Understanding The Major Furniture Styles And How To Use Them*

Furnishing your home in a style that works is a lot harder than people think, and they often get it wrong. Most of the mistakes that people make come from a simple lack of understanding. People don’t know their way around the different furniture styles and how to use them properly and they end up matching pieces that just don’t go together well.

If you’re in the process of decorating your home and you’re starting to pick out some furniture, make sure that you read this guide to different furniture styles first.


André Charles Boulle TableSource

Antique is a furniture style that everybody has heard of but people often get it mixed up with vintage. Both styles refer to furniture that is from past generations but there is a very specific definition for something that is an antique. It must be at least 100 years old to qualify so furniture from the 50’s is vintage, not antique.

Antique is the ideal furniture style if you’re trying to create a traditional look. However, it can be tricky if you’re trying to create a blend of old and modern styles because it’s a little too extravagant most of the time. In most cases, you’d be better off going with something vintage rather than antique to bridge the gap.

It also works best in larger spaces because it has a very large visual weight and it fills the room up. However, if you’re decorating a smaller space, you should probably avoid antique furniture and go for something more modern and minimalist instead.


charles eames and herman miller, lounge chair 670, 1956Source

Eames furniture is more of a brand than a style but it’s worth mentioning. Charles and Ray Eames were a married couple that designed furniture and most modern pieces are based on their original designs. The most recognisable is probably the lounge chair. You can still pick up their originals from sites like https://eames.com/en if you want some really authentic furniture in your home. The modern imitations are fine but nothing beats the real thing.

Art Deco


Art deco is a style that was first popular in the 1920’s but it’s seen a resurgence in recent years. It inspired the design of some of the most iconic buildings in the world like the Chrysler building in New York. It’s characterised by lots of geometric shapes and a mixture of materials like glass, chrome, and mirrors. It’s a very versatile style so it’ll work in a retro home just as well as a more modern one, as long as you use it sparingly. They’re particularly good for using as statement pieces because of the bold designs.

Shabby Chic


Shabby chic is a really popular style at the moment because it fits well with the rustic decor style that so many people are going for. It’s a very classic furniture style but it’s the iconic distressed look that makes it so recognisable. It’s usually painted in light pastel colors so it’s ideal for bright, airy spaces. The other major benefit is that you can easily make it yourself. Check out http://makeityours.co.uk/ for a quick guide.

These are the main furniture styles that you should be looking at and, hopefully, this should give you a better idea of how to use them.

*This is a collaborative post.

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