Also known as classic furniture, traditional furniture originated in Europe in the 17th century and hasn't gone out of style since then. As people paid furniture manufacturers by the hour, the most intricate designs were a sign of wealth and status, making well-crafted furniture with these details increasingly popular and sought after. Traditional furniture is formal furniture manufactured until the end of the Victorian period, just before the modernist movement took hold. This is quality furniture made with old world craftsmanship, with dark wood carved by hand, both in an elaborate and formal environment.
Here's a summary of historic furniture styles and the key characteristics of these traditional furniture styles, many of which were influenced by classic furniture styles. The classic style is the last one traditionally collected by American collectors and flourished between 1820 and 1840. Traditional-style furniture was made of thick, deeply carved wood, often dyed dark, with elaborate hand-carved scrolls and with ball or claw legs. From the so-called “thousand-year-old design” to the relaxed, traditionalist style trend, it's clear that traditional furniture styles are inevitably returning.
But as the name suggests, traditional furniture and traditional style in general have never been concerned with trends, but rather their appearance is firmly rooted in classic pieces that stand the test of time. This opulence was assigned to the class in general and substantially altered the appearance of the simplest homes by providing them with the same style of furniture as the real complex, although not with an identical design. While traditional 21st century furniture styles simply borrow elements from traditional antique furniture, the characteristic craftsmanship, warmth, and attention to detail continue to define the style to this day. Starting with the Jacobean era, approximately 1550 to 1650, traditional furniture goes through the colonial, Rococo, Renaissance, Victorian and Art Nouveau eras before evolving into modern design styles of the 19th century, such as Bauhaus, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern.
While colonial furniture could be said to be a form of traditional furniture, it encompasses a wider variety of styles from the British colonial period. But no matter the year, decade, or interior design trend of the moment, traditional furniture styles will always have a place in tasteful homes. In the United States, European styles were gaining popularity, but federal-style furniture just after the War of Independence was distinctly American, with the carved motif of the American eagle symbolizing freedom. This is the first style of furniture that was produced natively, with pieces generally dating from around 1680 to 1730.