Furniture and Fittings
A list of some the common furniture styles in chronological order;
• Baroque style (1600-1750’s)
• Shaker style (1820-1860’s)
• Victorian style (1840-1920’s)
• Art Nouveau style (1880-1910’s)
• Postmodern style (1960-1970’s)
• Modern style (1970-today)
Baroque Style
It had a marked effect upon furniture design throughout western Europe during the
17th century. The Baroque art began in Rome, Italy and spread to Spain, German,
Australia, France and Britain.
Large wardrobes, cupboards, and cabinets had twisted columns, broken
pediments, and heavy moldings.
In Baroque furniture the details are related to the whole; instead of a framework of
unrelated surfaces, each detail contributes to the harmonious movement of the
overall design.
Baroque is a style characterized by exaggeration of
 Movement
 Decorative excess
 Dramatic effects
 Chairs with high backs
 squared legs with curved, diagonal stretchers
 Use of curvaceous, arabesque forms (S and C-curves), scrolls and shells
Shaker style
It represents a substantial contribution of the utilitarian lifestyle of the religious
group, the United Society of Believers. The style is based on pure simplicity. It was
created to be simple but useful.
Shaker furniture is simple and functional. It is made to show good craftsmanship and
serve a purpose in the home.
Common features in shaker style include:
• Plain appearance
• No decoration
• Natural materials
• Emphasis on function
• Straight tapered legs
Victorian style
This style of furniture was named after Queen
Victoria who reigned over England from 18371901.It relies on more gothic forms with dark
finishes, elaborate carving and heavy proportions
Ornamentation was extensive, mahogany and
rosewood were often used, and to a lesser extent,
oak. Late Victorian furniture was known for its
straight lines and solid woods with dark stains and
less upholstery than the earlier pieces. It was the
first furniture style to be mass produced.
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is French new art and it emerged in the late 19th century in Paris.
The style was said to be influenced strongly by the lithographs of Czech artist
Alphonse Mucha, whose flat imagery with strong curved lines was seen as a
move from the academic art of the time.
Art Nouveau furniture used lines and curves as graphical ornamentation and hard
woods and iron were commonly used to provide strong yet slim supporting
structures to a furniture pieces.
It is characterized by sudden curves and dynamic flowing lines and often
incorporates floral designs and natural forms such as branches, leaves, waves and
flames or vines.
Modern style
Modern furniture originated under the modernist movement in the early 1900’s.
It often combines leather, vinyl, steel, moulded plywood and plastics with
monochromatic color scheme to create sleek and stylish interiors
Difference between modern and contemporary; Modern furniture design is a
defined style and will always refer to the modernist period of time, contemporary
furniture design however, refers to furniture that is popular and used now, in the
Contemporary combines influences, trends, and new technologies without strict
adherence to any one design philosophy. Current trends include designs that
blend styles and periods but are streamlined for today’s taste.
Modern furniture has a very distinguishable shape
 The shapes tend to be very angular,
 with a lot of right angle corners,
 distinct edges,
 and overall lines that mat be asymmetrical or otherwise not quite
This is usually very little in the way of carving , decoration, or other
intricate details. Surfaces are typically very smooth in texture and flow in
an even line from one end of the piece to the other.
Iconic examples of modern
Marcel Breuer's Wassily Chair
The Wassily chair, also known as the Model B3
chair, was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-
26. This stylish, stark and sleek design is
supported on tubular metal runners. The
design of the chair is most interesting in that it
is a symmetrical abstraction of wafer thin,
geometric planes that appears to be
suspended in space. This modernist creation is
perhaps one of the most iconic furniture
designs of all times.
Eileen Gray side table
Designed in 1927 as a bedside table for a
guest room , in the home Eileen Gray
designed for herself (and Jean Badovici) in
Cap Martin, France, the asymmetry of this
piece is characteristic of her “nonconformist" design style in her architectural
projects and furniture. Notably, this piece
also has specific utility, as it can be adjusted
such that one can eat breakfast in bed on it.
Barcelona chair
The Barcelona chair has come to represent the Bauhaus design movement. Many
consider it to be functional art, rather than just furniture. Designed by Mie’s Van
Der Rohe and Lily Reich in 1929 for an international design fair in Barcelona, it is
said to have been inspired by both the folding chairs of the Pharaohs, and the 'X'
shaped footstools of the Romans, and dedicated to the Spanish royal family.
Noguchi coffee table
Noguchi table was designed by Isamu Noguchi. He was a sculptor, architect, furniture
and landscape designer. He is famous for his organic modern forms. The Noguchi table
has become famous for its unique and unmistakable simplicity. It is refined and at the
same time natural, it is one of the most sought after pieces associated with the
modern classic furniture movement.

Furniture and Fittings Styles