How do you choose a furniture style when there are so many styles to choose? One way is to find a furniture style that you like. One that makes you feel comfortable, reflects your lifestyle and connects to you on an emotional level.
Before you decide which style is right for you, let’s look back at the history of interior design. Let’s make an emotional connection or at least an interest in a particular style. They say everyone has a story to tell and so does interior design. Interior design began in the stone age when cavemen began to draw pictures on their interior walls, each person telling their own story. Ancient Egypt and Rome had a deep interest in their interiors as well, especially in architectural design.
How did history inspire furniture designs? Back in the early 1400’s to the 1700’s, furniture styles were influenced by political powers. In fact, it was the dominant countries in Europe that had the biggest effect on the furniture styles of that era. Many of the popular furniture styles were either named after that period, region or monarch of the dominant country.
When Spain and Italy were in power, the furniture style was called Mediterranean (Renaissance) style, each country’s style reflecting their own culture. Then, when the power shifted to France, the prominent styles were named after the kings: Louis XIV (Baroque) style, Louis XV (Rococo) style and Louis XVI (Neoclassical) style. When Napoleon took control of France the styles of that era were Directoire and French Empire.
Now, let’s shift our focus to English furniture styles. As we said before, usually dominant styles were named after monarchs. We see this in the Queen Anne, William and Mary or English Georgian (after King George) styles. However, during the mid 1700’s there was a quiet revolution in design that changed how the furniture styles were named. They now were named after the designer.