History of Furniture

History of Furniture

The history of furniture has gone through several changes and has been influenced by a wide range of cultures and regions worldwide.

Introduction of Furniture

Household furniture is often constructed of wood, metal, plastics, marble, glass, textiles, or other materials and has various uses. Furniture ranges widely from simple pine chests or stick-back country chairs to the most elaborate marquetry work cabinets or gilded console tables. According to economics and fashion, the functional and decorative aspects of furniture have been emphasized more or less throughout history. Chairs are always meant for seating, but some are more comfortable or overly ornate than others. Accessory furnishings such as clocks, mirrors, tapestries, fireplaces, paneling, and other items compliment any interior design scheme and are smaller subsidiary items.

The origin of the word furniture is the French term fourniture, which means equipment. In most other European languages, however, related words (German mobel, French meuble, Spanish mueble, Italian mobile) are derived from the Latin adjective mobilis, meaning moveable. Continental words describe the interior character of furniture better than English words. It must be possible to move it about as furniture. It’s easy to understand why no independent furniture types have emerged among the Melanesians or Greenland Inuit, or the Mongolian nomads in Asia, given that furniture necessitates some level of residential permanence.

In general, the furniture produced in the last 5,000 years has not undergone innovation in any functional sense. The Egyptian folding stool dating from about 1500 BCE fulfills the same functional demands and has essentially the same basic features as a modern one. Furniture has changed considerably since the mid-20th century when entirely new synthetic materials such as plastic and entirely new manufacturing processes such as casting made it possible for designers to reinvent the concept of furniture.

General considerations

Materials

Wood

The most popular material used for making furniture is wood. Some woods have natural qualities that make them superior to the others, with over a hundred different types available for furniture.

Wood is a low-cost material that may be treated in various ways; for example, it can be stained, painted, gilded, and glued. There are hand and power-operated cutting and drilling tools that can be used to shape it. When heated, it can be bent into a predetermined shape to a certain extent and will retain the shape after that. On the other hand, woodgrain gives wood a structure with distinct characteristics that can be used to create natural ornamental surfaces by means of precalculated juxtapositions. The colors available are white, yellow, green, red, brown, gray, and black. The colors slowly change from one to another in a row of infinite sequences. In juxtaposing Wood of various colors, rich effects were produced, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. If stored under favorable conditions, Wood is durable, and furniture pieces from the oldest civilizations – Egypt, for example – still exist. Lastly, most Wood has a fragrant aroma.

Furniture production has become less expensive and quicker in recent times as a developments in the sphere of craftsmanship and mechanical techniques. It’s been possible to create new materials from Wood by using it as a foundation and applying shredding, heating, and gluing methods. Semi-manufactured woods, such as veneer, plywood, carcass wood, laminated board, and hardboard (fiberboard), are increasingly being used by cabinetmakers and furniture factories.

Veneers are thin layers of particularly fine wood applied to lesser Wood to give it an attractive and smooth surface. It would hardly be possible to achieve a surface using solid wood, partly because of its brittleness, partly because of the expense, and partly because the grain is to its best advantage when the wood is cut into hard boards can never be shown.

Veneering furniture has a long history dating back to pharaonic Egypt, but it was not fully utilized until the early 18th century. During the Rococo period, it was common for craftsmen to excel in the veneering of curved, concave, and convex surfaces, for example, as found on the chest of drawers.

A veneer is made by machine cutting, sewing, and peeling. However, the best quality saw-cut veneers are also the most costly since they have greater damage to the wood in the form of sawdust. Therefore, as a rule, furniture veneer is machine-cut.

Solid wood veneers are usually created on a solid surface, such as a solid surface or many layers glued together. The old furniture, solid Wood beneath the veneer, is of a lower-quality species than the veneer, such as beech, oak, or deal. However, high-quality English mahogany furniture from the 18th century was covered with Mahogany veneers on Wood. Machine-made laminated boards of various thicknesses were commonly used in the 20th century. The advantage of a ready-made laminated board is that it does not shrink. Wood is flexible and adaptable, able to bend and compress in various ways while maintaining strength. Wood’s tension can vary axially, radially, or tangentially; by blocking the Wood—i.e., gluing pieces of Wood together in diverse directions—such differences are eliminated, resulting in similar longitudinal and equal lateral strength. The defining feature of laminated board is that the veneer on both sides wraps a wooden board around a thin strip of Wood connected to the edge. The board is thus thick enough to be used for tabletops or doors.

Plywood is a type of laminated board comprised only of single sheets of veneer glued together. Plywood is a popular material for furniture, especially as a backing for chests and other storage pieces, the bottoms of drawers, and shelves.

Metal

Metal has been used to make and embellish furniture, the wooden seat, the stool, and the thrones from the tomb of Tutankhamen (14th century BCE), since ancient times, for example, were made of gold mounts (decorative details). Bronze, iron, and silver were used to make furniture in ancient Greece. Folding underframes tables, and beds made partly or entirely of metal were discovered in the ashes of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy.

Throughout the Middle Ages, metal chairs—such as the 7th-century throne held by Dagobert I, king of the Franks—were employed in particular ceremonies.

Several examples of silver furniture have been kept; they aren’t solid metal but rather plates of embossed (decorated with relief) or chased (hammered) silver plates fastened to a wooden core. When monarchs ruled the world and amassed enormous riches in far-off days, beautiful silver furniture was created for royal palaces. Following the Hundred Years’ War, silver mountings were melted down and used to produce silver coins; as a result, all of the royal palace’s silver furniture vanished.

Iron furniture became a typical industrial product during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many people began to use iron beds instead of wooden ones. They are also remarkable because they may be readily folded up, making them highly popular as camping beds; Napoleon used one at St. Helena is a famous example. They might be adorned with brass adornments such as big knobs screwed onto their posts and ordinary beds in private residences or hotels. Rocking chairs and, perhaps more often, garden chairs that can stand out in the rain, protected just by a coat of paint, have all been constructed of iron.

During the 1920s, German architects and designers tested modern materials, including steel, in their furniture designs. The Bauhaus was a school for architects, designers, and artists who experimented with modern materials. Experiments were carried out with steel springs and chromium-plated steel tubing. The style was soon imitated, and tubular steel furniture became the epitome of functionalism. Since then, plaited wire and thinner tubing with a resiliency comparable to wickerwork chairs have been used. Aluminum was used as a furniture material because of its lightness.

On the other hand, metal is still utilized mainly for locks, hinges, and mounts used on furniture for purely ornamental purposes. Constructed chests in the Middle Ages required a lot of iron bands to provide extra strength, and the ends of these bands were trimmed to create decorative designs. Cabinets of the Baroque and Renaissance periods were decorated with mounts of pewter or bronze. Marquetry, the art of inlaying objects with materials such as wood or ivory set into the veneer furniture produced by royal furniture workshops in France, especially so-called boulle furniture, was characterized by an ornate form of marquetry (patterns formed by the placement of pieces of wood, ivory, shell or metal into a wood veneer. They were inspired by Asian cultures in which blue-tempered steel, brass, and copper were common.

Particularly in England and the American colonies, a more refined style for furniture supports, keyhole escutcheons (ornamental shields surrounding keyholes), hinges, and other fittings based largely on Chinese models was created in the 17th and 18th centuries. The designers of these mounts had a distinct practical goal in mind. As opposed to contemporary French Rococo mounts, most of them were ornamental, at times to the neglect of usefulness. French bronze founders demonstrated great skill in creating purely decorative mounts for the body of the chest of drawers and protective mounts for the corners and legs.

