Furniture has evolved a lot over the centuries, and the very history of furniture is so intriguing and vast that many people would be surprised to discover how today’s more modern furniture evolved from the furniture of ancient times. As with fashion, furniture has seen many styles, from ornate and overly decorative, to the more modern designer furniture of today.
What makes today’s furniture stand out from most other furniture eras is that it is modeled after the modernism movement in art and design, meaning the modern furniture pieces tend to reject more traditional values and styles, and instead embraces the unexpected, discontinuity, and disruption. As with art, music, and culture, furniture design in the modern era throws evolution to the wind, in favor of revolution. Plain and simple, modern designer furniture is often often created by designers not afraid to take risks. Pieces are simple, with clean lines and fabrics, whereas furniture of past eras was often more ornate and heavy.
As mentioned before, furniture has evolved a lot over the centuries, and didn’t always resemble the furniture we have today, nor were some pieces used how they’re used today. Take the common chair, for example. Back in medieval times, chairs were reserved primarily for the upper class society, like noblemen and noblewomen. They looked a bit different, as well, resembling thrones more than the chair of today. For those unfortunate enough to be in the lower classes, they typically had to sit on uncomfortable stools or the floor. Fortunately, by the time Charles Darwin came along, chairs had evolved enough to resemble the chairs we have today, and he even went on to invent the first office chair by putting wheels on the bottom of his armchair so that he could better maneuver around his office.
Couches are another piece of furniture that has evolved a great deal over history, with the earliest accounts of couches dating as far back as 2000 BC in ancient Egypt. The word “couch” is derived from a French term that means “to recline,” and many of the original couches resembled daybeds. That makes sense for the way many people use couches today, often to rest and relax on.
What many of the earliest pieces of furniture have in common is that they were often heavy, ornate pieces reserved for members of the upper class. They weren’t available to just anyone, which is much different from how things are today. Today, virtually every household has a couch and chairs and tables. More people than ever before have access to modern designer furniture. Some of the top modern furniture brands are available all over the country in modern furniture stores, which is a great thing! After all, who doesn’t love a comfortable couch or recliner?