Furniture Throughout History

Humans have created and used furniture for as long as there have been records of our existence and as technology and textiles have evolved, so has the kind of furniture that we’ve been able to build.

Early Functional Furniture

The first examples of furniture stem from Neolithic times and Stone Age settlements show the use of carved pieces for seats, beds and fireplaces. All of these served a very particular function and it’s believed that our ancient ancestors were so concerned with survival that all furniture was functional rather than for comfort.

Greek Style

The first example of furniture being used for style and to impress comes from Ancient Greece. Advances in sculpting and the beginning of the textile industry meant that cushioned chairs and decorations on bed heads can be seen in pictures and carvings from that time. They were also the first to start using furniture as a way of indicating status, with city kings having elaborate thrones to show off their wealth.

Furniture in the Middle Ages

Despite being called “The Dark Ages”, the middle centuries of the second millenium gave rise to monarchies and the Renaissance movement in southern Europe. Renaissance furniture still exists today and the incredibly ornate designs and floral patterns can still be seen in palaces and castles from the time. The increased use of coloured dyes in this period meant that Jacobean and Renaissance furniture was available to the upper classes as well as nobility and royalty, but the lower classes would still have been using functional furniture.

Turn of the Century Furniture

It wasn’t until the end of the Victorian era in England and the rise of industrialisation that high quality and well designed furniture became more widely available. Revival furniture, with its focus on dark woods and modest colours, was popular throughout Europe and made its way to the colonies where it can still be seen today. With the increase in new technology, furniture designers were able to become more creative which led to the Art Nouveau movement which was only ended by the advent of the First World War.

The Rise of Art Deco

Art deco furniture has been famous and popular for many decades and it represents the first time in human history that furniture has been used as art rather than for function. It can be classified by having extra features, such as extremely high backs on chairs and overly ornate table legs that don’t add to the function of the piece, but make it the focus of attention in the room.

Contemporary and Modern Pieces

All of this development has brought us to contemporary and modern designs in furniture. The big difference is that cloth, wood and stuffing are no longer the only tools available, and metal, plastic and stone have become common materials for furniture building. It has also seen the rise of multi-purpose furniture such as sofa beds and fold out dining tables, allowing families to save space as well as money.

If you are looking to update the look and feel of your lounge, our specialist team at Unique Bedrooms Direct design and create incredible contemporary lounge furniture, including fitted shelving. To learn more about how your home can benefit from our fitted lounge furniture, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team, or visit our Northwood or Dunstable showrooms today!