Other materials

Glass has been used as a mirror glass or as a purely decorative, illusory element in cabinets and writing desks, among other secondary materials in furniture manufacturing. Glass furniture, in which wooden furniture is covered with silvered glass in a variety of colors, was created by Italian craftsmen. In Egyptian furniture, ivory and other forms of bone were used as inlay materials. Ivory was widely used during the 17th and 18th centuries for inlay work on tabletops, cupboard doors, and expensive Continental furniture.

The use of tortoiseshell as a costly inlay on a silvered ground is also known to have occurred during the Renaissance and Baroque periods in furniture. Mother-of-pearl has been utilized as inlay material, particularly as keyhole escutcheons. In the 18th century, marble and plaster of paris were used for the tops of chests of drawers and console tables; in the 19th century, they were used for washstands and dressing tables.

A molding material made of paper pulp with glue and other additives, which is known as papier-mâché, was used to construct such Victorian furniture as fire screens, little tables and chairs, and clock casings. Finally, chairs with seats and backs molded in one piece and a metal base have been manufactured from various plastic materials since World War II.

Stylistic and decorative processes and techniques

Constructional style and stylization

In general, furniture may be built in two styles: one in which the form of the item reflects how it is put together, and one in which the appearance of the piece conceals how it is put together, intending to make joints flush with adjacent elements to produce the illusion that the item is made from one piece.

Forms using wickerwork or bamboo, in which even the most inventive design and pattern variations serve to make the construction more sturdy and resilient, are examples of furniture created in a purely constructive style.

Most of the time, the structural and functional features are not visible to the human eye, thus being rarely aesthetically significant to the external appearance. However, artistically designed joints may be highlighted. The Greek form of the chair known as the klismos demonstrates its joints boldly in the form of solid junctions. The legs, seat, and stiles are held together by these joints. The curvature of the feet and back suggests spasticity. Inlay work, examples of which may be seen in ancient Egyptian furniture, is used to indicate extremely delicate joinery with inaccessible joints that are not visible.

Constructional styles include stick-back and tubular steel chairs. A stick-back chair is one in which the seat, legs, back staves, and possibly armrests are all mortised straight into a solid foundation (inserted by tenon or projecting part of the wood in one piece and mortise or groove in the other). In the 1920s, steel tube furniture such as tables, chairs, and stools was produced in Germany. Steel tubes permitted for the first time ever in this way produced a new constructional style that arose, one that made smaller measurements possible. Bent steel tubes form a flexible structure.

In contrast to the constructional style, stylization is one in which the motifs and the joints’ strength are not internally consistent. In the history of furniture, there have been numerous examples of stylization. The joints may be intentionally hidden in Egyptian and Chinese furniture with paint or lacquer. It’s also possible that the furniture was designed with a more artistic approach than is genuine, as Chinese furniture can appear stylized. It gives an impression of having been constructed more constructively than is really the case. Stylization is the process of attempting to make joints flush with adjacent members to give the impression of an uninterrupted, harmonic, or sensitive contour. (Although this conclusion is somewhat debatable, when two pieces of wood are bonded together with a modern, strong glue, the resultant connection will be so solid that rather than the actual joint, the Wood itself would be more likely to fracture in the case of a severe shock to the piece.)

A wonderful example of stylization may be found in French furniture produced around the middle of the 18th century. Only the back in the French Rococo commode is straight. The front and sides of the serpentine meet in pointed corners, at which brass mounts cover joints. The drawer’s number and position are hidden by an overall design of veneer and bronze ornamentation that disregards the edges of the drawers. (In many cases, the bronze mounts on the front have imaginary handles and keyhole escutcheons, but it is never emphasized that they are in the corresponding English commode, even with false drawer fronts or veneers. Also, in case of drawer provided with molding to protect.) There are no visible joints in the fully developed French Rococo armchair. The back, arms, and frame are one continuous entity; the distinction between supported and supporting members is hidden. There are no stretchers or horizontal rods between the legs to reinforce the construction, which is solid enough due to the rough dimensions of the members found in the seat frame. The Wood is molded to provide a sense of lightness while not compromising the construction to counteract the impression of weight in these essentially thick dimensions. When gilded or painted, a chair like this has the appearance of being made of one piece.

Decorative processes and techniques

Every item of furniture may be adorned in one way or another, depending on whether constructional ideas are used as a motif or elegance of form is emphasized through stylization. Effects may be added to the structural Wood of a piece of furniture or in another type of Wood combined with it; that is, by carving and turning or by inlay work. Alternatively, other materials such as bronze, ivory, or marble can be used to decorate the piece. Last but not least, textile enrichment may be added to furniture designed for sitting or lying on in the form of upholstery, loose covers, and cushions.

Carving

At the time of the Pyramids, Egypt was home to furniture carvings featuring animal legs of cedarwood on biers, beds, chairs, and ducks’ heads at the end of folding stools. In this hot climate, pillows have been replaced by beautifully carved headrests.

Although carvings did not appear to be an essential element in Greek and Roman furniture, they were a prominent feature of medieval European furniture. The Gothic perpendicular tracery of the fronts of chests imitates ornamental stonework seen in ecclesiastical construction.

The ecclesiastical wood carving found in altarpieces and choir stalls was another source of inspiration for carved ornaments in bourgeois furniture. The art of the woodcarver flourished in Islam during the Middle Ages, particularly in oriel window (large bay windows projected from the wall and supported by brackets) windows, kiosks (open pavilions), and Qur’an lecterns. The linenfold was the most unusual and distinctive type of carved ornamentation in medieval times, which looked like folded pieces of linen draped over the surface of the Wood. Although the motif was widely known, its origin is unclear.

Wood-carvers updated designs during the Renaissance: new ornamental riches, partly inspired by Classical antiquity’s forms, began to adorn cupboards and chests. Acanthus leaves, strapwork (narrow bands folded, crossed, and sometimes interlaced), Moresque patterns, the auricular (flowered Alpine primrose) style, bunches of fruit, and scrollwork have been popular motifs in European cabinetmakers’ figure-carving repertoires for hundreds of years.

The fashion for carved work waned during the 17th century, but it resurfaced in the consoles (tables that fit against the wall), mirror frames, and high-backed armchairs of Court Baroque. Gorgeous, gilded carved work became popular on stands whenever they were brought to Europe, in stark contrast to Japanese lacquer cabinets.

In the 18th century, woodcarvers enjoyed a last great period of prosperity when the Rococo style of decoration called for the production of plastic effects obtainable through carving. The finest wood carving, including combinations of mussel-shell patterns and naturalistic vines and plant tendrils, was used to adorn whole woodwork panels, doors, mirror frames, seats, and settees. There were numerous opportunities for carved work in the English furniture of more restrained design, for example, in several chairback variations in the Chippendale manner.

The American cabinetmakers were particularly good at crafting block fronts (the sides curving forward and the center receding) on chests of drawers. At the same time, the English excelled at constructing tea tables with piecrust (scalloped) tops.

Turned work

Turning is the process by which parts of furniture, such as legs and posts, are shaped while the lathe is turned. Greco-Roman furniture, on the other hand, features turned into work. It’s uncertain whether or not turning was used in Egyptian furnishings, although some members appear to have been turned. Greek woodworkers used the lathe to shape wooden chair legs, and the same sharp edges and deep molding seem to appear in the legs of bronze furniture. It’s possible that ancient turned work practices were carried out in Byzantium, which is reflected in chairs with medieval forms like those found in Norway, made of pinewood and featuring turn staves (thin bars) with appendant loose rings, some of them fluted or grooved. Similar turned chairs were also made in the 16th century in Wales. Turned work was utilized on cupboard pillars and ball feet in the 17th century, but it may also be seen on chair and table legs, where intricate variations in twisted and intertwining forms occur. In the 17th century, turned work in ivory also flourished. However, Turner’s craft played no significant role in 18th-century English high-style furniture except for the Windsor chair or stick-back. It is just as exotic as French Rococo furniture.

