Thursday, May 20, 2010

Furniture Lessons

Recently I had a client ask me to describe the style of my dining room chairs. I was at a loss. I would have said Chippendale but they're more modern looking. So I called the manufacturer to ask the exact style (for my own education) and he said they are modern Chippendale...this all reminded me that I really need to stay well-informed of not only current trends in interior design but also of its history and roots. Starting with Chippendale, I'm going to write a few posts on furniture and architectural styles to refresh my dusty memory.

Here is a brief synopsis of the Chippendale style, named after the English furniture maker and author of The Gentleman and Cabient-Maker's Director, Thomas Chippendale, and some photos of very typical Chippendale-style furniture:

Of all the names associated with antique furniture, Chippendale is the most well known. The Chippendale style dominated American furniture until the 1770s. Known by its exquisite and extensive carving, it takes its name from Thomas Chippendale, an 18th century cabinetmaker, whose furnishings reflected popular English tastes of the period incorporating English, Gothic, and Chinese motifs.
*Taken from the Antiques Almanac

And here, a more modern take on the classic, by Jonathan Adler. I am definitely more drawn to the modern interpretations of this style but it's still nice to know where it came from! Now, I'll have an answer for whoever asks about our chairs!