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A Guide to Classic Furniture Styles

A Guide to Classic Furniture Styles

Classic Furniture Styles by Time Period

Classic luxury furniture of the Italian and European kind reverberates with a vitality that personifies the styles that made the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks and then the ancient Romans.

It is the classic style that strives for symmetry to create elegant and refined home furnishings. Discover the various styles of classic furniture design by time period.


Classic Italian Furniture (1400-1650):

During the 15th century in Italy there arose great renewed interest in the heritage of the antique architecture, sculpture, furniture and other fine arts of ancient Rome, called the European renaissance. This revival of classicism in Italian furniture occurred principally between the years 1400 and 1650. 18th – early 19th century Renaissance took its rise in Italy where the Grecian ornament had influenced Roman and early Italian furniture. Venicasa is proud to make classic Italian furniture the cornerstone of our luxury furniture catalog with brands like Arredoclassic, Mariner, CitterioAsnaghi InteriorsLladro Lighting, and more. 

Jacobean Furniture Style (1600-1690):

Jacobean style furniture came to be during the English Early Renaissance. This type of furniture has a dark finish, classic ornate carvings, and straight lines. Furniture from this era was high-end and extremely detailed.

William and Mary Furniture Style (1690-1735):

The William and Mary furniture style was heavily influenced by Chinese and Dutch designs. This furniture was popular in the late 17th century into the early 18th century. This style of furniture featured Oriental lacquer work, Spanish feet, and trumped turned legs.

Queen Anne (1700-1755):

 
Queen Anne furniture made its way to the public during the reign of William III of England. This classic style furniture has fiddle-backed chairs, batwing-shaped drawer pulls, drake feet, and cabriole legs.

Pennsylvania Dutch (1720-1830):

 
Pennsylvania Dutch style furniture was popular in America from 1720 to 1830. This style of furniture was influenced heavily by Germanic influences. It was well known for its colorful folk painting on the cases and being utilitarian simple.

Louis XVI (1760-1789):

 
The Louis XVI style of furniture was designed during the French Revolution for Marie Antionette. This style takes features from Greece and Roman influence. The features include richly carved details, classic fluting, and straight lines.

Chippendale (1750-1790):

 
This type was created by a man named Thomas Chippendale. He resided in London and was a cabinet maker. The features that he put into this style came from Chinese, French, Gothic, and the Queen Anne style. This furniture had ball and claw feet, broken pediment scroll tops, and cabriole legs.

Hepplewhite (1765-1800):

 
The Hepplewhite style was a classic and very popular in the United States. It was named after George Hepplewhite from London. The furniture has a neoclassical influence, including some influence from Italian styles, and has features like contrasting veneers and inlays, delicate appearance, and tapered legs.

Sheraton (1780-1820):

 
This style of furniture is named after George Sheraton, an English designer. His style of work overlapped with the Hepplewhite style. This style has straight lines, tapered legs, contrasting veneers and is well known for its simplicity.

Federal (1780-1820):

 
This style of furniture is a combination of the Sheraton style and the Hepplewhite style. This furniture has some Italian features and is well known for its neoclassical motifs, ornamentation, contrasting veneers, and straight lines.

American Empire (1800-1840):

 
The American Empire style was heavily influenced by European countries, including France. It was very popular in the United States during the late 19th century. The features of this style include course carvings, dark finish, and classic ornamentation.

Victorian (1840-1910):

 
This style was named after Queen Victoria and was the head furniture style of the English Victorian period. This style was created during the European industrial revolution and was the first style to be manufactured. This style was heavily influenced by Romantic influence. Features include a dark finish, elaborate ornamentations, and heavy proportions. This style is well known for its luxury and is considered high-end.

Arts and Craft (1880-1910):

 
This style came from the ideas of an artist known as William Morris. This furniture sought to capture craftsmanship that was found before the industrial age. Furniture from this era consists of simple and utilitarian design that looks great and functions well.

Art Deco (1910-1939):

 
This design came from the European country of France and was created before WWI. This style has features of bold, vibrant colors, shiny metal surfaces, luxury wood features, ivory inlays, and geometric shapes. This furniture was very popular throughout the United States and Europe.

Scandinavian Contemporary (1930-1950:

 
This style was named after the group of European countries that first produced it. This design was known for its simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. It was created with a natural wood and made with a utilitarian design.