See How the Design of Chairs, Beds and Sofas Have Evolved Through History

See How the Design of Chairs, Beds and Sofas Have Evolved Through History

Evidence suggests that furniture was used as far back as the Neolithic period and daily life without it is unimaginable. So how has furniture changed through the ages? From the exclusive and luxury furniture of Ancient Egypt, to the functional and streamlined design of the Bauhaus – these animations created by Angie's List take you on a fascinating journey through the evolution of furniture design.

1. Chair

Furniture as we now know it was rare in Ancient Egypt. Most regular people used woven baskets to store their few belongings and would sit on mats or blankets. Furniture was an exclusive luxury saved for the rich and powerful. Between 1919 and 1933 The Bauhaus movement reinvented furniture design forever. The clean-lines we see in today’s furniture were first established by this influential German design studio. Bauhaus rejects unnecessary stylistic affections – instead prioritizing function, neutral colors and clean shapes.

2. Dining Set

During the early 18th century in Paris, the wealthy social elite were busy rejecting the regal seriousness of Baroque design for something more fun. The exuberant new Rococo style furniture opted for dense ornamentation, fluid lines, and pastel colors. At the other end of the spectrum is minimalism which rejects the lavish styles of the past. Utilizing few materials and clear lines – minimalism grew out of the New York art scene in the 1960’s. Whether it’s furniture or home products, in minimalism less is more.

3. Sofa

The ancient Greeks didn't have much in the way of furniture, but what they did have was carefully crafted. A Greek couch was called a Kline and it was primarily used for reclining while eating.

Mid-Century Modern valued functionality, elegance and simplicity. Furniture from this era usually combines only two materials such as a vibrant color fabric paired with a rich wood. Furniture in this style was mass-produced and designed to be affordable to average homeowners, making it a hugely popular style.

4. Desk

Furniture from the Medieval period is instantly recognizable, with its ornate wood carvings and stark look. You won’t see many curved lines or circular forms in furniture from this time – It’s all about square or rectangular forms. In contrast, Organic Design brings us natural, smooth rounded forms. This design movement was pioneered by American architect and interior designer Frank Lloyd Wright who believed in creating harmony between people and nature. Organic design is all about the use of natural materials and the perfect balance between the manmade and natural worlds.

5. Bed

Renaissance furniture was heavily influenced by the classical antiquities of the past. At the end of the 15th century, trade brought immense wealth to Italy and the growing bourgeoisie demanded more high-quality furniture. Instead of looking to the past for inspiration, Art Deco design celebrated modern life in the 1920s and 30s with all of its luxury and sophistication. New materials of the time such as chrome, Bakelite and plate glass were combined with ivory, mahogany and dark lacquered surfaces to create classic furniture and architecture.

Sources :


Richardson, K. (2018). The Furniture of Ancient Egypt.

Lovell, S. (2018). Design Staple: The Klismos Chair.

V&A. (2018). Armchair.

Haines, T.C. (2015). Savonarola chair.

Kisluk-Grosheide, Daniëlle O. French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century: Seat Furniture.

V&A. (2018). Style Guide: Rococo.

Timeless Chesterfields. (2018). A British design classic: The history of the Chesterfield

Dining Chair Company. (2018). Cromwell.

Juliao, D. (2018). Famous Art Nouveau Furniture Designers.

Knoji. (2018). A History of Modern Chair Design: The Modern Movement.

Galuh, S. (2016). 1920 Art Deco Furniture.

Musei Italiani. (2018).Organic Design.

Morley, M. (2016). A Brief History of Mid-Century Modern Furniture Design.

Marvel Building. (2018). Minimalist Chairs Concept in Wireframe Design – Gentle Hint Chairs.

Arch Expo. (2018). Emmemobili.

Dining Sets

Cheap Apartment Furniture. (2018). Furniture.

Egypt Guide. (2018). Ancient Egypt culture, feasts in Egypt.

Real Estate Directories. (2018). Tudor Oak Trestle Table From The Late Medieval Period Circa

Juliao, D. (2018). Renaissance Furniture: History & Style.

Cupboards And Roses. (2018). Seating.

Houzz. (2014). Rococo Carved Dining Table.

Antiques Atlas. (2018). Victorian Dining Table & Chairs.

1st Dibs. (2018). French Art Nouveau Two-Section Dining Table by Gaillard.

Design Mkt. (2018). Dining Set in Bauhaus Style.

Decaso. (2018). French Art Deco Period Macassar Dining table.

Decaso. (2018). 18th Century Swedish Period Baroque Oak Library Desk or Center Dining Table.

1stdibs. (2018). Organic Dining Table by Valeria Totti, Reclaimed Wood from the Brazilian Amazon.

