements, anyone can design a space. By following the basic rules outlined above and considering the specific needs of each space, it’s possible to create a beautiful and functional living space that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

How to Choose a Design Style

Designing a home is an exciting and creative process that involves making decisions about how to best reflect your personality and lifestyle in your living space. Selecting a design style for your home is a critical aspect of this process, and can significantly affect the look and feel of your home. With so many design styles to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one will work best for your home. Use this comprehensive guide to get you started on how to choose the perfect design style for your home.

 

Considerations

 

Assess Your Personal Style

The first step in choosing a design style for your home is to assess your personal style. The design of your home should be a reflection of your unique taste and style. Your home should be a place where you can feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy. Begin by taking stock of your personal preferences, your favorite colors, patterns, textures, and your lifestyle. You can also look for inspiration from magazines, websites, social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, and from the homes of friends and family.

By taking this step, you can identify the design elements that appeal to you and incorporate them into your home. This helps you to select a design style that complements your personal taste and enhances your comfort level.

 

Architecture of Your Home

When choosing a design style for your home, it is essential to consider the architecture of your home. The design style you choose should complement the existing features of your home and work harmoniously with its architectural style. The architectural style of your home can be a helpful guide in selecting a design style.

For instance, if you have a Victorian or colonial-style home, a traditional design style may be a good fit, emphasizing classic elegance and symmetry. On the other hand, if you have a modern home with clean lines and minimal detailing, you may want to consider a contemporary design style that emphasizes simplicity and functionality.

 

Practical Considerations

When selecting a design style for your home, you need to consider practical considerations that come with the design choices you make. It’s essential to think about the people who will be living in the house, their lifestyles, and their interests.

For example, if you have young children or pets, you may want to avoid a design style that emphasizes delicate or expensive materials that are easily damaged. If you have a tight budget, you may want to consider a design style that relies on inexpensive materials or DIY projects that you can tackle yourself.

The size and layout of your home and how the design style you choose will affect the flow of the space and your ability to move around comfortably. If you have a small apartment, a minimalist design style may be a good fit, emphasizing clean lines and uncluttered spaces.

 

Explore Popular Design Styles

Now that you have assessed your personal style, considered the architecture of your home, and thought about practical considerations, it’s time to explore some of the popular design styles that may be a good fit for your home. Here are some of the most popular design styles and the key elements that define them:

 

  • Traditional: Classic, elegant, and timeless, emphasizing symmetry, balance, and order.
    • Key elements: rich colors, ornate details, and antique furnishings. Traditional design styles work well in larger, more formal homes and are suitable for those who prefer a refined, luxurious look.
  • Transitional: Combine the best elements of traditional and contemporary styles, creating a look that’s comfortable and inviting but also up-to-date and modern.
    • Key elements: neutral colors, simple lines, and a mix of textures and materials. Transitional design styles work well in homes that blend traditional and modern elements, and they are suitable for those who like a cozy yet contemporary look.
  • Contemporary: Emphasize simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. They feature clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on space and light. This style work well in modern homes with open floor plans and are suitable for those who prefer a sleek, uncluttered look.
  • Modern: A more defined and minimalist approach than contemporary.
    • Key elements: geometric shapes, clean lines, and a focus on functionality. Modern design styles work well in homes with open layouts, large windows, and natural light and are suitable for those who like a bold and minimalist look.
  • Bohemian: Emphasize an eclectic mix of colors, patterns, and textures.
    • Key elements: bold prints, vibrant colors, and a focus on handmade or vintage items. Bohemian design styles work well in smaller homes and apartments and are suitable for those who prefer a free-spirited, relaxed look.
  • Farmhouse: Emphasize rustic charm and simplicity, inspired by traditional farmhouses.
    • Key elements: natural materials, such as wood and stone, neutral colors, and a focus on comfort and warmth. Farmhouse design styles work well in country homes and are suitable for those who prefer a cozy, welcoming look.

Learn more about different design styles

Test Drive Your Design Style

Once you have selected a design style that appeals to you, it’s essential to test drive it before making any significant design decisions. You can start by incorporating small design elements into your home, such as pillows, throws, and rugs, to get a sense of how they will look and feel in your space.

You can also create a mood board or a Pinterest board to visualize how your design style will work with the other design elements in your home. This allows you to experiment with different colors, patterns, and textures and see how they work together.

