Not all of us walk through our homes glancing at our sofa, barstools, or beds considering these pieces of furniture as works of art. Yet, whether we got our furniture from a big box store, an online retailer, or an Etsy shop, more than likely the piece has at some point been meticulously designed and carefully crafted to fit your life and space. That’s the challenge in furniture design: How do you create a piece that is at once beautiful and functional?
Even modern mass-market pieces that replicate cutting-edge designs take cues and inspiration from design pioneers. But we know the true inspirations are those designers and thought leaders who pushed the history of furniture design forward through their innovative creations. And not to toot our own horn, but our founder Heidi Petzold’s ingenious soft bed frame patent is right up there with the most beneficial pieces of furniture ever! Let’s take a look at pieces and periods of modern furniture that changed history.
Ancient Egypt’s Influence on the History of Furniture
It’s best we start at the beginning: Much of what we consider to be functional furniture was first known to be used by the rich in Ancient Egypt. Pieces including the bed frame, chairs, and tables were crafted with expensive materials such as ivory and gold, and eventually this furniture influenced the Greeks and other cultures to develop useful furnishings to fill their dwellings. Eventually, it wasn’t just for the rich, and as the global population expanded, so did the need for quality furniture. Materials became more readily available, but the wealthy classes still built their riches into statement pieces, from ornate Renaissance-era designs all the way to rare minimalist designs of the 20th century.
Settlement of America and Modern Furniture
While we could write a whole book about the evolution of furniture (believe us, there are many), we want to jump to a few periods of furniture design in the United States. Our country’s blend of cultures, innovation, and comparatively large living spaces has led to the development of unique furnishings. Let’s take a look at how we got from a struggling band of colonies to becoming one of the design capitals of the world.Colonial Furniture
We might not think too much about the early colonial settlers and their influence on modern furniture, but the pragmatic designs brought over from Europe still have an effect on today’s craftings. Simple, well-built pieces reigned supreme, and the new access to materials like hardwoods and various stones showed up in furniture. What we think of as farmhouse style still holds inspiration from this period, and staples like the classic farm table are carryovers that still feature in homes today.Mid-Century Modern Furniture
Still a popular style today, mid-century modern furniture was first prevalent during the post-World War period. During this time, there was a noticeable shift toward making homes more liveable and comfortable. Characterized by simple, clean curves and lines, as well as more man-made materials than in previous periods, the mid-century modern design holds immense influence over contemporary furniture. Now famous companies like Herman Miller exemplify the period.Modern American Furniture
While we can never put our finger down and stop furniture design perfectly in a moment in time, today’s furnishings hold a few ideals in common. As remote work becomes more prevalent and space continues to come at a premium, multi-functional furniture, space-saving furniture and easy-to-use furniture are some of the most important elements of design today. Additionally, we are in a period of minimalist furniture, so simple lines and blocked colors are in. Detail and flourish come in the form of material, such as bouclé and other textures. Leading companies prioritize well-made pieces that don’t put the effort on the consumer.
SoftFrame Designs’ Influence on Timeless Furniture
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include information about our own creator, Heidi Petzold, in this history of furniture design. Her patented SoftFrame bed frame completely reimagined how bedroom furniture should function. Inspired to solve the problem of hard, unforgiving, and difficult-to-set-up bed frames, Heidi created a design that is beautiful, functional, and comfortable. Taking cues from so many parts of design history before us, the SoftFrame bed is a minimalist bed frame, with durable and soft materials that are hassle-free and gorgeous.
Perhaps the best part of SoftFrame bed frames is that it elevates simple furniture such as a box spring that you likely already have. Rather than replacing your entire bedroom with new furniture, SoftFrame Designs crafts bed frames and bolster pillows that accentuates what you already own. After all, our aim is to be the sustainable choice when choosing a bed frame. Speaking of: Did you know SoftFrames Designs uses CertiPur-US foam? We want the best for you and our world!
Recapping a History of Furniture
Whether you’re a vintage shopper or not, you can see that it’s been a long journey from the development of furniture in Ancient Egypt to that statement piece in your highrise apartment. While different eras have different ideals, furniture has always and will always maintain the goal of beautiful functionality. Fortunately, we at SoftFrame Designs know a thing or two about designing modern furniture that is completely life-friendly, so come check us out and achieve your dream bedroom!