Every detail of an apartment should be right, so the furniture styles should be coordinated with accessories and vice versa. The following overview will help you to find your individual style of living.
Furniture Styles For Connoisseurs: That's Why Style Is Important
Many people like a chest of drawers in one style, the wardrobe in another furniture style. The armchair and table are once again from a different epoch and the living room (or any other room) looks as if it has been thrown together freely. This may seem as if the owner of the apartment had bought something at the flea market or wanted to accommodate various pieces of furniture from inheritances.
The whole thing has neither hand nor foot and no concrete style can be recognized. What a pity, because most furniture only really comes into its own when it is among its peers.
Farmer's furniture in the kitchen should also be accompanied by a showcase or sideboard, while furniture from the Wilhelminian period, on the other hand, other pieces of furniture of this style want to know next to themselves. Only pieces of furniture that are coordinated with each other have a harmonious effect and create a pleasant overall impression.
It is, of course, possible to deliberately break with the style and use furniture from a completely different epoch. Here, however, it must become clear that this one piece of furniture was deliberately chosen in such a way as to prevent the impression of wildly composed furniture.
A distinction must be made between wonderful furniture styles for each apartment and different surface structures. There is furniture whose surface has been treated so that a modern sideboard becomes a vintage or shabby chic chest of drawers. Almost all pieces of furniture can be treated in this way, but they still originate from a certain period. The exact time of origin can be determined on the basis of various criteria.
It can be that the fittings and ornaments are specially designed, carvings or inlays can be found. It is not always possible to assign styles one hundred per cent, because furniture designers have also developed further within an epoch and transferred their own preferences to their pieces of furniture.
The furniture styles presented in the following are therefore only rough clues or styles that have turned out to be generally valid. In between there are overlaps of styles and the pieces of furniture are provided with elements from other epochs.
Furniture Styles: Short Overview Of The Most Important Styles
At this point you will find a selection of furniture styles as they are known today and are still used primarily for the interior design of houses and apartments:
Pieces of furniture in Gothic style date from the years 1140 to 1500, the parts were less massive and much finer than in the previous Romanesque period. They have carved, painted and pierced surfaces that are reminiscent of Gothic architecture with its various pillars and vaults. At the same time, Gothic furniture is quite comfortable and even has several functions: Tables have folding tops and can, therefore, be used as desks. At the time, cupboards had drawers and chairs with backrests for the back and arms.
The Renaissance came from Italy and followed the Gothic period. These pieces of furniture reveal the search for beautiful and artistic forms, which can also be found in the architecture of this period and in sculpture. Beds and chests with pedestals, reliefs and carved figures are only a few of the features of the furniture of this period. All in all, the furniture from the Renaissance is rather classic and clear, the proportions are balanced.
The Baroque period began around 1575 when the first sofas and chests of drawers were put up, together with pillar mirrors and sideboards. The typically curved lines, extensive gilding and carvings are typical of the Baroque period, in addition, there were various decorative elements such as putti, fruit, flowers and garlands. Furniture for everyday use was rather reserved, luxury furniture for the high rulers was ostentatiously to splendidly designed. Even today they are known as "Louis IV furniture".
In the late Baroque period, the Rococo was created as a furniture style by Louis XV. Shell ornaments, gilded and carved, as well as ornaments and lines, which were characterized above all by their asymmetries, were common practice. The legs of tables and chairs present themselves with the typical S lines, sometimes C lines are also common. The secretaries and desks, which are still widely used today, originate from this period and appear massive and elegant at the same time.
Furniture styles such as the Biedermeier are still widespread today and enjoy great popularity even in modern times. They are characterised by their clear forms, which are based on classicism. The wood speaks literally, my admirers of this style. It shows a typical grain, is provided with special joints and presents itself in the shellac treatment with high gloss.
The Gründerzeit is set from 1860 to 1895, so this epoch is not really long. The pieces of furniture from this period are presented in various forms, including neo-Gothic and neo-Baroque styles. In this time different styles were combined with each other with pleasure.
At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, Art Nouveau was established, characterised by its curvilinear lines and asymmetrical ornaments. Various motifs adorn the furniture, especially tendrils and flowers. Art and craftsmanship were combined and the Art Nouveau furnishing became a contrast to the Art Deco, which was also widespread and was characterised by industrial production processes.
The individual furniture styles intertwine and become blurred. Modern manufacturers use several different styles and at the same time come up with their own creations that are based on earlier models. One example of this is farm furniture, which should always have a slightly antique look. They are made of solid wood, appear rather massive and large. They are suitable for high and large rooms and can have different decorations.
At the same time, some farm furniture stands on pedestals and thus also incorporates elements from the Renaissance style. They can be found in apartments and houses, which are furnished in the current modern country house style.
Different Furniture Styles: Antique Or Not Antique, That's The Question Here.
Real connoisseurs naturally protest here and only want real antiques. Unfortunately, the counterfeits on the market are now so good that they are difficult to distinguish from real antique furniture.
From a legal point of view, pieces of furniture that are at least 100 years old are considered antique objects. However, not all pieces with this age have a real collector's value. They must be well preserved or well restorable and above all rare.
Today, many furniture styles are copied by machine, with antiques at the top of the list of counterfeiters. Modern techniques and technologies make this possible, but much to the chagrin of collectors and antique dealers.
Some characteristics, however, allow even a layman to conclude whether it is a genuine antique or an object that was not made purely by hand at least 100 years ago:
- sharp corners and edges: More recently, since antique furniture is soft and rounded, edges are individually finished and not uniform.
- smooth saw surfaces: Mostly by using a circular saw, piece of furniture must have been made after 1840.
- Smooth edges: Also caused by the use of an electric saw.
- thin veneer: modern piece of furniture, earlier veneers were much thicker than today's
- smooth cones, decorations and dovetails: modern piece of furniture, antique decorations are far more uneven and rougher
- "new look": pieces of furniture without signs of wear mostly originate from more recent times
Of course, all these points can only be an indication of possible modern manufacturing processes. Meanwhile, contemporary apartments also like to have Shabby Chic furniture, which was subsequently patinated and wormed to create an antique impression. But such furnishing styles differ from antique furniture styles and can easily be seen through by a connoisseur.
In general, it is advisable to rely on the expertise of an expert when buying antiques. If you are looking for antiques yourself, you will be able to find advice and assistance in the relevant books, but this is no substitute for the expert knowledge gained during the inspection. In addition, knowledge of different furniture styles is a prerequisite, so counterfeits are also easier to detect.