The Evolution of Furniture Construction and Design
If someone from the 18th Century were to come and visit your home today, they would probably be aghast at what they found. Contemporary furniture is nothing like it was in bygone eras, and the time-traveling visitor would most likely assume that we have all become impoverished. Whereas furniture in previous centuries was made from heavy woods, regal and constructed to last forever, contemporary furniture has come to match the evolving lifestyles of society. A quick visit to a furniture and interior design store will delight your senses and stimulate your creativity.
Contemporary Furniture Makes Its Appearance
The end of World War I ushered in a renaissance period of new manufacturing technologies and a more creative use of raw materials to produce furniture. Manufacturers began to shift away from heavy wood and ornate, royal-like designs toward the use of more lightweight materials, such as plastics, tubular steel and plywood. Designs became more airy, sleek and geometrical. This furniture was known as “Modern Classic”.
The early 20th century also witnessed the “Art Deco” era, which was reflected not only in furniture, but also in housing construction. Art Deco was a combination of two schools: Neo-Classicism and Art Nouveau, and its primary feature was boldness. Sleek, curvy, bold designs were meant to make a statement—“we have made it”, as well as to signal a carefree departure from stringent standards and expectations. Molded plastics, glass and stainless steel emerged as preferred construction materials.
Contemporary furniture has taken a step back from Modern Classic and Art Deco. There has been a return to woods, but it much lighter in color and weight. Contemporary design is more understated with sleek lines, almost minimalist in outlook. One example is French Chic, inspired by provincial French designs, the furniture is constructed in soft neutral colors, such as creams, pinks and earth tones, all intended to bring a sense of serenity to the room and its inhabitants.