Furniture Styles Explained

There are a number of furniture styles and many terms to explain them. When you are decorating your home you may find yourself lost in a plethora of words that represent different furniture styles. Here is a brief explanation of a few common furniture styles so that you can feel confident as you work with professionals to determine the style that is right for you.

Old World

Old World or traditional styles are typically more formal. Furniture pieces in this style often have more ornate form and embellishments. Old world furniture is typically found in darker finishes such as cherry or mahogany. There are many different historic and regional styles of old world or traditional furnishings. Connected Lines offers a brief description of each specific style.

Arts and Crafts

The arts and crafts style is also very often referred to as mission. HGTV describes arts and crafts style furniture as being simple in form. The beauty of arts and crafts style pieces comes from their function and craftsmanship. Pieces in this style often emphasize elements of how the materials were put together.


Dates earlier than arts and crafts. It is based primarily on function. Contemporary Furniture Styles describes shaker as having very little ornamentation and being very plain and simple.



Modern styles focus on clean lines, geometric shapes and bright colors

Contemporary covers a vast range of styles including Art Deco, High Tech and Modern. This style of furniture focuses on form and materials. Furniture exhibits focuses on clean, sleek lines and geometric shapes. Bright, solid colors are very prominent in this style. Materials such as metal and plastic are the main focus of many furniture pieces.


Live Edge Walnut Dining Table

This live edge dining table brings out the natural beauty of the wood.

Rustic also covers a broad range of styles and can also be referred to as western or lodge. This style of furniture places emphasis on the natural beauty of wood materials. Craftsmen use natural finishes, live edges and even rough logs to bring out the wood’s natural qualities. Rustic furniture can be large and oversized and is at home in lofty, log cabin style homes.

Many designers will say there is no single right way to decorate. These days it is common to mix and match across styles, this is often referred to as eclectic. It is important to decorate with the styles you enjoy. Talk with a designer to discover which styles might work in your home and with your tastes.

If you are looking for quality furniture that is unique, yet will fit with your tastes, consider T. Scholl Fine Woodworks. The craftsmen at T. Scholl Fine Woodworks are happy to work with you to discover the piece that is perfect for your home decor.

Image: “modern orange bedroom” by c_osette. 

Image: “Live edge dining table” by T. Scholl Fine Woodworks