Category: Furniture Design

Arts and Crafts in Europe

According to Herman Muthesius, "arts and crafts were called upon to restore our awareness of the honesty, integrity, and sim­plicity in contemporary society. If this can be achieved, the whole of our cultural life will be profoundly affected. . . . If the new trends are genuine, then an original, lasting style will emerge."8 Trend-setting […]

Craft and design

The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of architects as furniture designers. Architects had knowledge of both design and furniture fabrication and, in some respects, assumed the previ­ous positions of ebeniste and menuiser. During this period, there was a growing culture of architecture and craft supported by an unprecedented outpouring of publications and trea­tises on beauty, […]


By the end of the nineteenth century, Paris was indisputably the center of European furni­ture production. Furniture fabricated in Paris was typically well finished, with high-quality workmanship. Chair frames were often made of walnut due to the wood’s stability and workability. By the 1880s, there were approximately 17,000 furniture workers in Paris, 2,000 of them […]


In 1815, after the fall of Napoleon, Louis XVIII became King of France. Though he continued the revival of the classical styles that had been so popular in the court of his brother, Louis XVI, the Empire style soon evolved into the Bourbon "Restoration." This classical revival did not depend on the precise rendition of […]


All across Europe during the nineteenth century, cities began to host large expositions to showcase innovative cultural ideas, designs, and inventions. Munich, Germany, held its first annual exhibition in 1818, and subsequently Metz and Vienna, Austria, and Oporto, Italy, held exhibitions as well. These exhibitions showcased international culture, including influ­ences from Turkey, China, and Japan, […]

The Classical Style

The British brothers Robert and James Adam were both edu- cated as architects. They developed a pronounced style after their return from Pompeii and other cities in Italy. Their work grew in popularity throughout England between 1760 and 1792 and had a profound effect on furniture styles in England and abroad, especially on the work […]

French Rococo Period

The French Rococo period (1715-1774) was a time when important distinctions in an array of trades developed. The following terms identify some of the trades and craftsmen of the French Rococo: 1. Ebeniste: cabinetmaker, working with ebony and a variety of other woods, who made veneered furniture 2. Menuisier: solid wood furniture maker 3. Fondeur: […]

Baroque Period

The Baroque period began in the seventeenth century, originating in southern Europe, and extended into the early eighteenth century. The Baroque style was influenced by the Bourbon dynasty (1589-1789) and by the prevailing fashions in Italy, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Two cultural and economic forces shaped furniture of this period. First, there were large […]