Inlay and marquetry

Inlaid woodwork, in which decorative material ivory or wood is embedded in the veneer, has been used by furniture makers for many years. The ivory inlay may be found in Egyptian furniture, particularly in tiny and meticulously constructed toilet caskets. Still, it is difficult to identify Greek and Roman furniture today, known almost exclusively from pictorial representations.

Inlay’s work was replaced by wood carving in medieval Europe, and it subsequently blossomed during the Renaissance in Italy. The intricate patterns of Italianintarsia (wood mosaic) decoration which was favored in choir stalls and royal oratory panels, as well as private studies and chapels, or oratories, of princes. The Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, home of the Italian nobleman and patron of the arts Duke Federico da Montefeltro, still has an intarsia study of the Duke of Urbino, which is kept there. A corresponding room at Gubbio now belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Linear perspective (the practice of depicting the spatial relationship of objects as they might appear to the eye) and illusionism, which had just been developed, helped Italian intarsia work achieve success.

In both the Renaissance and Baroque periods, ivory was used on baroque cupboards only sparingly at first, but it was then utilized in greater amounts. Inlay’s work was extensively used in many magnificent German and French cabinets of the period. In the Netherlands and England, a particularly rich form of marquetry (patterns formed by the insertion of pieces of wood, ivory, shell, or metal into the wood veneer) was developed that used floral motifs in exotic woods on walnut. Around 1700, high-quality inlays were used on English grandfather clocks. Nevertheless, during the Rococo period, particularly in France, inlay work attained previously unseen heights of excellence. The commodes’ serpentine sides and fronts were covered with expensive woods veneered with intricate grain patterns, which served as a decent backdrop for gilded bronze mounts adorned with rich ornaments.

Upholstery and covers

Furniture with seating or resting on cushions is covered in upholstery and covers. Europeans learned to construct wickerwork structures that provided a ventilated and resilient background for loose cushions from the east. During the 18th century, the upholstered chair, which is still popular today, originated in Europe and took its most classic and logical form in England. A variety of imaginatively varied kinds of upholstered armchairs emerged from a desire for comfort, general prosperity, and poor home heating systems. Many creatively diversified versions of upholstered armchairs were created. Only Wood was visible in the legs, with the back closing right up against the side wings and the sitter protecting against inevitable drafts.

The upholstered chair’s new aesthetic was almost entirely dependent on the upholsterer’s workmanship. The upholstered sofa or chair has remained a distinctive product of the Anglo-Saxon world; club life, in particular, promoted its use and resulted in highly filled forms, including the so-called chesterfield.

By the mid-twentieth century, new materials like foam rubber and various plastic composite compositions had inspired innovative ways to do away with conventional upholstery methods. The upholstery was then replaced by molded plastic forms and bags filled with plastic balls that could change the body’s positions.

Imagery and ornamentation

Secondary processes include painting and plastic images, as well as floral decoration, on furniture. Construction and design are primary. Many of the greatest and most emotive furniture designs, such as the English Windsor chair and the Greek klismos chair, are quite independent of imagery or ornamentation. However, no period in the history of furniture is completely devoid of these secondary procedures.

Furniture decoration is generally concentrated where it will not obstruct the way; for example, on the legs, arms, and backs of chairs; at the ends and canopies of beds; on the legs and stretchers of tables; and in cupboards and chests of drawers’ vertical surfaces. The redundant nature of furniture decoration is particularly evident in forms that convey rank or prestige. The thrones of kings and bishops, guild masters’ seats, state beds, office writing desks, and the like have all served as inspiration for art and decoration; as the practical usefulness of the item has decreased, it has appeared that the amount of ornamentation has increased. The decoration is entirely absent from purely functional milk stools and typewriting tables. The division between these two types of furniture is seen with varying clarity in the history of furnishings.

In some cases, the ornamentation has served a practical purpose. The adornment of the first examples of furniture from Mesopotamia and Egypt, for example, had a magical or symbolic function. Sumerian stools had ox-like legs, which was the city of Ur’s guardian animal. Egyptian furniture has a larger variety of furniture legs based on animal designs than Sumerian stools. For a thousand years of Egyptian furniture history, three-legged stools with dog paws, folding stools with legs in the form of heads of the ducks, and bed legs in the shape of lion feet are well-known. Lion-legged tables can be seen on Assyrian Relief. Greek furniture was usually represented with animal symbols. Sometimes the hands and the legs of Greek chairs had animal shapes – for example, the head of a lion or a ram. Animal designs were probably included in ceremonial seats and thrones because they were used in other civilizations: to express the power shift. This ancient tradition lived in European furniture. For example, in thrones, where the griffon, lion, and eagle played a major role in the decoration.

In ancient furniture, it’s hard to tell whether ornamental details are meant to be interpreted symbolically or aesthetically. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the animal world has long been a source of furniture design inspiration. In the modern world, humans are associated with legs and heads. For example, in the French Rococo chair and its imitations, human limbs and heads serve as terminal embellishments. The animal leg was extremely important in English furniture of the 18th century, and it later passed into American furniture. Naturalistically carved lion’s feet and characteristic claw-and-ball feet, a motif that may descend from Chinese forms of decoration (such as the dragon’s claw with a ball or a pearl) such as the dragon’s claw holding an orb, was developed by English cabinetmakers and chairmakers. On the arms, richly carved English mahogany chairs may have the heads of birds, lions, or dogs as terminal decorations. Although most Chinese chairs and tables are based on straight legs of rounded Wood, Chinese thrones and seats for high-ranking officials have curved legs that may be elephant trunks imitations.

Apart from the animal world, architecture is an essential source of interior design motifs in furniture. The craft of the woodcarver was transferred from Gothic architecture’s perpendicular tracery to the fronts of chests in the late Middle Ages. Walnut cupboards and Italian chests of the same period, modeled on marble sarcophagi of classical antiquity, are entirely in architectural form. During the Baroque and Renaissance periods, the column was used as a dramatically beautiful frontal element in the form of table legs and cupboards. The fronts of large, hefty cupboards were especially suited to an architectural composition that mirrored the doors and gables of homes. Around the same time, the decorative wealth of the Renaissance broke down into rosettes, cupids, and fruits on the paneling and frames. 

The official royal style left its mark on beautiful pieces of furniture and panels, doors, mirror frames, and, yes, even palatial facades and château layouts during the reign of Louis XIV in France. Under Louis XVI, during the Rococo period, it became even more apparent that the coherence between interior and furnishings was strong. The French Empire style’s furniture and rooms were an excellent example of how this coherence has been interpreted in modern times.

With a few exceptions, such as the Louis XVI and Empire styles, furniture designs from the 19th century frequently seem to repeat this link between interior decorating and architecture—both revivals of ancient techniques. A new style did not emerge until the end of the century. In conjunction with the rooms and houses for which it was created, French Art Nouveau furniture must be seen with its gliding vegetable forms. The furniture of Antonio Gaudí, a Spanish designer and architect, interacted with his own constructions in a meaningful way; likewise, the strangely emotive and stylized pieces made by a Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh are an important element of his structures and Glasgow interiors.

The architectural influence on furniture can also be manifested in the lack of ornamentation. Functionalist architecture, as it was first exhibited in the 1920s at the Bauhaus in Germany, has a close relationship with steel furniture designed by German architect Mies van der Rohe are linked.

