Classic Home Furniture Styles

Classic home furniture styles endure the test of time. While trends come and go, the materials, construction, lines and proportion of classic furniture ensures that the styles will retain their popularity. Decorating a home in classic designs gives homes a look of permanency, history, and tradition. Here are several house furniture styles that have become classics in interior design.

English Style

The English style is a collector's dream-come-true. The look features armoires, curio, and china cabinets to showcase collections, frequently those of glass or china. Wood is the prominent material in homes decorated in the English style, from paneled walls and wood flooring, to wood living room furniture and wood-framed bed canopies. The English style also features upholstered furniture in fine fabrics, often with plaid, paisley, striped or floral patterns.

The color palette for the English style includes strong, saturated colors like crimson, forest green and navy blue, as well as a heavy use of gold and golden yellow. Dark wood is favored over lighter woods like pine and oak, and the strong color palette helps balance the deep, rich tones of mahogany, walnut, and cherry. The scale of a large English manor is reflected in a modern use of the style with an oversized mirror, chandelier or floor-to-ceiling window treatment.

French Provincial

French Provincial furniture is influenced by the ornate style of the French Court of the 1600s and 1700s, as interpreted by the period's less affluent merchants and peasants. The scale, lines and proportions of the home furniture echo those of Louis XIV and Louis XV, but with a decidedly country feel. French Provincial furniture has a handcrafted look, with a heavy use of cane and wicker. White painted furniture also suits the French Provincial style. Strong blues and yellows are popular, as are more muted shades like terra cotta and rose. Home furniture stores may refer to this style as French Country.

Romantic Style

While the Romantic style does not encompass a particular historical period, due to its enduring charm and appeal, the look has achieved classic status over time. A predominant use of fabric dominates home furnishings in the Romantic style. Textiles can include rich, textured fabrics like brocade, but most often feature lighter fabrics, such as silk, lace and chintz. Painted furniture with smooth, arcing lines are popular choices for the style, as is furniture upholstered in floral patterned fabrics. Pastels comprise the Romantic style's color palette, with white used as a unifying element.

Both online home furnishing retailers and home furniture stores offer a variety of classic furniture designs. When shopping for classic home furniture styles, identify the style by its characteristic use of material, textile and line, to ensure that the furniture you buy best reflects the style's signature look.