When you’re thinking of furnishing your home with antiques, depending on the style of your home and your budget, you can go as far back as early Tudor, dating to The 16th century or as recent as the 20th century, which are also considered to be antiques. Your furniture says a lot about you, whether you opt for the elaborately carved Tudor pieces or the simple yet bold lines of the late 20th century. Read on for more options when choosing antiques for your home.
The Tudor Period
16th century antiques are usually made from oak, involving elaborate carvings and inlays. The Tudor period pieces that are most common are tables and chairs, armoires, dressers and some metal storage chests and boxes. Typically they are boxy, heavy, and sturdy, with sharp angles and carvings.
The 17th century antiques reflect the French influence, particularly in the cabriole legs.
The Queen Anne style of furniture is considered to be lighter, less boxy or overpowering, and has carved lines and upholstery. The popularity of this kind of furniture coincided with the prosperity of the early settlers in the US, and so essentially this became the early American style. Most pieces were made of walnut rather than oak. Some pieces were painted in the Mannerist tradition. The Wainscot chair is a classic example of this era.
The Neoclassical Age
The 18th century antiques account for some of the most popular names that are around today. In neutral tones, with clean lines and sleek looks and distressed finish, the style originated in France, under Louis XVI. It was imitated by King Gustav of Sweden after a visit to France and it became quite popular. The Neoclassical furniture is the most sought- after style of antique today. Some notable brands include Chippendale, whose style is being copied and reproduced even today, apart from popular furniture makers like Hepplewhite and Sheraton.
Early American Period
Federal style furniture also emerged during the latter half of the 18th century, and some of the most popular brands were Phyfe and Lannuier. The Federal style furniture had clean straight lines, geometric patterns, and any details like inlays boasted the motifs of the new Federal government – like the bald eagle. This is the first truly American antique furniture style, and was influenced by Hepplewhite, Adam and Sheraton.
The Classical Period
The 19th century saw the American furniture style coming of age in its own right. Fueled by the success of the early settlers, the American economy was booming. This in turn drove the demand for quality furniture and local availability of good quality wood like cherry and walnut helped the furniture makers to cater to their clientele in style.This period of American furniture reflected many influences like Gothic, Rococo and led to the Art Nouveau movement.
The late 19th century art nouveau movement lasted until the 1930s, and consisted of elaborate lines, rich carvings and paintings – almost baroque in style, featuring themes from nature.
The Modernist Movement
This excess of the Art Nouveau period led to the modernism movement of the 20th century, aided by the World Wars and the Great Depression, which turned people away from such excesses. The Modernist movement leaned towards simple lines and strong, durable furniture, which was influenced by the Native American styles. A separate Art Deco movement also flourished around this time, made popular by the boom of Hollywood movies, which caught the imagination of the people. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, these two styles were the most popular among the American consumers.
By the late 1970s, with the end of the turbulent sixties and the Vietnam War, people were ready for change. More women entered the workforce, and this brought better affordability to the middle class. The lifestyles of the ordinary Americans changed, and this was reflected in the way people furnished their homes too. The bold colors of the art deco era was out, and simple lines, classical looks and durable furniture was in. This resulted in the true revival of the classical furniture, leading to a boom in antiques, and vintage furniture from previous centuries. Those who couldn’t afford the real thing had the option of buying ‘aged’ furniture to give the appearance of antiques, which is very popular even today. Contemporary Furniture today marries the simplicity and functionality of modern era to the clean looks and simple lines of the classical period, as any interior designer will tell you. If you do have antique or vintage furniture, it is essential that you restore it to its former glory, and maintain it so that it doesn’t lose its sheen or value. We have close to forty years in the furniture restoration business, and will bring your priceless antiques back to their glory. If you need any restoration services for your priceless antiques, visit us today!