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Modern & Contemporary Furniture Style Guide

Knowing what furniture design styles are out there gives you a better idea of what you want in your space and how to achieve your desired look. Below, we explore different furniture styles throughout the ages and highlight the most popular furniture styles, giving you a much-needed lexicon to go along with your design dreams. The various types of furniture styles are as varied as each home and design. Let’s explore the most popular using the following list of furniture styles.

This bookcase is the perfect modern furniture for a bedroom, home office, or living room. Our designers love this mid-century modern bookcase to highlight any space, big or small.

What Defines a Furniture Style?

You can differentiate between furniture styles using a few different guidelines. The piece’s time period will be the first indicator of its type. If the period is unknown, or if the time period overlaps as does many antique and modern furniture styles, you can use physical features as clues, including:

  • The materials used
  • The approach to form versus function
  • The color(s)
  • The shapes and lines of a piece

What are the Different Styles of Furniture?

Furniture Styles Popular in Interior Design

Below, we discuss eleven different styles of furniture that have had the most influence on and adaptation in interior design. Though there are many styles before the 19th century worthy of their posts, we have combined these into the “antique” section to give preference to the more modern designs currently popular today.

Modern Style Furniture

The modern style made an appearance during the modernist movement of the early 1900s. It emphasizes clean, straight lines and geometric shapes with a monochromatic color palette and modern design materials such as steel, vinyl, plastic, leather, and glass.

Mid-Century Modern

Though mid-century modern furniture falls under the “modern” category, it deserves its section due to its current popularity. It originated in the United States in the mid-20th century and featured a combination of many different material types that emphasize clean lines and subtle curves.

Contemporary Furniture Design

Contemporary furniture styles are based on what is presently popular, the “here and now” look. It emphasizes space and natural and artificial light. Modern design has an airy, clutter-free, sophisticated feel. Solid and neutral colors, clean lines, and metal, wood, and glass materials characterize contemporary furniture.

Scandinavian Contemporary Furniture

This style is named for the European countries from which it originated in the early 20th century. Furniture is typically helpful or practical in design and made with natural wood. The three tenets of Scandinavian Contemporary are functionality, minimalism, and simplicity.

Shabby Chic Furniture

Shabby Chic originated in England in the early 1980s. This style combines vintage furniture with a contemporary look using brush and paint effects. The result is usually a rustic-looking piece with a vintage vibe.

Bohemian Furniture

Bohemian styles do not fall neatly into one category; it is a more relaxed approach that combines carefree and eclectic layers of pattern, texture, and color. The furniture styles are varied and surprising, and there is a focus on asymmetrical layouts that lack a rigid structure.

Traditional Style Furniture

Traditional styles are influenced by historical and classical furniture styles that have remained popular today, such as Chippendale, Queen Anne, and Sheraton. Furniture pieces emphasize elegance and feature decorative ornamentation, tapered legs, rich colors, and dark wood. Traditional rooms often feature floral patterns, rich fabrics, and embellishments.

Arts and Craft Furniture

The arts and craft movement arose in the 1880s. It focused on returning to the craftsmanship so prized before the Industrial Revolution and the rise of manufacturing. Arts and Craft furniture are practical and straightforward in design, sturdy, and well-made.

Art Deco Furniture

Art Deco styles followed on the heels of Arts and Craft, originating in France before WWI. Where the previous style had been practical and straightforward, Art Deco celebrated extravagance and excess. Vibrant jewel colors, geometric detailing and shapes, exotic woods, inlays, shiny metal accents, and sweeping, angular lines characterize it.

Rustic Furniture

Rustic furniture highlights natural materials like wood, stone, hide, linen, and cotton. It focuses on bringing warmth and coziness to a room by highlighting the natural elements.

Antique Furniture

Antique furniture is at least a century old and usually dates before the 19th century. Pieces are typically wood-made and have unique, ornate details common to the era. There is an extensive list of antique furniture styles, including but not limited to:

  • Jacobean
  • William and Mary
  • Queen Anne
  • Pennsylvania Dutch
  • Louis XVI
  • Chippendale
  • Hepplewhite
  • Victorian
  • Early American
  • Shaker

The Most Popular Furniture Styles Available at San Francisco Design

At San Francisco Design, we specialize in quality, timeless furniture styles that are unique and fit a variety of styles and tastes. Our top-selling styles include:

Discover Modern Furniture Styles at Our San Francisco Furniture Store

At San Francisco Design, we create unique pieces to last. You can browse our furniture selection online or in person at one of our two Utah locations. We are located in Salt Lake City and Park City. Our talented team of designers can help you with any design needs, from a furniture piece to a room or home interior design. We customize the fabric and color on many pieces to ensure they mesh seamlessly into any space. With each furniture purchase, you will receive a free design consultation. Or, if you are looking for a complete interior design plan, we also offer full-service design consultation.

As you find the traditional, contemporary, and modern furniture styles unique to you, San Francisco Design can serve as a springboard of ideas and possibilities. Contact us today to get started.

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