Furniture is an important part of a home and can make it feel more inviting, comfortable, and even livable. It can also be a statement about the homeowner’s style or preferences.
For most of history, furniture has been a reflection of social attitudes and values. In some periods, the concerns of fashion have predominated, and in others, those of utility. The design of furniture has also been a medium for artistic expression.
The most popular type of furniture has been wood, since it can be shaped by hand or machine tools; it is relatively light and durable; many species are handsomely grained and figured; and it can be stained, painted, or varnished successfully. At the turn of the century and later, a reaction against the excesses of machine production and historical revivalism was expressed in the Arts and Crafts Movement with its idealistic return to honest construction and handcraft techniques.
Furniture is now produced to suit a wide range of lifestyles and tastes. For example, some modern furniture uses shapes and materials that would have been unthinkable in the past. Other styles, such as Art Deco, use geometric forms and exotic woods like macassar ebony or Caucasian burr walnut to create pieces that are sleek, stylish, and functional. And, for people who live in rental homes or apartments, there is a growing market for furniture that is lightweight and easy to move. Many manufacturers offer modular designs that can be assembled and disassembled to fit different rooms or spaces, as well as a variety of colors and finishes to match any décor.