Kinds of furniture

Chair

The chair may be the most important of all furniture forms. Unlike other forms (except the bed), the chair is designed to support the human form. The phrase “chair” is used in its broadest sense, ranging from stools to thrones to various derivative forms such as the sofa and bench, which may be considered extended or connected chairs and whose character (whether they are intended for sitting or reclining) is not clearly defined.

The chair’s social history is fascinating as its art and craft history. The chair is more than just physical support and an aesthetically pleasing item; it’s also a sign of social ranking. At the ancient royal courts, distinctions in seating existed between sitting on a chair with arms, one without arms, and having to make do with a stool. The director or manager chair became an indicator of great authority, and in democratic parliaments, the speaker sits on a higher level than other lawmakers In the 20th century in the 20th century.

As a furniture form, the chair includes a wealth of variations. Some chairs are suited to a person’s age and physical condition (the high chair, the wheelchair) and their social status (the executive chair, throne). In ancient times, chairs were required to be born in (birth chairs), and in the 20th century, chairs were needed to die in the electric chair. There are several chairs with one, two, three, and four legs and ones with or without arms. There are also armless and backless chairs. Some chairs can be folded up, wheelchairs, and running chairs.

Special chairs for automobiles and airplanes have been developed by modern living. All of these chair types have been developed to meet changing human demands. The chair’s connection with man allows it to shine only when used, owing to its close association with him. It doesn’t matter whether there is anything inside a cupboard or chest of drawers for one’s enjoyment. A chair is more appealing to the eye and assessed when a person sits on it, whereas a sitter complements the seat. The parts of a chair have been given names that are comparable to those used for the human body: arms, feet, legs, back, and seat.

Because the chair’s most basic purpose is to support the body, its value is determined by how well it fulfills this practical role. The designer is restricted by certain static laws and fundamental measurements when it comes to creating a chair. Within these parameters, on the other hand, the chair maker has great freedom.

The chair’s history dates back several thousand years. Some civilizations have developed distinct chair forms, expressing each field’s greatest technical and aesthetic achievement. During the reigns of Louis XVI and Louis XV, ancient Egypt, Greece, China, Spain, and France in the 18th century, the Netherlands in the 17th century, and England in the 18th century under Louis XV and Louis XVI are just a few examples.

Egypt

We know of two ancient Egyptian chair forms from tombs that resulted from careful design. Two examples are a four-legged chair with a back and a foldable stool. The four-legged animal-shaped Egyptian chair has a curved seat and a sloping back supported by vertical struts. Thus a strong triangular construction was obtained. According to reports, there was no marked difference in the construction of Egyptian thrones and chairs for regular people. The main distinction is in the ornamental adornment and the expensive inlays selected. The Egyptian folding stool was most likely created as an easily portable seat for military personnel. The stool form persisted for a long time as a camping stool.

On the other hand, the stool became a ceremonial seat with its mechanical function as a folding stool is forgotten. From as early as 1366-57 BCE, two stools made of ebony with ivory inlay and gold mounts from the tomb of Tutankhamen can already be seen. They are composed of folding stools, but they can’t be folded because the seats are made of Wood. The folding stool’s basic construction, which involves two frames that rotate on metal bolts and support a seat of leather or fabric joined between them, emerges somewhat later in Scandinavian Bronze Age folding chairs and northern German folding chairs. The most well-known is the folding stool, made of ashwood and discovered at Guldhøj (National Museum in Copenhagen).

Greece and Rome

The typical Greek chair, klismos, is known not from any ancient specimens still extant but from a wealth of illustrated material. The most well-known is the klismos depicted on the Hegeso Stele, which may be found at the Dipylon burial ground outside of Athens (c. 410 BCE). The chair with the backward-sloping, curved backboard and four curving legs is shown only to two of its four curving legs. The weight of the sitter caused these particular legs to be formed in bent Wood and subjected to great pressure. The joints connecting the legs to the seat’s frame are strong and well-identified.

The Romans adopted the Greek chair; several sculptures of seated Romans show examples of heavier and apparently somewhat more primitively made klismos. Both light and heavy forms were once again resuscitated during the Classicist period. The klismos chair was a French Empire-style piece of furniture, English Regency period adornments, and unique variations in Denmark and Sweden around 1800.

China

However, the chair’s ancestors can be found in China as far back as Egypt and Greece. An unbroken succession of paintings and drawings have been preserved depicting Chinese houses and their furniture, demonstrating how important home design was for ancient people since the Tang dynasty (618–907 CE). The variety of chairs and those mentioned above, carved wooden backrests and armrests, which feature a remarkable resemblance to older chairs, have been preserved since the 16th century.

In China, like in Egypt, there were two primary chair forms: a chair with four legs and a folding stool. Both versions of the four-legged chair have a square seat and straight stiles (upright side supports) to support the back, but they are frequently found with arms. However, the stiles are curved slightly above the arms to match the angle of the S-shaped back splat (the middle upright of a chairback) in one variant. All three parts are mortgaged to the top rail like a yoke. The characteristic of Chinese chairs, which is strictly determined by form and materials, is that the back splat has more emphasis than English versions. Wooden components that only a little strengthen corner joints (and are easily disassembled) are unique to Chinese chairs. Four legs go through the seat’s frame, which closes around the rounded staves. All members are rounded in sections or have rounded edges – perhaps a reference to the bamboo tradition. The seat is not comfortable and may have a plated bottom. The sitter was required to maintain a rigid and upright posture; if too much pressure was applied to the back, the chair might fall over. In patriarchal Chinese homes of the time, armchairs were presumably reserved for the family’s senior members since they were highly respected.

The Chinese folding stool likely arrived in China from the West. The design of the stool is similar to that of the Egyptian or Scandinavian folding chairs, but it has a twist in that the top rail is gracefully connected to the two legs of the stool with a curved piece, which is sometimes finished with metal fittings. From a Western perspective, both of these furniture designs are stylized. The decorative and constructive elements are combined in such a way as to appear naive and refined at the same time. The appearance of the pieces is a result of the fact that the individual members do not appear to be joined together with either glue or screws but have been plowed into each other and locked in a position like a Chinese puzzle.

Spain: 17th century

The chair also has a connection to the Golden Age of Spain during the 17th century. Most typical antique chairs had a wooden frame covered in horsehair padding. The notched seat comprises two layers of leather stitched together to form small pads and a back and seat, nailed on, made up of two layers of leather. After loosening some tiny iron hooks, the front and corresponding boards at the rear may be folded. Therefore, the chair was a readily transportable piece of furniture that, at the same time, had the stature of a four-legged, high-backed armchair.

The Netherlands: 17th century

Abraham Bosse, a French artist, and Dutch artists Johannes Vermeer and Gerard Terborch depicted low, square upholstered chairs in engravings of wealthy Dutch houses. Although this form of chair is also seen in countries where the Dutch style of interior decoration and furniture flourish, it is unclear whether it was actually originated in the Netherlands. Normally, the chair’s legs are smooth, round in section, and slim; they might also be baluster-shaped (vase-shaped) or twisted. It is a typical bourgeois piece of furniture, and it was produced in great numbers, as evidenced by one of Abraham Bosse’s engravings, in which a row of such chairs are lined up against a wall. The look asserts itself by virtue of its harmonious proportions and fine upholstery in gilt leather or fabric surrounded by fringe.

France and England: 17th and 18th centuries

In its most developed state, the French Rococo chair— as produced in Paris throughout the 1750s—covered much of Europe and was copied or imitated throughout the mid-20th century. The popularity of the design is owed to its combination of comfort and elegance. The cushion supports the human body and allows for a comfortable sitting posture. The back is bow-shaped, with curved legs. The seat and back are generally upholstered, and there are tiny pads on the armrests. Smooth transitions between the seat frame, legs, and back cover all joints, solidly built on Craftsman principles despite the lack of stretchers between the legs.

