Planning on furnishing your new home and looking for thematic inspiration? Here you’ll find the elements that set furniture styles apart, from the distinguished European furniture all the way to the tranquil aesthetic of the Oriental styles. With so many beautiful furniture pieces available, it’s hard to stay true to a particular style, but identifying the core features of each one will surely help you gravitate towards the style you like best.
English Style Furniture
Built to withstand the test of time, the English furniture is iconic and scrupulously carved, putting emphasis on soft contours and generally avoiding square edges, much like French furniture. However, English styles are plainer and more refined, oozing timeless grandeur. No matter how trendy minimalist pieces may be with their contemporary material appeal, solid English furniture with natural lines, skilfully hand-made using oak and walnuts in darker tones will still reign supreme in many living spaces.
French Style Furniture
The sensibility of the French and their appreciation for beauty and the finer things in life echoes in the aesthetic of their traditional furniture styles. Graceful, smoothly contoured and highly ornamental, the French furniture pieces conjure images of opulence and extravagance. Extremely sought after by vintage style enthusiasts and easiest to spot in antique shops across the world, the curvy French furniture makes for the simplest way to make a statement.
Spanning centuries of sophisticated style, the French Country furniture cannot be associated with a determined period in the history of this country, illustrating a warm ambience and pure comfort. Laid-back and charming, this style endures through years and years of changing trends, exuding a casual refinement that makes French Country furniture coveted by many homeowners, whether they live in bustling cities, suburbs or the countryside.
Another extremely popular French style is the captivating Shabby Chic. Emerging in the 1990’s, this particular aesthetic is confused by some as being British, yet many painted pieces illustrate the French style, dressed in pale pastel tones.
Italian Style Furniture
Italian furniture can be difficult to set apart from other styles as it’s been heavily influenced by other movements. For example, the use of unconventional furniture materials like stone and marble springs from the style seen in 15th century Rome, while the Spanish and French furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries also influenced the way traditional Italian furniture looks today. However, Italian styles boast certain features that showcase individuality, emerging from distinct characteristics of lifestyles led in certain provinces. Italian furniture is thus more laid-back, simpler, less ornate and less curvy than French styles. Hand-painted accents and hand-carved embellishments, straight, tapered lines, Murano glass, gold-leaf gildings and ivory paint finishes are prominent features of the Italian style.
Oriental Style Furniture
Oriental furniture designs typically refer to styles from China and Japan, as well as other Eastern countries.
Simplistic, functional and inspired by nature, Oriental style furniture creates the feeling of balance and harmony. The use of bamboo and rattan is pretty much as common as wood, resulting in low-profile, minimalist pieces that usually serve more than one purpose. Earthly tones are preferred, oftentimes donning lacquered finishes, yet a flair for the ornamental and bold colours is also present, particularly in Chinese furniture. Intricately-carved pieces with painted-accents impart an exotic feel. Finally, one of the most typical pieces of Asian furniture are the translucent freestanding screens used as room dividers, decorative accents or as functional items that immerse rooms in natural light, serving as practical replacements for doors and window treatments.