It’s fun to learn about new decorating styles. Here’s the lowdown on some lesser-known ones.
You can think of Rococo as an anti-Palace of Versailles style, created in Paris in the 18th century. Instead of following the time’s strict design rules that required symmetry and grandeur, rococo was all about asymmetry, smooth curves, and light colors. Since it still was the baroque period, however, the style is very ornate and detailed.
Rococo made chairs more comfortable by adding seat cushions and making seat backs taller. It may be hard to believe, but it also introduced the concept of *not* nailing furniture to the walls or floor. Chairs and tables could be rearranged!
Chairish has some great rococo-style furniture. If you like gold, you’re going to love rococo.
Javanese — not Japanese — style comes from Indonesia, specifically from the island of Java. Two arts that the people of Java specialize in are batik and wood carving.
Batik is a cloth-dyeing technique that uses dye-resistant wax. The artisan applies wax to the areas of the cloth they do *not* want to color, soaks the entire cloth in dye, then uses boiling water to remove the wax. They repeat the process to use multiple colors over different areas of the fabric. The result is beautiful!
Since Java is a tropical island, nearly all Javanese furniture is made of wood — be sure to look closely at the elaborate hand-carved details in each piece!
Chinoiserie is the style that emerged when Euro-Asian trade routes expanded in the 17th century. The West started to learn more about Eastern traditions, and became so fascinated that they created a new style. Chinoiserie means “Chinese-esque” in French, and it ultimately became a combination of European Mid-Century Modern decor and traditional Chinese art and techniques.
Europeans had been struggling to make ceramics as well as the Chinese for several centuries. As the connection between East and West grew in the 17th century, European designers started imitating Chinese pottery directly, and their craft improved.
This actually happened at the same time as rococo — believe it or not, rococo chinoiserie was also a style, and it peaked from 1740-1770. Now you’re prepared for the next dinner party you attend!
Campaign is not a word typically associated with design, but it’s a style of furniture that’s made for travel. Its roots are in military campaigns, which are long-term war plans that involve multiple battles. Armies had to set up camp, but also be able to move their camp.
When we think of portable furniture now, we think of folding chairs and tables. A couple of centuries ago, however, it consisted of everything from four poster beds to mirrors to wardrobes. High-ranking British military officers would furnish their tents with campaign furniture like this as if it were their actual home — the more made-up the tent, the higher their social status.
The British army became bogged down by all their campaign furniture by the early 20th century, and were unable to move as quickly as they needed to in South Africa…the demand for campaign furniture in the military quickly decreased.
The style is now reminiscent of luxurious travel, even though campaign furniture is often barebones and rugged.
Thanks to Chairish for their extensive list of styles and beautiful furniture!
Tag us on Instagram @decoratorapp with your new rococo, Javanese, chinoiserie, or campaign-style furniture!