Wood is one of the first materials used by humans, so the history of woodworking goes back nearly to the dawn of mankind. Early on, wood was used for tools and weapons and later on instruments. A very rough form of furniture was made of stone for a long period of time.
Some of the First Wooden Furniture
It wasn’t until around 3000 BC when the Ancient Egyptians began using wood to create furniture such as chairs, tables and beds. As Ancient Egyptians tended to do with many items, these pieces of furniture (especially the ones preserved in tombs for kings and queens) became very ornate and decorative. Around 2000 BC, the Ancient Greeks began to pick up on the use of wood to create furniture. Although the Ancient Greek version of wooden furniture isn’t quite as ornate as the Ancient Egyptians, the boxy frame of early furniture tells us that the Ancient Greek furniture was highly influenced by the Ancient Egyptian furniture. However, as the Greeks developed, so did the style of their furniture as it became less stiff and rectangular and more shaped to the body with curves and rounded edges.
A Setback in Furniture Design
During 500-1450 AD, also known as Medieval times, wooden furniture became more stark. It was very square and boxy, much like some of the earliest forms for furniture. However, what this furniture lacked in framework, it made up for in the decorative and intricate carvings.
Furniture Design During the Renaissance
While the Medieval furniture might have been a minor setback in furniture design, Renaissance furniture took that design to a whole new level. The arts were at an all time high during this period of time (1350-1550 AD) and so it only makes sense that the design of furniture would follow suite. These furniture designs contained a lot of curvature in their frame work as well as floral and scrolling carvings. However, these carvings were much more 3-dementianal than ever seen before.
Wooden Furniture Comes to the US
During 1500-1754AD, wooden furniture started coming over the United States along with the new settlers. This furniture was known as Colonial furniture and because these immigrants were come from several different places such as Great Britain, France and Spain, the styles varied ever-so-slightly. With a great deal of curvature, like you would have seen in Renaissance furniture, but without quite as much detail as you would have seen in carvings from Renaissance, Medieval and Ancient Egyptian furniture, these pieces are much more of a resemblance of what you see today. These pieces included desks, chairs, beds, and tables.
Fast Forward to Modern Times
Between when furniture first reached the United States and now, furniture has come a long way and has gone through many different styles. Through the Rococo period, furniture became much more ornate again, stylistically becoming more of an artistic statement. During the Industrial Revolution, furniture became less of an art form, when the intricate pieces of the furniture were able to be better manufactured, therefore being able to produce furniture is bulk, getting wooden furniture into more and more homes.
Wooden furniture has since been able to follow the trends of each new period and home-decor styles we’ve seen. From Bauhaus to Art Deco, to modern-day, wood furniture has become more and more affordable and accessible over the years. Although furniture can now be produced by the masses, we still find pleasure in creating sturdy, long-lasting, custom furniture for our clients. At Contemporary Woods in Lincoln, Nebraska we build furniture that stands the test of time, not only in durability, but in style as well. If you are interested in quality, affordable furniture, please stop by and check out what we have to offer. We promise that our furniture will not disappoint!