Exploring Different Styles of Furniture: Modern, Contemporary, Traditional, and More

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by SampleBoard

Few things are more exciting than searching through a furniture store in Fort Myers, Florida to find the perfect combination of pieces to decorate your home.

Your eyes may wander over different sizes and shapes of sofas, chairs, rugs, lamps, tables, and other decor items that, when put together, will create the beautiful area you envision and that your loved ones and guests will enjoy for years to come.

Read on to discover more about the different styles of furniture and some of its more recognized variations because the more you know, the more confident you will feel when making the final selection.

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Traditional Furniture Styles

These furniture styles date back hundreds of years and are influenced by the classical, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

Some examples of traditional furniture styles are:

  • Jacobean
  • William and Mary
  • Queen Anne
  • Louis XVI
  • Chippendale
  • Hepplewhite

Chippendale

This style was created by Thomas Chippendale, a famous cabinet maker in London in the mid-18th century.

The furniture is characterized by its elegant and graceful curves, ornate carvings, and ball and claw feet. It also incorporates influences from Gothic, Chinese, and French styles.

Chippendale furniture is highly valued for its craftsmanship and beauty. It includes chairs, tables, cabinets, chests, and desks.

It can be made of mahogany, walnut, cherry, and maple and often has a dark finish.

Image credit: Williams Sonoma

Hepplewhite

Hepplewhite furniture was created by George Hepplewhite, a cabinet maker in London in the late 18th century, and is known for its elegance and refinement.

It has a deep neoclassical influence, with a delicate appearance, tapered legs, and contrasting veneers and inlay. It incorporates swags, ribbons, feathers, urns, and trees.

Some of the most common pieces of Hepplewhite furniture are chairs, tables, sideboards, chests, and beds made of mahogany, walnut, cherry, and maple, often having a light finish.

Contemporary Furniture Styles

These furniture styles emerged in the 20th and 21st centuries and are influenced by modernism, minimalism, industrial design, and global trends.

Some examples of contemporary furniture styles are:

Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design originated in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It’s characterized by its simplicity, functionality, and beauty.

The furniture is known for its sleek and modern look, with clean lines, natural materials, and light colors, and it includes sofas, chairs, tables, cabinets, and beds and can be made of pine, oak, birch, teak, metal, glass, or plastic.

Modern Furniture Styles

These furniture styles are characterized by simplicity, functionality, clean lines, geometric shapes, and a mix of wood, metal, glass, and plastic materials.

Modern furniture styles often have a sleek, sophisticated look that suits urban and minimalist spaces.

Some examples of contemporary furniture styles are:

Bauhaus

Bauhaus furniture originated in the Bauhaus School of Art and Design in Germany in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its functionality, rationality, and simplicity.

Bauhaus furniture is known for its innovative and experimental use of materials like tubular steel, plywood, glass, and leather.

Some of the most iconic types of Bauhaus furniture are the Wassily chair, the nesting table, the Barcelona chair, and the cantilever chair.

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Art Deco

Art Deco furniture originated in France's Art Deco art and design movement in the 1920s and 1930s.

It is characterized by glamour, elegance, and sophistication and includes geometric shapes, rich colors, exotic materials, and metallic accents.

It is known for its luxurious and eclectic look, with influences from ancient Egypt, Africa, Asia, and the Machine Age.

Some of the most iconic pieces are the skyscraper bookcase, the waterfall dresser, the club chair, and the sunburst mirror.

Brutalist Furniture Style

In the vast world of furniture design, a unique and somewhat controversial style is known as Brutalism.

Originating in the mid-20th century, this distinct approach challenges conventional aesthetics with its rawness and unadorned simplicity.

Inspired by the architectural movement of the same name, Brutalist furniture embraces bold forms and materials that often evoke an industrial feel.

Concrete, steel, and even reclaimed materials take center stage in creating these striking pieces that defy traditional notions of beauty.

Each item seems to possess a forceful presence - a commanding statement within any space it inhabits.

Despite its divisive nature, Brutalism has found favor among those seeking to make a daring impact in their interior designs.

Brutalist Furniture Style
Image credit: The Wall Street Journal

Its stark lines create a visual contrast against softer elements while exuding an undeniable sense of strength and character.

When carefully incorporated into contemporary or minimalist spaces, brutalist furniture can imbue them with an unexpected edge or serve as captivating focal points.

This unconventional style questions what defines "beauty" in design. Is it necessary for every piece to be graceful and ornate?

Can we not appreciate the inherent power in rough textures or imposing structures?

Though some may dismiss Brutalism as harsh or austere, others find inspiration within its uncompromising authenticity.

It pushes boundaries by embracing imperfections rather than striving for perfection—a reminder that true artistry lies not only in comfort but also in challenging our preconceived notions about what constitutes beautiful design.

International Style Furniture: Blending Cultures and Influences

When it comes to furnishing our homes, we often seek pieces of furniture that reflect our unique taste and style.

One such style that has recently gained popularity is International Style furniture.

What exactly does this term encompass?

Unlike other furniture styles rooted in a specific period or geographical region, International Style furniture is an eclectic blend of cultural influences around the globe.

From Scandinavian simplicity to Asian minimalism, this style embraces diversity and celebrates the beauty of different design traditions.

One key characteristic of International Style furniture is its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic.

Functionality takes center stage as every piece serves a purpose while maintaining an understated elegance.

The focus on simplicity allows these furnishings to seamlessly integrate into any interior space without overpowering the overall decor.

Another defining aspect of International Style furniture is its use of natural materials.

Whether warm wood tones or sleek metal finishes, these pieces prioritize sustainability and organic elements, providing a sense of connection with nature within your home.

With international travel becoming more accessible, many individuals have been inspired by their global adventures when selecting furnishings for their living spaces.

Incorporating elements from different cultures adds visual interest and tells a story – each piece becomes a cherished memento reflecting personal experiences and connections made worldwide.

Embracing the spirit of wanderlust through International Style furniture brings vibrancy into our homes while honoring diverse craftsmanship techniques passed down through generations across continents.

Image credit: A Beautiful Mess

Conclusion

If you appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of furniture, exploring different furniture styles can be an exciting endeavor.

From modern to contemporary, traditional to eclectic, a vast array of choices cater to every taste and preference.

Modern furniture styles are characterized by clean lines and simplicity. They often incorporate materials like glass, metal, and leather for a sleek aesthetic.

On the other hand, contemporary styles embrace bold colors and unique shapes while maintaining a minimalistic approach.

Traditional furniture styles exude elegance with ornate details and rich wood finishes that transport you back in time.

But if you crave something out of the ordinary, eclectic furniture styles combine elements from various periods, creating truly unique pieces that become conversation starters in any room.

Whatever your personal style—whether rustic farmhouse or mid-century modern—exploring different types of furniture opens up a world of possibilities for transforming your living space into a reflection of your individuality and taste.

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