Another option is to consult with a professional interior designer or decorator who can help you bring your design style to life. They can offer expert advice on how to create a cohesive look and feel in your home and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Don’t want to hire a professional? Check out our Interior Design Basics.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Finally, it’s essential to remember that you don’t have to choose just one design style for your home. You can mix and match different styles to create a unique look that reflects your personal taste and style. For example, you can incorporate traditional elements into a modern design style to add warmth and texture to the space. Or you can mix bohemian and farmhouse styles to create a cozy, eclectic look.

 

To Sum Up

Choosing a design style for your home is a fun and exciting process that can significantly enhance the look and feel of your living space. By assessing your personal style, considering the architecture of your home, and exploring popular design styles, you can select a design style that complements your unique taste and lifestyle.

It’s essential to consider practical considerations, test drive your design style, and don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles to create a unique look. With these tips in mind, you can create a beautiful, inviting, and comfortable home that reflects your personality and style.

 

 

What Type of Wood for Furniture?

Wood is one of the most popular materials used in furniture making, and it comes in a wide range of species with varying characteristics. Each wood species has its own unique appearance, texture, and strength, making it important for furniture makers and consumers to choose the right species for their specific needs. Let’s compare several wood species commonly used in furniture making and explore their characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.

 

Comparison of Wood Species

When comparing wood species there are several factors to consider, including appearance, durability, workability, and cost. In terms of appearance, each wood species has its own unique look and texture, making it important to choose a wood species that fits the desired aesthetic of the furniture. Oak and cherry both have distinct grain patterns that give them a rustic appearance, while maple and walnut have a more uniform texture that gives them a sleeker, more modern look. Mahogany has a distinctive, tropical appearance that makes it a popular choice for those who want a more unique look. Take a look at our stain samples to see how different wood species interact with the same stains. 

In terms of durability, oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, and walnut are all hardwoods that are resistant to wear and tear, making them good choices for furniture that will be subjected to heavy use. Oak and mahogany are particularly resistant to rot and insect damage, making them good choices for outdoor furniture. However, all wood species can be prone to warping and cracking if they are exposed to changes in temperature and humidity, so it is important to choose a wood species that is well-suited to the specific environment in which the furniture will be placed.

Cost is another important factor to consider when choosing a wood species for furniture making. Oak and maple are both relatively affordable, making them good choices for furniture makers who are on a budget. Cherry, mahogany, and walnut, on the other hand, can be quite expensive, particularly if they are harvested from old-growth trees.

Oak

Pros

Oak is a popular wood species for furniture making, known for its durability and strength. It has a distinct grain pattern that is often characterized by vertical lines and knots, which give it a rustic appearance. Oak is also resistant to rot and insect damage, making it a good choice for outdoor furniture.

Cons

One of the downsides of oak is that it can be quite heavy and difficult to work with, which may make it a less ideal choice. Additionally, oak can be prone to cracking and splitting over time, particularly if it is exposed to moisture or changes in temperature and humidity.

 

Maple

Pros

Maple is another popular wood species for furniture making, known for its light color and tight grain pattern. It is a hard, dense wood that is resistant to wear and tear, making it a good choice for furniture that will be subjected to heavy use. Maple also has a consistent texture and color, which makes it a good choice for those who want a uniform appearance.

Cons

One of the drawbacks of maple is that it can be difficult to stain, as it has a tendency to absorb stain unevenly and is not a good choice if you are wanting a darker, richer stain applied to it. Because maple is naturally lighter in color it will not darken as much as other wood species. Additionally, maple can be quite heavy, which may make it less ideal for furniture that needs to be moved frequently.

 

Cherry

Pros

Cherry is a wood species that is known for its warm, reddish-brown color and fine grain pattern. It is a hardwood that is moderately heavy and durable, making it a good choice for furniture that will be subjected to heavy use. Cherry also has a distinctive aging process, as it darkens over time and develops a rich, patina-like finish.

Cons

One of the downsides of cherry is that it can be quite expensive, particularly if it is harvested from old-growth trees. Additionally, cherry wood can be prone to warping and cracking if it is exposed to changes in temperature and humidity.

 

Mahogany

Pros

Mahogany is a wood species that is known for its rich, reddish-brown color and fine grain pattern. It is a hardwood that is moderately heavy and durable, making it a good choice for furniture that will be subjected to heavy use. Mahogany also has a distinctive, tropical appearance that makes it a popular choice for those who want a unique, exotic look.

Cons

One of the downsides of mahogany is that it can be quite expensive, particularly if it is harvested from old-growth trees. Additionally, mahogany wood can be prone to warping and cracking if it is exposed to changes in temperature and humidity.

 

Walnut

Pros

Walnut is a wood species that is known for its rich, dark brown color and distinctive grain pattern. It is a hardwood that is moderately heavy and durable, making it a good choice for furniture that will be subjected to heavy use. Walnut also has a distinctive, elegant appearance that makes it a popular choice for high-end furniture.