Epoch Furnishings. (2017). Mid Century Modern Danish Style Walnut Dining Set by Lane.

Kitchen Design Ideas. (2018). Fancy Minimalist Dining Table for Kitchen Furniture on home design ideas with minimalist dining table for kitchen furniture.

Enzio Designs. (2018). Silvano Extending White High Gloss Contemporary Dining Table & Dalia White Dining Chairs.


Lenka, P. (2007). Wooden Stool from Thebes, Egypt.

Furniture Styles. (2012). Ancient Greek Furniture.

Sofa. (2015). Why do we call it a ‘sofa’? (Or a couch, or a settee?).

Taylor, Fred. (2015). Furniture Specific Renaissance Revival.

1stdibs. (2018) Rococo Revival Antique Carved Walnut Settee Sofa in Louis XV Taste, 19th Century.

Taylor, Fred. (2015). Furniture Specific Renaissance Revival.

Nenya. (2018). Victorian Age Furniture Era Sofa Color Palette Inspiration Orange Hues Couch And Patterns Furniture Age Victorian Era Furniture Designers.

Belle Atelier. (2018) Art Nouveau Settee.

Zeitlos Berlin. (2018). Bauhaus Couch Bed.

Postle, L. (2018). Art Deco Furniture.

Canvas Contract. (2018). Sofa-SOO-06.

Imfrom. (2018). Mid-Century Modern Walnut Sofa Danish NoHo 40 Z To.

Tucker, E. (2018). Hyung Suk Cho bases minimal daybed on traditional Korean design and paintings.

Wayfair. (2018). Myron Contemporary Sofa.


Azhary Antiques. (2018). Pharaoh Furniture.

I.pinimg. (2018). Originals.

Harp gallery. (2017). Italian Renaissance 1900 Antique Library Desk or Dining Table, Marble Top.

1stdibs. (2018). Painted Venetian Rococo Style Desk and Chair.

On Singularity. (2018). Writing Desks for Sale Victorian Desk.

Wayfair. (2018). Ardnaglass Traditional Dark Oak Executive Desk.

Custom Furniture Doub. (2018). Full size Art Nouveau Desk.

Pamono. (2018). Chromed Steel & Tinted beech Bauhaus Desk by Petr Vichr for Kovona 1930’

Art Deco Collection. (2018). Professional Art Deco Desk by Stow Davis,

Woodland Creek Furniture. (2018). Natural Wood Desks.

Pamono. (2018). Mid-Century Modern Teak Desk.

Tardiff, S. (2017). 20 Minimalist Desks that will inspire an organized work space (probably).

Woodland Creek Furniture. (2018). Contemporary Walnut Desk.


Museam of Fine Arts Boston. (2018). Bed of Queen Hetepheres I (reproduction).

Fiorito, J. (2017). History of Furniture: Ancient Greece.

Ultimate Home Ideas. (2016). 35 Stunning Medieval Furniture Ideas for your

Underwood, T. (2012). Italian renaissance Furniture.

Khan Academy. (2016). An Introduction to Decorative Arts at the J Paul Getty Museum.

Decorium. (2018). Townsford Traditional Bed with Turned Post in Cherry Finish.

Christies. (2011). Les Collections du Chateau de Gourdon.

Warpedeco Home Improvement. (2009). The Bauhaus: Modernism Design Movement.

Harp Gallery. (2018). Italian 1935 Art Deco King Size Bed & Nightstand, Bedroom Set.

Urban Outfitters. (2018) Bohemian Platform Bed.

Pokrzywinski, A. (2011). Stuart Chase Creates Modern Organic Furniture from Reclaimed wood.

Libertees. (2018). Mid Century Headboard Image Of Homemade Mid Century Modern Bed Mid Century Headboard Queen.

Home Designing. (2018). 40 Serenely Minimalist Bedrooms to Help you Embrace Simple Comforts.

Trendir. (2018). These 40 Modern Beds Will Have You Daydreaming of Bedtime.



Cahill, P. (2016). Furniture Design History.

Muscato, C. (2018). Ancient Egyptian Furniture: History & Design.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2018). Rococo style.

Carpenter, W. (2018). Inspired by the roots of Minimalist design.

Muscato, C. (2018).Greek Furniture: History & Style.

Musei Italiani. (2018). Organic Design.

Juliao, D. (2018). Renaissance Furniture: History & Style.

Przybylek, S. (2018).Art Deco Furniture: History & Style.

Pamono. (2018). Dieter Rams.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. (2018). Frank Lloyd Wright.

About this author
Cite: Angie's List. "See How the Design of Chairs, Beds and Sofas Have Evolved Through History" 03 Sep 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Angie's List


You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.