French Rococo chairs and their imitations use Wood of fairly rough dimensions, But all the members are deeply molded, all unnecessary Wood has been cut, and the finer examples may be decorated with very delicate and ornamental carvings. Varnish, stain, paint, or gild the Wood. The seat, armrests, and back are upholstered in silk damask or tapestry; instead of upholstery, cane work is occasionally used.

The English chairs of the 18th century had a more varied appearance than their French counterparts. The French taste for stylistic consistency, which traveled from the most distinguished circles in Paris and Versailles to most of France and many parts of Europe, lacked a counterpart in England. Before 1740, walnut was the most popular Wood; after that, it was Mahogany throughout the rest of the century. However, whereas walnut was lovely in hue, it was soft and thus less suited to woodcutting than to rounded, curving forms. The back and seat frame was generally veneered outer surfaces. During the walnut period, highly loaded chairs covered with leather or embroidered material were also developed. The best upholstery of the time is characterized and emphasized by braiding or tacks, which are both accurate and sturdy. There were no new chair types introduced when imports of Mahogany became common. However, the woodwork’s character changed. The Mahogany was a more robust and closer-grained wood, which meant it could be cut thinner, allowing for more slender piece parts. Mahogany is also better suited for carving than a walnut. The emphasis was more on the arms and back than the legs, which were generally straight and smooth with chamfered edges and molding. Chairbacks came in various shapes and patterns, including elegant pierced vase-shaped splats or two upright poles linked by horizontal slats (ladderback).

Like the French Rococo chair and greatest English chairs in walnut and Mahogany, the stick-back chair was relatively unaffected by the day’s stylistic changes. The stick-back chair originally dates back to the medieval period, as evidenced by paintings by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, and is still found in southern Europe’s churches and inns in all of its variations. The seat is made up of a sturdy, saddle-shaped block that is mortised right into the legs, back staves, and possibly armrests. During the 18th century, this typical peasant form was renewed and refined in England and America. It is known under many names, including the Windsor chair (which seems to have been used for the first time in 1731) and the Philadelphia chair. It became famous and was widely distributed around the world as a result of its popularity.

Late 18th to 20th century

During the Neoclassical period, chair forms remained nearly unchanged. However, the dimensions were lighter, but the legs became straight. The pedestal in the shape of classical vases replaced the fanciful outlines of the Rococo period. In the late 18th century, free copies of Greek and Roman klismos chairs with curved legs and backrests appeared. The dark-mahogany Empire chairs had a ponderous effect with ornate bronze mounts.

Bourgeois chairs of the 19th century continued the traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries in lower-quality versions of inferior workmanship. The only real changes were bentwood (Wood that has been bent and molded) chairs in beech, which became popular worldwide and were still produced until the 20th century. Around 1900, the Continental styles of Art Nouveau and Jugendstil (French and German styles characterized by organic foliate forms, non-geometric forms, and sinuous lines) and the Arts & Crafts movement in England (founded by English poet and designer William Morris to return idealized standards of medieval craftsmanship) led to unique chair designs from Eugène Gaillard in France, Henry van de Velde in Belgium, Josef Hoffman in Austria, Antonio Gaudí in Spain, Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Scotland. The new furniture designs had no significant impact on people’s lives. For example, Art Nouveau chairs are collector’s pieces designed by French architect Hector Guimard. Still, their name is known to the broader public only because of their imaginary entrances into the Paris Metro.

Modern

Following World War I, the Bauhaus school in Germany became a creative center for revolutionary ideas, and examples of tubular steel furniture designed by architects such as Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and others emerged. The aircraft industry assisted the development of laminated wood and molded plastic furniture during World War II. The famous chair types of this period are based on designs by Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Charles, and Ray Eames. It’s well worth seeking out ergonomic desk chairs custom-made for you due to rapid technological changes and an ever-increasing interest in human factors engineering or ergonomics.

Table

Fixed and mechanical tables

In general, tables can be divided into two categories: fixed and mechanical. The simplest sort of table to make is the fixed table, which has a round or square top supported by one or more legs. It’s a type of construction that uses thick timbers to build the joints by which the top is attached to the legs, ensuring that they are robust enough to withstand lateral pressure. Old Spanish or Italian tables are frequently built with sloping stretchers to counteract this pressure. The simplest approach to keep a table stable without exaggerating the sizes of the individual components is to attach the legs to an underframe. The single-leg may be used on tabletops that are not yet fixed; the so-called pedestal table, for example, will have a tripod or quadripod as its terminating element. They are not often used independently since they tend to fall over easily. However, unless both the top and pedestal are extremely heavy, this will not happen. As the name implies, the three-legged style offers more sturdy support than a single-legged table. However, when subjected to uneven pressure from above, they are prone to instability.

All tables that can be expanded or reduced depending on need are referred to as mechanical. The top of a table may be supported by one or more tables, which may require pivotable or collapsible legs to increase the table’s stability. The so-called Dutch system, which has been recognized since the 17th century from Dutch engravings and paintings, wherein the extension leaves, when pulled, roll out on sloping runners. The top is lifted and placed over the leaves once they have been completely expanded. The height of the table remains the same. There are significant requirements for accuracy and talent on the part of the craftsman. Extra leaves may then be added to extension tables with runners, allowing the legs and leaves to be drawn out.

Flap-style tables have a fold-out mechanism that allows them to take up less room when stored. They can be made in several shapes and sizes, either with flaps supported by brackets that swing out on hinges or with gate legs known as “gate legs.” During the 18th century, England was a world leader in developing clever folding tables, especially card tables. The top of the gateleg card table may be folded over to take half the space, and when opened, it is kept in place by a leg that swings out like a gate. A rectangular top can be added to the square underframe, with two sides being split by hinges. Modern card tables are designed to fold up all four legs within the frame surrounding the top when not in use, making them easy to store.

Historical forms and styles

Low pedestal legs, round stone tables on low pedestal legs, and low tabletops were already used in ancient Egypt (c. 2700 BCE). The tables, in particular, appear to have been designed with normal height in mind. The earliest examples of this art form date to the later dynasties, when rudimentary wooden tables with architectonic molding have been preserved. There are no known tables from ancient Greece. However, from the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are numerous examples of marble table supports or side members with relief ornamentation and metal tables that fold. However, all wooden furnishings have been lost.

Several wooden-topped communion tables that have been preserved beneath altar cloths or hidden inside boxes date from the early Middle Ages and still stand in churches. A base table is generally placed on solid masonry or a stone socle (a projecting member beneath the foundation of a superstructure). However, it may sometimes be elegantly supported by several columns. In most cases, communion tables are constructed of stone, and since they are typically higher than ordinary tables, this is true. As a rule, long narrow tops were fixed to the side members. These are the most frequent type of wooden tables from the late Middle Ages.

Tables of the Baroque and Renaissance periods are notable for their aesthetic and constructive design. Their frames’ weighty and thick tops rest on an underlying structure; the legs are baluster-shaped or turned, with deeply carved bulbous decoration. Table forms were widely varied and made for a wide range of applications in the 17th century and later, including dining tables, library tables, drawing-room tables, card tables, tea tables, small candlestick tables, sideboards, and consoles tables.

Several interesting Chinese fixed-top table forms have come down to us from the Ming dynasty and the 18th century. Construction components are sometimes emphasized and, in other cases, deliberately hidden. Like other Chinese furniture designs, the tables have a simple, calculating aspect. They create a stylized appearance with an unpretentious, deliberate one. Chinese tables may be entirely covered in lacquer and gold adornment, but the Wood is occasionally left in its natural color.

