Classic Chair Styles and Their Names

The classic chairs and armchairs we use today to decorate homes are actually true works of art that define historical periods. In this article, discover classic chair styles!
Classic Chair Styles and Their Names

Last update: 06 May, 2020

Although there are many classic pieces of furniture which are different from each other, they’re considered art. For this reason, you need to know how to recognize and name them. Today, we’re going to talk about classic chair styles that are true icons of interior decoration.

Each historical period marked a trend because classic chair styles usually correspond to great artists or craftsmen. The chairs projected the tastes and lifestyles of each period.

Knowing about these classic chair styles allows you to travel through time with art. Below, discover some of the most iconic styles!

The Chippendale-style chair

Chippendale chair.
Chippendale-style chair /

This chair masterfully mixed three aesthetic trends and these are Rococo, Gothic, and Oriental architecture. People know it by the name of its creator, Thomas Chippendale. He created the Chippendale style, and people say that he was the best cabinetmaker of the Georgian period.

This chair is recognizable as birds, shells, roses, and leaves are carved into these wonderful collectibles. The wood used in Chippendale chairs is almost always mahogany, and the period that corresponded to this style was approximately 1719 to 1780.

The Windsor chair

Windsor chair.
Windsor chair /

Another classic chair that people still use in many decoration projects. It owes its name to the English city where local artisans created this wonderful piece, in approximately 1710.

The main characteristic of this chair is that its back is independent of the legs. It quickly became a favorite in many English homes.

Its design encouraged English colonists to take it to the United States, where it was fully accepted. It became very popular during that time and had a resurgence in the first half of the 20th century.

Thonet chair and chaise longue

Thonet chair.

Thonet chairs and chaise longues revolutionized the world of interior design. Austrian craftsman Michael Thonet invented and perfected new techniques to bend wood. Using this, people could curve chairs without the high cost of chiseling and assembly.

This was a step to modernism. It gave way to rocking chairs, chairs, armchairs, and chaise longues that began to be industrially manufactured. Today, they’re still considered pieces of great aesthetic value. Thonet chairs marked the period between 1796 to 1871.

Regency chair

Regency chair.
Regency chair /

This is another classic chair that’s still all the rage in interior design. This chair consists of vertical lines and its designers, Hope, Saane, and Nach, were architects.

The style occurred at the same time as the directory style and the empire style. Its most characteristic period was from 1811 to 1820. The inspiration for it was Greek and Egyptian designs. In its later period, designers added oriental ornamental motifs.

Classic Empire style chair

Imperial style chair.
Classic Empire style chair /

This chair is characteristic of the Napoleonic period and was inspired by Greek and Egyptian art and its shapes are geometric, for example, cubes, and prisms. Symmetry predominates. This chair was usually made of mahogany and ornamental motifs were embedded in lighter woods, steel, or bronze.

It has legs in the form of animal legs. Additionally, it has female heads or sphinxes and features enhancements, especially imperial motifs, for example, bees, stars, and many Egyptian symbols. This chair was popular between 1804 and 1815.

The Biedermeier chair

Biedermeier chair.
Biedermeier chair /

This beautiful classic chair is another of the many fantastic icons that interior design has given the world. Originally from Germany, its design is simple and very romantic because it often contains acanthus leaves, flowers, lyres, fans, and medallions.

The Biedermeier style chair is easily recognizable because it’s beautiful, unique, and very original.

Biedermeier carpenters carved elaborate pieces and incorporated romantic motifs into them. These include such as swans, dolphins, and acanthus leaves. This chair appeared from 1815 to 1848.


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