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Ch 9: History of Furniture

About This Chapter

Look through this chapter to familiarize yourself with the history of furniture. Each of the lessons in this chapter has been designed to give you the information you need to produce insightful answers to your homework questions and school projects, and our lessons can prepare you for exams.

History of Furniture - Chapter Summary

Today, furniture comes in every color and style imaginable, but did you ever wonder how some pieces of furniture came into being? This chapter goes over the history of furniture, giving you an overview of how different pieces of furniture were invented and how they have changed over the years. You can gain significant insight into this topic by going through the lessons one at a time. After each lesson, challenge yourself to take the quizzes and see how well you score. If you only need to know about certain topics, you always have the option to use the chapter menu and jump around to individual lessons. If you master everything in this chapter, you will be prepared to:

  • Describe the evolution and historical timeline of furniture design
  • Identify influential furniture makers throughout history
  • Point out key moments in the history of the furniture industry
  • Classify the history of wooden furniture and furniture casters
  • Define the classical and ancient periods of Roman furniture history
  • Compare 20th-century American and English furniture stylings
  • Differentiate styles of English furniture from the 15th through 18th centuries
  • Explain differences in the French furniture style of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries
  • Assess and point out stylistic qualities of furniture from the 1920s and 30s
  • Appraise the skills and offer examples of 19th century furniture designers
  • Summarize design features and the history of furniture from the early Middle Ages
  • Critique and specify examples of Victorian furniture style
  • Show design elements of ancient Egyptian furniture
  • Determine the styles and elements of Danish furniture makers

38 Lessons in Chapter 9: History of Furniture
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
History of Furniture Design: Timeline & Evolution

1. History of Furniture Design: Timeline & Evolution

Could you imagine your life without furniture? There is evidence that furniture was used as far back as the Stone Age. This lesson will focus on the history and evolution of furniture design.

History of Furniture Makers

2. History of Furniture Makers

Throughout history, there have been hundreds of notable furniture makers. In this lesson, we will look at a few who in their own way, altered the path of furniture making and design.

History of the Furniture Industry

3. History of the Furniture Industry

Do you need a new couch or chair? It is so easy to go to a furniture store and select the pieces you want for your home. But, how did we get to the point where furniture purchases are so easy? The term furniture industry includes all aspects from creation to distribution and sales. The lesson will focus on the history of the furniture industry.

History of Wooden Furniture

4. History of Wooden Furniture

Our homes may have lots of wooden furniture today, but it wasn't always this way. This lesson will explore the history of wooden furniture in Western cultures and see how it came to be so popular.

Roman Furniture History

5. Roman Furniture History

Roman society was full of art, poetry, philosophy, and furniture. In this lesson, we're going to talk about Roman home furnishings and see how furniture helped the people of Rome define their lives and society.

History of Furniture Casters

6. History of Furniture Casters

Moving furniture or chairs is always easier if there are wheels attached to what you are moving. The wheel is just one part, though; the caster is what attaches the wheel to what you want to be moved.

20th Century American Furniture: History & Styles

7. 20th Century American Furniture: History & Styles

The 20th century held exciting prospects for America. New innovations allowed American designers to look to the future for their inspiration, and their designs have endured the test of time. Let's see some examples of these styles and learn who designed them.

20th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

8. 20th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

Explore the evolution of English furniture in the 20th century. In this lesson, learn about Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and other styles that developed in the last century and examine the main characteristics of each one.

16th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

9. 16th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

The 16th century was a hugely influential era in English history, and that history is captured perfectly in their furniture. In this lesson, we'll examine 16th-century English furniture and see how, and why, it changed so much.

15th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

10. 15th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

After centuries of turmoil, life in England finally began to settle down in the 15th century. This led to innovation and expansion in the amount and variety of furniture, as well as new techniques for building and decorating.

18th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

11. 18th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

France changed a lot during the 18th century, and all of those changes were reflected in the people's taste in furniture. In this lesson, we'll explore French furniture from this century and see how it mirrored changes in the culture.

18th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

12. 18th Century English Furniture: History & Styles

18th century furniture gave the world highly-finished and sophisticated designs. This lesson will focus on seven styles of 18th century furniture that reflect the individuality of the furniture makers during that time.

17th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

13. 17th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

French furniture evolved from practical, movable wooden pieces to gilded, elaborate works of art during the 17th century. New areas of the world opened to trade, and new materials and decoration techniques became available as the Middle Ages ended.

19th Century American Furniture: History, Designers & Styles

14. 19th Century American Furniture: History, Designers & Styles

America changed a lot in the 19th century, and its furniture reflected that. In this lesson, we'll cover some of the important styles and see how they mirrored cultural attitudes in the United States.

19th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

15. 19th Century French Furniture: History & Styles

France had a difficult 19th century, but this didn't stop them from making great furniture. In this lesson, we are going to explore the three main styles of this century, and see how they reflected major changes within the nation.

18th Century European Furniture: History & Styles

16. 18th Century European Furniture: History & Styles

In this lesson, examine European furniture of the 18th century. Learn about the main styles that developed and were replicated in most parts of the continent. Also, explore the historical events that led to the drastic changes in styles.

1920s Furniture: History & Styles

17. 1920s Furniture: History & Styles

The end of the first World War was a prosperous time when many new homes were being built with, of course, plenty of new furniture. Let's take a look at some of the furniture styles of the ''roaring 20s''.

