Traditional Furniture Style
Traditional furniture offers elegance and romance and a touch of old-world design. It is associated with such styles as William and Mary, Queen Anne, Victorian and Chippendale. The styles call for ornate furnishings with elaborate carving and emphasis on motifs and signature looks. Traditional chairs boast such features as turned or cabriole legs, ball-and-claw feet or bun feet, arched backs and rolled arms. Table legs resemble matching chair legs, and tabletops often have ornately trimmed edges. Motifs such as pineapples or seashells may be included in carvings in the backs of chairs or tabletop inlays. Upholstered furnishings, such as sofas, often have wood trim and large, dominant footings.
Contemporary Furniture Style
Contemporary furniture is subtle and urban in its appeal. It is born of more modern styles, such as Bauhaus and post-modern. While an offshoot of modern design, contemporary furniture has softer lines and deeper upholstery than its parent styles. Contemporary furniture has clean lines with soft edges. Chair legs and arms are simple, either square or round. Upholstery fabrics are either one solid color or have a subtle pattern. Contemporary tables have little if any ornate carvings. Inlaid patterns, if used, are geometric. Upholstered furniture is low to the ground with squared arms. The backs may be tufted with large, fabric-covered buttons.
Transitional Furniture Style
Transitional furniture mixes together both traditional and contemporary design. Many consumers choose this style because it enables them to pull together an eclectic look marrying old and new. Transitional furniture need not be oversized, overbearing or overly ornate. Softer curves, subtler patterns and controlled carvings make modern-day transitional furniture lighter and more compatible with 21st century lifestyles without losing traditional style.