Some retro home furnishings’ fans refer to the period from 1880 to 1914 as the Age of Art Furniture, which begs the question, “What is Art Furniture?” Ironically enough, it’s furniture that embodies so many eclectic elements from other areas that it’s incredibly hard to define. For example, it would not be unusual for furniture makers of the period to combine Asian elements (e.g. bamboo) with decorative details straight out of Egypt (e.g. cavetto moulding) or Greece (e.g. ogee with Lesbian leaf). Dark ebony and lacquer colors were used a lot and straight legged tables with small feet were popular too.
Some say that at least one of those design elements harkens back to the days of Eastlake and Renaissance Revival period craftsmen. The Eastlake period ran from 1870 to 1890 and the Renaissance Revival took place from 1850 until 1880. They were known for the heavy use of dark colored woods and ornamentation. However, table legs were straight during the Eastlake era and turned or cabriole during the Renaissance Revival period. So there were obviously some variations between the two. Nonetheless, the Age of Art Furniture’s craftsmen seemingly embraced them all.
Given that and people’s ongoing love of retro home furnishings, we can’t help but think Art Furniture Era pieces would make great additions to modern day homes. For example leather hide rugs with geometric designs that were popular in the Eastlake and Modernism periods could be paired with blunt arrow footed stools with button tufted, upholstered tops. Iron lampshades from the Industrial Revolution could be tossed in with artwork from the Art Deco period or a vintage show sign from the 1940s. And 18th century style serving trays could be paired with farmhouse style cabinets or nightstands from the 1920s. After all, when you’re working with an Age of Art Furniture theme, there are no limits when it comes to combining styles. To learn more about retro home furnishings and find pieces that would fit in with an Age of Art Furniture motif, please stop by today.