Cons

One of the downsides of walnut is that it can be quite expensive, particularly if it is harvested from old-growth trees. Additionally, walnut wood can be prone to warping and cracking if it is exposed to changes in temperature and humidity.

 

To Sum Up

Choosing the right wood species is an important consideration when buying furniture, as each wood species has its own unique characteristics that can impact the appearance, durability, workability, and cost of the finished product. Oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, and walnut are all popular choices, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the choice of wood species will depend on the desired appearance, durability, workability, and cost of the finished product, as well as the specific needs you are looking for.

What is Industrial Style Furniture?

 

Industrial style furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years, with its unique blend of ruggedness and simplicity, it can fit perfectly into any modern or contemporary home decor. It has a history that dates back to the 19th century when factories and warehouses began to spring up in urban areas. This style of furniture has evolved over the years and has become a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike. In this essay, we will explore the history and description of industrial style furniture.

 

The History of Industrial Style Furniture

 

The industrial revolution of the 19th century brought about a significant change in the way furniture was produced. As factories and warehouses began to emerge in urban areas, furniture makers began to look for ways to create furniture that was sturdy and functional, while also being affordable and easy to produce. This led to the development of industrial style furniture, which was designed to be used in factories, warehouses, and other industrial settings.

 

Initially, industrial style furniture was not designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Instead, it was designed to be functional and durable, capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of an industrial environment. Early industrial style furniture was made from materials such as cast iron, steel, and wood, and was often designed with a utilitarian look.

 

However, over time, industrial style furniture began to evolve, with designers beginning to incorporate more aesthetic elements into their designs. By the early 20th century, industrial style furniture had become a popular choice for homeowners and designers alike, with its unique blend of ruggedness and simplicity.

 

Breaking Down Industrial Style

Characteristics

Industrial style furniture is known for its simplicity, durability, and utilitarian look. Here are some of the key characteristics:

 

  • Raw Materials: Typically made from raw materials such as wood, metal, and concrete. These materials are often left unfinished, or the appearance of being unfinished, giving the furniture a rugged and industrial look.
  • Simple Design: Designed to be simple and functional, with clean lines and minimal ornamentation.
  • Utilitarian Look: Often designed with a utilitarian look, reflecting its origins in factories and warehouses.
  • Neutral Colors: Typically designed with neutral colors such as black, white, gray, and brown. These colors are often used to accentuate the raw materials used in the furniture.
  • Reclaimed Materials: Many industrial style furniture pieces are made from reclaimed materials such as old pallets, barrels, and steel pipes. This not only adds to the furniture’s rustic look but also makes it environmentally friendly.

Types of Industrial Style Furniture

Standing Desk

Industrial style furniture comes in many different forms, ranging from chairs and tables to cabinets and shelving units. Here are some of the most common types:

 

  • Chairs: Typically made from metal or wood and are designed to be simple and functional.
  • Tables: Often made from wood or metal and feature simple designs with clean lines.
  • Cabinets: Designed to be sturdy and durable, with simple designs and minimal ornamentation.
  • Shelving Units: Typically made from metal or wood and feature open shelves for easy storage and access.
  • Lighting: Designed to be simple and functional, with metal or concrete finishes.
  • Sofas: Often made from leather or canvas and feature simple designs with clean lines.
  • Desks: Typically made from wood or metal and are designed to be sturdy and functional.
  • Beds: Often made from metal or wood and feature simple designs with clean lines.

 

Benefits of Industrial Style Furniture

 

There are several benefits to using industrial style furniture in your home decor:

 

Iron Pipe Shelves

 

  • Durability: Designed to be sturdy and durable, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas of the home. It can withstand the wear and tear of daily use and is often made from materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Versatility: Fits into a variety of home decor styles. It can add a rugged and industrial look to a modern or contemporary home, or it can add a vintage touch to a more traditional home.
  • Timeless Design: Designed to be simple and functional, with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. This means that it can remain stylish and relevant for years to come, making it a good investment for your home.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Many pieces are made from reclaimed materials, such as old pallets and barrels. This makes them an environmentally friendly choice for your home decor.
  • Affordability: Often less expensive than other types of furniture. This is because it is designed to be functional and simple, with fewer ornamentations and less expensive materials.

To sum up

Industrial style furniture has a rich history dating back to the industrial revolution of the 19th century. It was initially designed to be functional and durable, with a utilitarian look that reflected its origins in factories and warehouses. Over time, industrial style furniture has evolved, incorporating more aesthetic elements into its designs.