1930s Furniture: History & Styles

18. 1930s Furniture: History & Styles

How does furniture reflect a modern age? Have you ever seen a chair or sofa shaped like a torpedo? In this lesson, explore furniture of the 1930s, its history, and some popular styles.

19th Century Furniture Designers

19. 19th Century Furniture Designers

During the 19th century, there was a broad range of styles in furniture designs. From Arts and Crafts to Regency, those movements were as diverse as they come - and so were the furniture designers.

Early Middle Ages Furniture: History & Design

20. Early Middle Ages Furniture: History & Design

Life was very difficult in the Early Middle Ages, and the furniture of this time period reflected that. Furniture, which was designed as functional and portable rather than beautiful, was related mainly to the bedroom and kitchen.

Victorian Furniture: History & Styles

21. Victorian Furniture: History & Styles

''Less is more'' did not apply to the Victorian era. In fact, the Victorian era considered the more the better. More detailing, more furniture, and more luxury was the style of the time. This lesson will focus on the history and characteristics of Victorian furniture.

Ancient Egyptian Furniture: History & Design

22. Ancient Egyptian Furniture: History & Design

The ancient civilization of Egypt set many precedents that would be followed by settled peoples around the Mediterranean for centuries. One that we don't always talk about is furniture, a topic we'll explore in this lesson.

History of Danish Furniture Makers

23. History of Danish Furniture Makers

Denmark is a small country with a large reputation in regard to furniture. Ever heard of Danish Modern furniture? In this lesson, explore the history of Danish furniture makers.

Duncan Phyfe: Furniture & Style

24. Duncan Phyfe: Furniture & Style

Have you ever seen chairs with clawed feet or finely grooved legs? What kind of furniture was fashionable in early 19th century America? In this lesson, learn about Duncan Phyfe and his style of furniture.

Renaissance Furniture: History & Style

25. Renaissance Furniture: History & Style

In this lesson, we examine the main characteristics of Renaissance furniture, including materials, ornaments, and its importance as a symbol of social status. We also explore local variations that developed throughout Europe.

Jacobean Era Furniture: History & Characteristics

26. Jacobean Era Furniture: History & Characteristics

When we think of English furniture, we often think of bulky medieval pieces or light imperial ones. In this lesson, we look at the transition between these styles and see how Jacobean furniture set the stage for new English attitudes.

Colonial Furniture: History & Characteristics

27. Colonial Furniture: History & Characteristics

Colonial furniture shares a unique history and style influence. Explore the characteristics and history behind the unique design of Colonial furniture.

Colonial Furniture: Style & Design

28. Colonial Furniture: Style & Design

While the colonial period of furniture borrowed styles and designs from England, it took those styles and Americanized them. In doing so, unique styles were created based on construction techniques, decor, and even purpose.

History of Bauhaus Furniture

29. History of Bauhaus Furniture

Courses on furniture design were popular at the famous Bauhaus school, and it's easy to see why. In this lesson, you will learn how Bauhaus artists developed their sleek, modern style, which continues to influence furniture design even today.

Bauhaus Furniture: Characteristics, Style & Designers

30. Bauhaus Furniture: Characteristics, Style & Designers

The famous Bauhaus school of art and design developed a distinctive, modern style of furniture that remains influential even today. This lesson will discuss the features that define this style, and review some major Bauhaus furniture designers.

Chippendale Furniture: History & Style

31. Chippendale Furniture: History & Style

Designed to merge culture and style, Chippendale furniture is intricate and desired. Learn about the cabinet maker and characteristics of Chippendale design.

Modernist Furniture: History & Designers

32. Modernist Furniture: History & Designers

In this lesson, explore the innovative furniture that developed at the beginning of the 20th century: modernist furniture. Learn about its history and discover some of the distinctive designers that represented this artistic movement.

Early American Furniture Styles & Makers

33. Early American Furniture Styles & Makers

What kind of furniture could you find in early America? Who made furniture in the young American colonies? In this lesson, explore early American furniture styles and makers.

Pennsylvania Dutch Furniture: Characteristics & History

34. Pennsylvania Dutch Furniture: Characteristics & History

You may have heard of the Pennsylvania Dutch, but have you ever checked out their furniture? In this lesson, you can! We'll look at its major characteristics and see what role it played in Pennsylvania Dutch culture.

Sheraton Furniture: History, Style & Characteristics

35. Sheraton Furniture: History, Style & Characteristics

There are three names that dominate English 18th-century furniture, and one of them is Thomas Sheraton. In this lesson, we'll explore Sheraton's style and work and learn how to identify his designs.

William & Mary Furniture: History & Characteristics

36. William & Mary Furniture: History & Characteristics

Furniture is a big part of our lives, and the styles of our furniture matter. In this lesson, we'll explore the William and Mary style, and see how changes in British politics led to changes in their ideas about furniture.

Regency Period Furniture: History & Characteristics

37. Regency Period Furniture: History & Characteristics

This lesson introduces Regency Period furniture with a brief look at the historical context and style. Additionally, this lesson features key designers and their influences.

Gustav Stickley: Biography, Furniture & Quotes

38. Gustav Stickley: Biography, Furniture & Quotes

Learn about Gustav Stickley's journey and desire for success in the furniture industry. Explore how his ideas of simplicity, honesty, and truth to material led to one of the most well-known furniture and architectural styles in history.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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