Bed

In Homer’s Odyssey, there is a detail of how Odysseus made his own bed: the trunk of an olive tree was carved to the correct form and smooth; after holes had been drilled in the frame, oxhide thongs were threaded back and forth to create a flexible web; finally, gold, silver, and ivory inlay work were added to the Wood.

A bed is as old as the chair since both our furniture designs. The construction of a bed is quite basic in principle: it simply consists of a rectangular platform that is raised slightly above floor level. A huge number of beds cannot be classified as furniture at all. Alcoves and beds in ships, railway carriages, and airplanes are more in ​​building business links than cabinet making.

It’s no secret that some gorgeous, one-of-a-kind bedforms have been created. The bed provides furniture designers with a wide range of framing and presentation options, especially when combined with textiles. Aside from the actual bedclothes, which historically have been more significant than the platform and surrounding frame, imaginative combinations combining useful and wonderful – such as in four-poster beds and tentlike canopies – have long been tried.

A wooden bed with four lion’s feet legs and a rectangular framework of staves, round in section and mortised together to leave the ends free lengthwise, was discovered in an Egyptian bier dating from the First Dynasty (c. 3100–2890 BCE). These claws face in the same direction as if they were walking with a dead person. All Egyptian beds have this characteristic. The head is made of cedarwood, and the light framework is higher at the top than it is at the bottom; whereas a footboard always terminates the foot, there is no board at the head. The beds were built in this manner because the ancient Egyptians rested or slept on stool-like support for the head. Many examples of this equipment—generally made of wood but occasionally of ivory and faience—have been discovered in Egyptian tombs, which are essential to the Egyptian bed. Plaited leather thongs were often used to cover the actual framework of the bed.

In China, a bed in the shape of a complete tiny house with an anteroom in the form of a veranda was set up in the middle of the room.

When people first began to use central heating and understand hygiene, the closed bed was the accepted style in cold climates. The easiest method to avoid drafts was putting the bed in an alcove, which was common on farms until the mid-nineteenth century and most notably at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s masterpiece. However, the most commonly encountered form of bed in European civilization was the four-poster. The four-poster was developed in various forms throughout the Middle Ages and later. Beds were designed with a clear ceremonial effect already during the Middle Ages. The four posts supported an extension of cloth that extended from the head like a canopy. The most typical row of choirs in a church was crowned by a baldachin (an ornamental structure resembling a canopy). Tent-like beds entirely closed by curtains and drapery were shown in miniatures of the same period in illuminated manuscripts.

Pompous four-posters were built in the 17th and 18th centuries during the reign of absolute monarchies, when ornamental textiles draped the bed’s wooden frame to conceal it, creating a balance between practical and ceremonial concerns. A state chamber was between the official reception halls of each palace or haveli. The complicated ceremony at Louis XIV’s daily awakening is described in contemporary memoirs. The prince’s slumbering place was his business. Still, his rising was a state function in which princes of the blood, dukes, and prominent courtiers each had their own responsibilities: one would draw back the bed curtain, another would have the royal dressing gown prepared, and so on. It was the king’s levee (first audience of the day). Many 17th- and 18th-century four-poster beds are still intact in palaces, country houses, and museums; and the majority of them have a clear dramatic, even theatrical impact. The Baroque and Rococo periods also boasted sumptuous four-poster beds with exquisite artistic refinement, particularly when they can be seen in their original setting’s interiors, including complete textile decoration. State beds are fairly typical of continental Europe. The upper framework connecting the bedposts and a greater interest in displaying the bedposts and upper framework was evident in England and America, particularly at the end of the 18th century. The slender, finely carved mahogany post on English four-posters is distinctive. In contrast, the same components in Europe may be entirely covered with the identical silken material as that used for the canopy, curtains, and bedspread.

During the Empire period in France, a new bed style was created and quickly became popular throughout most of Europe. The concept was inspired by ancient Roman furniture discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The frame was quite tall, and the bed ends were made up of equal-height volutes (spiral or scroll-shaped forms). The bed’s canopy-like structure was decorated with embroidery and tassels, while spears were used to hold up the drapes and curtains, giving the room a more martial feel. The whole bedroom, in fact, maybe draped like a tent. In these circumstances, the army commanders of Napoleon’s time might have felt like ancient Rome’s caesars and consuls. During a campaign, however, foldable iron camping beds were more useful. Napoleon owned several and died in 1821 at one in St. Helena. As for furniture, the iron bed was a neutral structure built to support the bedclothes and equipped with stanchions (upright supports) for curtains. It was light, transportable, and spartan.

In the southern United States and the West Indies, among plantation owners, a style of four-poster popular in the early 1800s was dominated by Wood rather than textiles. The design was based on a framework of extremely light, roughly built wooden frames onto which thin, white mosquito netting was draped to keep the sleeper safe. The quality of the woodwork achieved a monumental and respectable impression. In rough dimensions, the Wood is solid Mahogany that has been polished to a high shine. The four bedposts do not have to be identical at the head and foot of the bed, but they all have bulbous and turned regions that are exaggerated almost to the point of vulgarity. The voluted gables (triangular decoration) and galleries (ornamental railings) are supported on pillars, while the headboards and footboards are creatively created. The West Indian beds’ primary purpose, besides providing a place to sleep, was to show the value of their owner; they exhibited the distinction between master and slave, just as the royal four-poster of the absolute monarchy did.

The bed became more basic in the 20th century than those in the past. It was no longer exclusively a personal item. Four-posters are still “modern,” perhaps because they appeal to something primordial, like sleeping in a tent. In general, improvement has focused on enhancing the quality of bedclothes and increasing comfort through attention to box springs, pillows, eiderdowns, and mattresses. The majority of the bedroom’s hardwood work is restricted to laminated board veneered segments, with cane work occasionally being utilized for headboards and footboards.

Storage furniture

Chest

The primary constructional elements of medieval chests endured until the Renaissance. A chest of oak planks secured by iron bands was among the furnishings on board the so-called Oseberg ship, dating from the Viking period (9th century) and found in 1904 in Vestfold, Norway. The boards are not mortised together, and the last portions stand vertically, with feet that are wider at the bottom than above. The cover is constructed from a single curved oak plank that has been roughhewn into its form. The chest’s base slips into a notch cut in the end pieces. Wood construction, a primitive form of carpentry, is held together by wide iron bands and tin-plated nails. The iron mounts used in the construction of this Oseberg chest serve as a decorative element. A medieval chest is simply a piece of carpentry with ornamental iron caps. However, the principle can be found more freely applied in medieval church doors than it could in medieval chests.

A chest is a portable item that may also be used as a stationary piece of furniture. It is frequently seen in the form of a traveling trunk that can also be used as a table. Several painted, parchment-covered Florentine chests from the mid-15th century have been preserved. These were used by young girls as trunks to enter the convent and later stood in their cells as pieces of furniture to store clothes and other personal belongings. The type of “nun’s chest” that we are talking about here is essentially different from the opulent cassoni from Italy’s Renaissance period, covered with gilded stucco work and adorned with painted panels. Cassoni were stable pieces of palace furniture. The traveling chests were special because they were designed to be taken apart and put back together, making them ideal for transporting. The voyage around to the Cape of Good Hope was filled with items and spices, ending in an English manor house or a gabled Dutch mansion in Amsterdam. The plank construction is of primitive craftsmanship with metal mounts. The large, unadorned reddish-brown expanse of Wood, with its intricate openwork brass fittings and big chased bolt heads to take the brunt of hard usage, has a sort of sophisticated crudeness about it. The brass studs on later camphorwood chests are flush with the surface of the Wood, much as on portable writing desks and toilet cases from the French Empire period. Veneered Wood was not suitable for travel-related chests, but it was feasible to cover the entire chest with leather fastened with metal nails, frequently creating a pattern. Beautiful, hand-crafted Italian and Spanish chest wood boxes produced in the 17th century also took up the form. They continued to be used in large wardrobe trunks through subsequent centuries.