 

Today, industrial style furniture is a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike, thanks to its unique blend of ruggedness and simplicity. It is designed to be sturdy and durable, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas of the home. It can fit into a variety of home decor styles, and it is often made from reclaimed materials, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

 

Whether you’re looking to add a vintage touch to a traditional home or a rugged and industrial look to a modern space, industrial style furniture is a great choice. With its timeless design, durability, and affordability, it’s a smart investment for any home.

What is Colonial Style Furniture?

 

Colonial style refers to a type of architectural and interior design that draws inspiration from the styles prevalent during the colonial period of a particular country. This style is commonly associated with the period when European colonizers settled in different regions around the world. Colonial style homes and furniture draw influence from the architectural and design elements of the colonial era, which can vary depending on the country or region in question. For example, you may find British colonial, Dutch colonial, Spanish colonial, or French colonial styles, each with their unique characteristics.


It’s important to note that colonial style can vary significantly based on the specific region or country it represents. For example, British colonial furniture might have different influences than Spanish colonial furniture. Nonetheless, the overall theme of simplicity, natural materials, and historical inspiration remains prevalent across colonial designs.

 

Breaking down Colonial Style Furniture

Characteristics

  • Simple and functional: Much like the Shaker style, colonial design values simplicity and functionality. Furniture pieces are typically straightforward, practical, and durable, serving their intended purposes effectively.
  • Natural materials: Crafted from natural materials such as wood, particularly hardwoods like oak, walnut, or mahogany. These materials are sturdy and can endure the test of time.
  • Carvings and detailing: While the overall design is usually simple, colonial furniture might incorporate subtle carvings and decorative detailing, especially on chair backs, table legs, or cabinet doors.
  • Rich finishes: Often features rich, dark finishes that enhance the natural beauty of the wood. These finishes, such as stains or lacquers, add depth and elegance to the pieces.
  • Classic patterns and fabrics: In colonial-style interiors, you might find classic patterns like damask, paisley, or floral prints used in upholstery, curtains, and bedding.
  • Timeless appeal: Colonial style exudes a sense of timelessness, with designs that have endured for centuries and continue to be appreciated for their historic charm and elegance.

Types of Colonial Style Furniture

Rocking Chair (1940) by LeRoy Griffith. Original from The National Gallery of Art. 

Colonial Dining Set: A colonial dining set typically includes a large rectangular table with sturdy legs and chairs. The table may feature carved details or decorative aprons, while the chairs often have slat backs or upholstered seats.

  • Four-Poster Bed: A four-poster bed with a canopy is a classic example of colonial style furniture. It typically features intricately turned posts and a decorative canopy frame, creating an elegant focal point in the bedroom.
  • Wingback Chair: The wingback chair is a classic colonial piece with high backrests and wings that extend from the sides. It provides a sense of comfort and grandeur, often upholstered in traditional fabrics like leather or floral prints.
  • Sideboard: A colonial sideboard is a versatile piece of furniture used for storage and serving. It typically has a long, low profile with drawers and cabinets for organizing dishes, linens, and other dining essentials.
  • Secretary Desk: A colonial secretary desk combines a writing surface with a hinged front that opens to reveal storage compartments and small drawers. It is a functional and stylish piece that blends well with traditional interiors.
  • Rocking Chair: A colonial rocking chair is a classic and comfortable addition to any living space. It often features a slat back, turned arms and legs, and curved rockers for a soothing rocking motion.

Benefits of Colonial Style Furniture

  • Timeless appeal: Has a timeless quality that transcends trends and fads. Its classic design and historical significance make it a lasting choice that can endure for years without losing its charm.
  • Elegance and sophistication: Often exudes an air of elegance and sophistication. The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of high-quality materials contribute to its refined and luxurious aesthetic.
  • Durability and quality: Typically crafted from durable materials such as hardwoods, which are known for their longevity. These pieces are built to withstand the test of time, making them a worthwhile investment for the long term.
  • Versatility: Complements a variety of interior design themes and styles. Whether your space leans towards traditional, eclectic, or even contemporary, colonial furniture can be incorporated seamlessly and add a touch of classic elegance.
  • Functional design: Prioritizes functionality and practicality. The pieces are designed with usability in mind, incorporating features such as storage compartments, drawers, and adjustable shelves, making them not just visually appealing but also highly functional.
  • Historical significance: Carries a historical significance and can evoke a sense of heritage and tradition. It can be a way to honor and pay homage to the craftsmanship and design principles of a specific time period or cultural influence.
  • Investment value: Due to its durability, quality craftsmanship, and timeless appeal, colonial style furniture can hold its value well over time. It can be considered an investment that not only enhances your living space but also retains its worth should you choose to sell or pass it down to future generations.

