The beginning and uses of Furniture, Style and its Origin

Furniture is mostly a decorative things and very useful equipment means for sleeping, sitting, eating and more. Those chairs, beds, dining table, sofas and other furniture’s are very useful everywhere and anywhere inside or outside our house and other establishment. Most of us choose the type of furniture that compliment the type of house we are living. What type of design, colors and sizes that would certainly fitted our house. Just like the old times when castle and those big houses have a certain type of furniture that is well fitted to the kind of lifestyle and houses they’re living. Let’s know what type of furniture are used in different country in the old times and how it evolves.

Greek and Roman

Greek home life was simple. The Greeks use only beds, and light tables for serving food. During meals the men rested on low bed and the women sat in chairs. Beds were much like Egyptian beds. Graceful frameworks often very low. Across the frame were stretched laced thongs to support a mattress, no fellows but headrest of wood or ivory. The Greeks develop turning, the art of rounding a piece of wood as it turns on a lathe.

Roman copied the Greek style. They filled their houses with objects for decoration, because of this they needed more kinds of furniture. One was the cupboard, which they used for storing extra object, and also used carved and painted wooded chest. The Roman made heavier and fancier tables with metal, ivory, and stone decorations. Roman beds were like Greek beds. Gradually they made a difference between these and the beds used for sleeping were higher and sometimes heavier. They used small cushions as pillows. To some couches they added backs, making them very like modern sofas.


In the Middle Ages, noble and wealthy men began to build castle and large house that had more room and furniture. The furniture of this period is called GOthic. Only the rich could afford it. It had wood-carving, and a lot of cloth was use. Tapestries were placed on walls, and beds and other pieces of furniture were covered with beautiful cloths. Beds were often build into alcoves in the walls. Some were build like boxes on legs, open at one side. Other had tall headboards and footboards with a canopy and curtains around the bed. Medieval house were drafty, and the people needed such beds for warmth.


The renaissance began in Italy in the 14th century. Cities were growing and people had more money to spend. Furniture become more comfortable and more elaborate. Chairs were in greater use. New types of tables and chests were built. During the Renaissance there was a great deal if interest in classic Greece and Rome.


The age of Baroque following the Renaissance. In the 17th and 18 centuries, wood carving was still important but it was not like Renaissance carving which had been the simple straight lines of Roman furniture. The new style used a lot of curves, color increased in importance, cushions were put on chairs and there were sofas with arms and backs.


In french, one Baroque style, named after King Louis XIV, lasted from the 17th into the 18th century. The furniture of his reign was elaborately decorated with carved ornament. Much of it was gilded, and upholstered with velvet of rich ruby red. Beds were covered with jeweled cloths and many of them had beautiful cloth canopies. There were different kinds of tables and cupboards.


British build a different kind of furniture in this period. France’s furniture was for the noble who wanted to show off his wealth. British furniture was made to be comfortable. It copied many French styles, but most of it was simpler and more useful.

The 19th Century

By the end of the 18th century the fashion for classic styles had grown so strong that the kind of furniture now called Empire become popular. It was named after the empire of Napoleon in the early 19th century.

Colonial American

At first furniture in the United States was English furniture of the late Elizabethan and early 17th-century styles. Colonial carpenters soon began to make furniture. They tried to copy some of the fine work done in England but with charges. The pieces were usually less finely finished because the colonist did not have time for for fine carving and polishing. Furniture with brightly painted decorations was brought by the German settlers. More of it was built in Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New Jersey.


In many Asiatic countries, rugs and mats are used as beds. The Japanese use very little furniture. They usually sit on mats on the floor and eat very low tables. Chest and cupboards are usually built into the walls with sliding panel doors. The few pieces of furniture are usually polish very brightly.

Functional Furniture

The Arts and Crafts Movement was taken up in North America in the first year of the present century, notably by the famous and very original architect-designer Frank Lloyd Wright. An American architect, interior designer, writer and educator. His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.

Wright was among the first to think about idea of making whole suites of furniture to cover all needs in one unified style for a room, or even a whole building. This was part of a wide idea in furniture design, called functionalism. Functional furniture is simple with the design fitting the purpose.

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