During the Renaissance, frames, panels, and carvings appeared on chests when furniture-making methods requiring cabinetmakers’ expertise emerged. In southern Europe, walnut was great material for carvings; in northern Europe, oak was ideal and in northern Europe, late medieval wood carving techniques were continued, largely influenced by the molding and ornamental plant decoration of ancient Rome’s stone sarcophagi. Paint and gilding were generally used to decorate carved woodwork. The chest was primarily taken the place of for storage purposes by a chest of drawers and commode (low chest of drawers) in the 18th century, but it never entirely vanished. Chests of Mahogany or walnut were frequently employed in the big country homes of England and America, often having drawers and finely constructed brass fittings that revealed Chinese influence.

Cupboard

Strictly speaking, the chest is a derivative of the cupboard. Cupboards that looked like two chests stacked on top of each other were popular during the Renaissance. They were opened from the front through the door. The concept and building of the cupboard’s prominent front have always allowed for considerable artistic composition. It is no accident that the cabinet should have closer ties to architecture than any other furniture style. It invited an architectural creation: columns, socle, cornice. The transition from the Middle Ages to Baroque can be observed in several southern German and Tyrolean cupboards with late Gothic perpendicular tracery and smooth surfaces veneered with ashwood, which concluded at the close of the period. During the Renaissance, in the 17th century in the Netherlands and northern Germany, enormous cupboards took on their most interesting appearance. They have a lot in common with architectural facades, although their picturesque and tactile qualities result from refined workmanship. The veneer was commonly used on Continental cupboards.

The carcass of Wood was covered with a thin layer of fine walnut, and the socle, frames, columns, and cornice were made out of veneered black ebony. The doors were secured with strong locks, and a hidden keyhole was concealed behind a sliding middle column. The cornice was often ornamentally crowned with a set of Dutch faience or Chinese porcelain vases. These huge cupboards were intended to seem larger by being set on large, turned ball feet. Chinese cupboards from the same period, in marked contrast to the European Baroque cupboards, were unadorned, smooth-surfaced, and boxlike. Most of them were constructed from two uprights and two frames, and they were generally built in pairs. The large decorative painting, which included the doors, was applied to the entire surface after being painted. Inside, the Chinese wardrobe has been crafted with great care and painted a different color from the outside. Locks are secured with a prismatically designed padlock, and the hooks are made of various yellow and white metal alloys, smooth, either round or square. Japanese and Siamese cupboards follow ancient Chinese traditions, apart from specific independent characteristics.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the clothes wardrobe, an essential piece of bedroom furniture wherever there were no built-in cupboards, was fashioned after traditional aspects of the 18th century English clothespress but adapted to meet modern fashion demands.

Bookcases

Bookcases and bookshelves are less interesting storage furniture from the viewpoint of furniture history. The most significant innovation in bookcases appeared in 18th-century England with adjustable shelves and a closed-off lower section for folio files. Glass doors protected the shelves with a simple latticework of carved Wood. Bookcases and shelves are only intriguing when they’re integrated into a specially created library environment or when numerous bookshelves full of volumes create an intimate, compact whole.

Mixed forms

In addition to the storage furniture already mentioned, there are many combination forms. A standard table may be utilized as a working desk. However, the underframe’s drawers and the leather-covered top are the only distinctions between a typical French Rococo writing desk and other tables from the 18th century. The novelty of Louis XV’s writing desk includes a rolltop device to close the writing flap. In England, a specific type of writing desk was built with drawers in the underframe and a side cabinet with additional drawers and, on occasion, sliding trays. Some have a drawer face that may be lifted out to make a writing surface. When a wardrobe is built on top of a writing desk and placed on a chest of drawers, the result is a secretary or cabinet. There are also bookcases with a flap at the bottom, either hinged or sliding, for jotting down notes. In England during the 18th century, all of these combinations, which were often quite creative, were created anonymously by members of the well-to-do middle classes who appear to have started out with a quest for a more sophisticated and unique lifestyle.

A distinct type of storage furniture encompasses the numerous types of corner furniture, low or high cupboards that were produced in pairs (just as other antique furnishings forms) for tiny rooms, where they became an essential part of the interior design.

Kitchen furniture and furnishings

Kitchen items and equipment date back to the dawn of time. The kitchen, with its fireplace, was the home’s most centrally located room during the Middle Ages. Later, fireplaces were converted into stoves; and the walls of cupboards, sinks, and plate racks were secured to them. If not combined with the dining area, the kitchen in a modern home is a small room full of appliances. On the other hand, institutional kitchens have grown tremendously. The modern kitchen furniture also includes outdoor cooking equipment, such as various types of open-air grills.

Bathroom furniture and fixtures

Bathrooms were not unknown in large private homes in the 18th century, and sumptuously furnished marble baths are still preserved in many European palaces and mansions. However, bathrooms in private homes did not become more common until the 19th century. Typical fixtures are a toilet, bidet (in some countries), washbasin, bathtub or shower, mirror, and shelves or cabinets. The equipment of bathrooms became a separate industry in the 20th century, with a wide range of unique bathroom furniture and fixtures available. Porcelain, enamel, plastic, wood, and stainless steel are among the materials used.

Specialized furniture

Since the mid-nineteenth century, office furniture has developed rapidly in the term’s broadest sense. The typical workstation was designed to look more professional, with typewriter tables, side cupboards, filing cabinets, office chairs with swivel seats, and adjustable backs. Carefully planned standard workstations supplanted high desks employed by clerks with side cupboards. Personal computer development in the late 20th century revolutionized office furnishings. The next stage is to move from office furniture to institutional furnishings, including rows of connected seats in theatres, restaurant furniture, conference room furniture, laboratories, workshops, and factories. Many of these distinctive furnishings reflect past traditions. For example, the way the British House of Commons is furnished derives from the pattern in which the choir was grouped in medieval churches. While the semicircular, often amphitheatrically designed assembly halls of the United States Congress and the parliaments of many European countries are evolved forms of surgery academies or other university auditoriums. Special furniture also exists in the form of showcases, workstations, specialized tables, and socles at museums, libraries, and archives.

Kinds of accessory furnishings

Accessory furnishings form essential elements in the interior. Here clocks and other mechanical works, mirrors, textiles, screens, stoves, and fireplaces are included, and many smaller articles made by cabinet makers, such as boxes, caskets, sewing tables, garbage baskets, light fixtures, frames, paneling, and floor surfaces.

Clocks

Clocks are classified as furniture if they are enclosed within a casing, which does not have to be made of Wood. Table clocks and tall-case clocks are two types of clocks. England and France were the primary places of manufacture for table clocks. In France in the 17th and 18th centuries, the table clock evolved into a great design object, with some of the finest examples being little works of sculpture. The clock’s movement is framed by a marble socle, and the clockface by a sculptural bronze frame with freely molded figures and decoration. Some of France’s greatest sculptors and bronze casters created decorative frames for clock movements. The wall clock, or so-called cartel clock, was a French specialty that was imitated in other countries on the Continent. Juste-Aurèle Meissonier, an ornamentalist and goldsmith, created the first examples of this timepiece. The clockface is the focal point of an ornamental, or rocaille-cartouche, cast in bronze and sometimes embellished with figures representing significant themes such as Time, a man with a Scythe, or a crowing cock. In England, late 18th-century wooden boxes with fine movements built by skilled London clockmakers were created architectonically and featured pilasters (partly recessed columns) and cornices, following the Italian model. Metal ornaments and brass balls could be added to simple walnut cases. The more costly table clocks were kept in cases enhanced with inlaid Wood or tortoiseshell.

