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From Baroque to Rococo to Empire to Art Deco, go back to the trends that have shaped furniture design from the 16th century to the present day. If you are looking for interior or exterior furniture and you need to evaluate if it fits your spaces, it will not be easy to understand the era of one style or the other. To understand its meaning, here is the history of the periods that marked design.
The word Renaissance means rebirth and is a term that refers to the interest of that time in classical antiquity. The furniture of this period is architectural, designed on the foundations of a building. For example, the wardrobe and the bed are the most popular accessories, determined by the inlay work. Renaissance furnishings focus on chests, chests and sideboards
The Baroque style consisted of heavy use of high quality solid woods such as solid wood. We often find them in the mansions of aristocratic families finished in the bright colors and gilding that was a Franco-Italian characteristic. The term baroque or barroco in Portuguese, began to be used as a synonym for exaggerated, peculiar. The Baroque style gives way to minimal furniture, characterized by a Dutch and English style and design. The long case clock, the writing tables were used a lot. Local woods such as elm or alder root were used to cover them. Late Baroque Queen Anne style furniture characterized by padded cabriole legs and curved lines. This style influenced the trends of the following centuries.
Rococo flourished throughout Europe due to massive imports of French decorative art. The inspiration for the decor was determined to depict nature itself and a strong trend developed for the use of muted colours. The Rococo still expressed the stylistic traits of the Baroque, but with some asymmetrical elements. During this period, furniture and the decorative arts evolved which resulted in furnishings being both practical and elegant. The word rococo deriving from the French rocaille, i.e. a decoration performed with rocks, stones or shells.
The Georgian style became a staple of British furniture throughout the 18th century. This style was characterized by the use of mahogany, a strong wood that gives the products a regal appearance. Thomas Chippendale was one of Britain's leading Georgian designers and his designs and pieces have sold for millions at auction.
Neoclassicism was inspired by Greek and Roman antiquity and became known in the mid-18th century, drawing attention to the Enlightenment. Neoclassical design was symmetrical, with details such as the tapered and fluted legs of the tables or the spiral arms for the chairs. Even the Luigi style of the neoclassical period was inspired by the philosophy of the time and the style of Ancient Rome.
The Empire style embodies the Napoleonic ideal, whose inspiration comes from classical antiquity in countries such as Greece, Etruria, Rome, and even Egypt. The furniture was made of mahogany characterized by gilded structures with symbolic motifs. It was richly decorated compared to previous eras.
Nuovo Stile is the name that embraces 19th century styles based on decorative elements from previous eras. Industrialization brought the vast production of furniture and objects in huge quantities. Neo-Gothic was the oldest of the new styles, while Neo-Rococo, with its richly inlaid mahogany furniture, was the most popular. With the appearance of the upholstered style, with large quantities of soft furnishings and upholstered furniture.
Art Nouveau was born in Great Britain in 1890 and spread to Europe and also to the United States until the First World War. This style was characterized by soft designs that reflected the shapes of nature. He took inspiration from Japanese art, for example jewels go from precious gems to materials such as opal and ivory, while furniture becomes more expensive to produce. Movement is reflected by crystals and glass, with boldly shaped colors and transparencies.
Art Deco comes from the French expression art decoratif, a very popular style in the 1920s. Art Deco combines functionality with artistic design. The design reflects modern living with sophistication and luxury. The style is characterized by lacquered surfaces and an emphasis on bright colours.
Modernism in design is characterized by geometric and minimal shapes with the absence of decorations, but characterized by smooth surfaces to put form and function at the center of attention. The furniture is made of steel and bentwood and black was the most popular colour.
The term Scandinavian Design was born in the 1950s. An innovative and very successful period of Swedish design. In Scandinavia, the Danes dominated furniture making while the Swedes were ahead of the curve in glass and pottery. The furniture used a minimal design and was made from teak. New materials and techniques have given life to a characteristic design sought after by architects and interior designers to furnish Nordic and very refined environments.