With trends in furniture and fashion changing rapidly over the decades, it’s always just a matter of time before older pieces become like new again. As generational styles and designs age into their antique status, collectors begin to curate and catalog the most important defining features for future reference.
Before The 15th Century
In practical terms, furniture the predates the 15th century isn’t likely to be used as an everyday item. It’s more than likely to find furniture from these eras in a museum rather than a living room.
Only nobility could afford the kind of pieces that would have the durability and beautiful quality to survive for centuries. These would have been crafted with the rarest of woods and lavishly upholstered with the expensive silks and brocaded fabrics of those times.
Naming The Trends
As cultures across the world began to develop stronger working classes that could afford to build and buy homesteads of their own, trends in furniture-making transitioned to suit these growing demands. Ornamental flourishes could range from the fantastical scrollwork of the 1700s to the austere function of the late 1800s trends.
Conventions for naming these phases in furniture fashion borrow from the kings and queens and notable manufacturers of their time. A William and Mary era of style shows the introduction of early American woods and textiles as well as the Spanish influences in the markets of that time between the late 1600s and early 1700s.
Other monarchs, such as Queen Anne, Queen Victoria and a nod to Elizabethan history, as well French styles during Louis XVI’s reign, have also set the trends in furniture manufacturing during their decades of influence. Makers and manufacturers share the same pages in history, as is the case for Thomas Chippendale and also Robert Adam’s Heppelwhite style, through their innovation and creativity.
Modern designers and consumers love bringing back trends that have fallen out of favor for a fresh look at those bold and beautiful styles from the past. The soft pastels and heavily florals of French Restoration and Rococo designs pair well with the later sharp outlines and gradient hues from Art Nouveau and Naturalistic motifs.
Media influences styles and trends as well, bringing back the mid-century manufacturing from the 1950s Art Deco and Modernism movements. As well, Gothic and Renaissance revivals make for popular choices in furniture designs for fans of dragons and other things that might be stranger than fiction.