In France and England, tall-case clocks were also produced. The face of a French tall-case clock is big and elegantly designed. Tall-case clocks of the boulle type with tortoiseshell metal and inlay decoration were made during the reign of Louis XIV. Especially the case that covered the weights developed a more elaborate form during the Rococo period in the 18th century. Magnificently gilded Rococo ornaments framed its intricately carved hardwood panels in bronze. The English tall-case clock was primarily a piece of furniture, and its major features were maintained unchanged throughout the 18th century. The tall-case clock sits on a base, or socle, from which the somewhat smaller case for the weights rises up to a crowning framework of the actual movement and clockface. The section with the last name is actually a table clock in a weight case. The tall-case clock is made up of many individual parts, each with its own set of responsibilities. As in France, no attempt was made to conceal the independence of the various components. The weighted case has a window that allows you to check the position of the weights. In the United States, big cities created distinctive regional types of casework that made the tall-case clock one of the most costly items in 18th-century homes.

Barometers began to be used in increasing numbers during the 18th century. The mechanism was mounted inside a beautiful hardwood framework meant to complement the other types of furniture in the room.

Mirrors

During the 17th century, mirror glass was first utilized in furniture. The prohibitive cost and difficulty of producing mirror glass of huge size limited the chances for large-scale usage, as did discoloration from silvering and the high expense and difficulty of mass manufacturing. The mirror gallery at Versailles was an amazing technical achievement for its time. As Louis XIV advanced through the gallery at the top of his court, the glass walls reflected the diamonds in his crown. This effect was copied to a greater or lesser extent in all jurisdictions in Europe. Most homes had a wall mirror in the 18th century. The desire for more artificial light was the driving force behind the rise in popularity and wide availability of mirror glass. This desire was met during the 16th and 17th centuries by placing candles in front of highly polished concave metal plates. The light’s effect was enhanced by reflecting it with silvered mirror glass. Large mirrors hung from console tables where soon after, a necessary and functional element of rooms illuminated by artificial light.

Fabrics

Fabric usage in furnishing rooms is closely linked to the necessity for heating. Textiles were used to keep out the cold and drafts in primitively heated rooms of the Middle Ages. Textile drapes with images may still be found beneath the pictures in 12th and 13th-century churches. Loosely hung textile wall coverings, like those in rather chilly churches, were critical in poorly heated homes as well. They were hung loose because of the practice of carrying them down and moving, with relatively few furniture items as needed. Tapestries and other types of textile wall hanging were not adopted as permanent fixtures until the end of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century. During the 19th century, paper wall pictures and patterned wallpaper became a cheaper alternative to textiles for hanging on the wall. Textiles were commonly used on screens or room dividers to give heat protection against direct radiant heat and also to provide pleasant nooks in big rooms. Tapestry, other woven materials, or gilt leather-covered framed screens.

Fireplaces

Until the arrival of modern central heating systems, rooms and large halls were not heated. During the late Middle Ages, the open hearth was supplanted by the fireplace, which was merely a construction technique for containing burning logs. During the ages when it was essential for heating, significant artists designed their work around the fireplace. Robert Adam, a Scottish architect, and his brothers and an Italian architect and engraver named Giambattista Piranesi made significant artistic contributions to the design and construction of fireplaces.

Other accessory furnishings

The use of small utility objects in the furnishing of interiors is crucial. Several of them were made by cabinetmakers, including writing paper and card boxes, coffins for letters and papers, and serving or presentation trays. The various goods, big and little that are utilized in domestic chores – from tiny looms to lace pillows, spinning wheels, embroidery frames, and sewing tables. These are all examples of accessory furnishings. Women’s possessions, partly as tools for household needs and partly as storage furniture items for small items such as pins, scissors, wool, and materials, all had their place in the home.

Finally, the structure and decoration of walls, ceilings, and floors—paneling, stucco work, parquet flooring, and carpets—can all be classified as accessory furnishings. Usually, however, they are considered under the theme of interior decoration.

History of the Adirondack Chair

The Adirondack chair is the Adirondacks’ most recognized structure, while the moose is its most famous animal. Even though there are many variations today, the original design for the Adirondack chair was developed in the early 1900s, and it is still used in today’s popular Adirondack chair designs.

Thomas Lee & the Westport Chair

The Adirondack chair’s history begins in the Town of Westport, New York, with Massachusetts native Thomas Lee, the inventor of the Westport chair. Around the turn of the century, Lee’s family owned a home in Westport. He spent many of his summers there throughout the early twentieth century.

In an interview between Sun Community News and Thomas Lee’s great-nephew, it was revealed that Lee came from a wealthy family and he is a Harvard graduate, but then dropped out of law school since he preferred to work in nature and at home. But felt in the Adirondacks.

According to legend, Lee wanted to develop a chair that could withstand the rugged terrain of the Adirondacks during one summer in Westport. This chair should be strong, balanced, and comfortable on everything from the sandy ground to small hills.

Lee worked on making this new chair from 1900 to 1903. After perfecting it, he practiced on his family members before moving on to the next prototype. After several months of searching for a chair with the features he wanted, Lee decided to build his own. He opted for a high back, wide armrests, and slanted seat (the seat and back were constructed from single pieces of wood).

The Rise of the Adirondack Chair

Lee met up with his hunting buddy Harry Bunnell, the owner of a carpentry shop in town, shortly after completing his design for the Westport chair. Bunnell was concerned about the upcoming winter due to a lack of resources that year, so to help him, Lee gave him the chair design.

Bunnell began making and selling these chairs to the surrounding community, and he soon saw how popular they were. In April 1904, Bunnell patented his Westport chair design after modifying it to make the chair a little narrower. Although some accounts portray Bunnell negatively for patenting the chair, Lee’s great-great-grandson stated that Lee was already wealthy in the Sun Community News story. Therefore he wasn’t interested in starting a chair-making business. On the other hand, Lee was more concerned with bottling and delivering Adirondack mountain spring water.

Bunnell established a prosperous Westport chair-making business during the next 20 years, and he personalized each one with his personal touch. The Westport chair became more popular due to its durability and high comfort level. Still, the form began to alter over time as it evolved into the modern Adirondack chair.

The Modern Adirondack Chair

The most logical explanation for the redesign is that it was caused by difficulties in mass-producing chairs built from a single, knot-free plank. Different carpenters started developing the Westport chair design to make construction easier and sell their own chairs.

The extra-wide armrests, high backs, and slanted seats of the Westport chair are similar to those of the newer Adirondack chair. The seat and back of the Adirondack chairs are made of several wooden slats; The Westport chair was made from whole pieces of wood cut from a single, knotless plank, making the design difficult to manufacture.

The appeal of this new style exploded, and because the chair was originally designed in the Adirondacks, it became widely known as the Adirondack chair. The exception is in Canada, where a chair is called the Muskoka chair, possibly due to its popularity in the Muskoka region.

New Jersey Irving Wolpin acquired a patent for one more design modification in 1938. The Westport chair was also called a “lawn chair,” It had a slanted seat and large armrests of the Westport chair, and smaller slats. It had a rounded back and contoured seat like the Wolpin’s chair. Wolpin’s design is the most replicated Adirondack chair today.

Adirondack chair is the most popular and well-known lawn and beach chair today. Although different versions exist, each is based on the original Westport chair.

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