To sum Up

Colonial style furniture carries with it some of the history and tradition of the United States. Its simplistic yet elegant design adds a touch of nostalgia and grace to your living spaces. Whether you decide to add a single piece of colonial furniture, which is sure to be a conversation starter, or utilize this style for an entire room, you cannot go wrong with the durability, versatility and charm of colonial style furniture.

What is Mid-century modern furniture

 

Mid-century modern furniture is a popular style that originated in the mid-20th century, specifically the period between the 1940s and 1960s. This style is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and a focus on functionality, and it has remained popular over the years due to its timeless design and ability to fit into a wide range of interior design styles. Read on to explore the history and description of mid-century modern style furniture, including its origins, design elements, and notable designers.

 

Origins of Mid-Century Modern Style Furniture

 

The origins of mid-century modern style furniture can be traced back to the end of World War II, when many designers and architects began to explore new materials and methods of production. The post-war era saw a boom in housing construction, and many young families were moving into new homes and apartments. These new homes required furniture that was functional, affordable, and stylish, and many designers rose to the challenge of creating pieces that would meet these needs.

 

One of the key factors that influenced the development of this style was the rise of modernism, a design movement that began in the early 20th century and emphasized simplicity, functionality, and the use of new materials and technologies. Modernist designers like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier believed that form should follow function, and they sought to create buildings and furniture that were efficient, minimal, and visually appealing.

 

Another important influence on mid-century modern style furniture was the work of Scandinavian designers. In the 1930s and 1940s, designers in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland were experimenting with new materials like plywood and fiberglass and creating furniture that was simple, streamlined, and functional. These designers had a significant impact on the development of mid-century modern style furniture.

Breaking Down Mid-Century Modern Style

Characteristics

  • Clean lines: Features clean, straight lines with minimal ornamentation. This creates a sense of simplicity and elegance that is both timeless and modern.
  • Geometric shapes: Many mid-century modern furniture pieces feature geometric shapes, such as triangles, circles, and squares. These shapes add visual interest and help to create a sense of balance and harmony.
  • Natural materials: Often features natural materials such as wood, leather, and metal. These materials are durable and long-lasting, and they add a sense of warmth and comfort to a space.
  • Bold colors: Often characterized by bold, bright colors, such as orange, turquoise, and yellow. These colors add a sense of playfulness and whimsy to a space.
  • Functionality: Functionality is a key element of mid-century modern style furniture. Many pieces, such as modular sofas and storage units, are designed to be flexible and adaptable to different spaces and needs.

 

Notable Designers of Mid-Century Modern Style Furniture

There were many designers who were influential in the development of mid-century modern style furniture. Some of the most notable include:

Arne Jacobsen-Egg Chair
  • Charles and Ray Eames: Charles and Ray Eames were an American husband-and-wife design team who created a wide range of mid-century modern furniture, including the iconic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Their furniture was characterized by clean lines, functional design, and the use of new materials like molded plywood and fiberglass.
  • George Nelson: George Nelson was an American designer who worked with the furniture company Herman Miller to create a wide range of mid-century modern furniture. His designs were characterized by a playful, whimsical style and a focus on functionality. Some of his most iconic pieces include the Nelson Bubble Lamp and the Marshmallow Sofa.
  • Arne Jacobsen: Arne Jacobsen was a Danish designer who was known for his sleek, minimalist designs. He created a wide range of mid-century modern furniture pieces, including the iconic Egg Chair and Swan Chair, both of which are still popular today.
  • Hans Wegner: Hans Wegner was a Danish designer who created a wide range of mid-century modern furniture, including the Wishbone Chair and the Round Chair. His designs were characterized by their clean lines, organic shapes, and emphasis on comfort and functionality.
  • Eero Saarinen: Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American designer who created a wide range of mid-century modern furniture pieces, including the Tulip Chair and the Womb Chair. His designs were characterized by their simplicity, elegance, and sculptural quality.

 

To Sum Up

Mid-century modern style furniture is a timeless design style that has remained popular over the years due to its clean lines, geometric shapes, and emphasis on functionality. The origins of mid-century modern style furniture can be traced back to the end of World War II, when many designers and architects began to explore new materials and methods of production. Key design elements of mid-century modern style furniture include clean lines, geometric shapes, natural materials, bold colors, and functionality.  Today, mid-century modern style furniture remains a popular choice for homeowners and designers who appreciate its timeless design and versatility.