Man has been designing furniture since the dawn of time. Archaeologists discovered that ancient man sought rocks big enough to sit upon and constructed their bedding out of soft leaves and animal skins.
The quality of ancient Egyptian artisans can be appreciated in the elaborately carved furnishing that was present throughout the palaces. Since many of the pieces were constructed out of wood and natural materials, there are not many furniture artifacts. Much of our information that has been collected on ancient Egyptian furnishings is provided to us from funerary monuments, paintings, tomb walls and coffins.
Although Egyptians had many natural resources at their disposal, when it came to materials from which to build furniture, it was quite a different story. The indigenous trees, such as fig, almond, date, palms, poplar, sycamore, and others tended to have poor strength, poor grain and many knots. Egyptians had to import-wood from other regions. They traded with Lebanon, Syria and Turkey for ash, cedar elm, beech box, lime maple, fir, lime maple, pine, oak, yew and plum.From Nubia came African Black-wood. They got their ebony from Ethiopia. Carob was also imported. Pharaoh Sneferu, (4th Dynasty) sent 40 ships to Lebanon to obtain cedar wood.
For over 2000 years, bed styles in ancient Egypt remained very much the same. They were quite intriguing because of their structure; they were slanted downwards from the headboard; a foot-board prevented the sleeper from falling off. Many of the beds included side rails.
Many pieces of Egyptian furniture featured legs carved in the shape of animal legs, i.e.bull legs, hooves, paws and claws. The mattress was constructed of wooden slats, braided string, or reeds. Wool cushions and other soft materials were used as mattresses. Sheets were linen. Archaeologists that have examined the furniture that has survived over 4000 years was constructed using many of the same techniques as modern furniture makers.
Gothic and Medieval furniture became all about comfort and detailing. Wood carvers were mimicking the intricate and delicate designs of stonework masons, which included delicate spires intricate carvings, linen fold panels and peaked spires.
While some of today’s modern furniture styles incorporate some of the classic design, many furniture designers are very innovative, using a variety of styles and materials. From natural materials, to space-age man-made materials, there are thousands of designs from which to choose.
All elements of interior designing, from the type of flooring, interior colors, cabinetry, fixtures, etc., to window treatments, furniture and accessories to pull it all together, are a matter of personal taste. While many believe you should design a room so that itsfengshui (the harmonizing of everyone with their surrounding environment) is aligned to its owner, the choices are endless.
Today, the “shabby chic” look is very “in”. What was once considered old is now “new” again. Eclectic collections of mismatched furnishings and accessories come together brilliantly. Shopping at yard sales for odd and end pieces and bringing them together with colour and fabrics can be done on even the tightest budget. Thrift stores are a great source to create this “look”.
Vintage style reproduction furniture are part of the “classic” and classy look. Inspired by artisans in Rome, Paris and the Far East, furniture designers capture the beauty of the period in these spectacular specimens, complete with claw feet, gold gilding and a variety of rich woods. The “classic” style is timeless and continues to appeal to those with a discriminating palette.
The modern look can be anything from utilitarian furnishings with a stark white look to full colour used in very innovative and imaginative ways. Furniture designers are stepping out and giving furniture almost a 4th dimension look. This style of furnishings is the embodiment of clean lines sparseness.