All the movable household articles of equipment fall under the category of furniture. Furniture can be made out of metal, plastic, wood, glass, or marble. Whether it is an ordinary pine chest, country chair, or an elaborate ornamental cabinet, all are included in the wide range of furniture. Furniture is a decorative item that serves a purpose. Therefore it can be treated both as an item of necessity and luxury. Moreover, furniture is not restricted to the common stuffs like bed, chair and table only. In fact, other home furnishing materials like rugs, lamps, and mirrors etc are also counted as furniture.
The style of furniture has been changing as civilization has progressed. Various techniques of inlaying, woodcarving, painting, veneering, gilding and marquetry have been used to decorate furniture and make it look attractive. Furniture in the western culture is embellished in the styles followed by the Egyptians, Chinese, Gothic and Greeks.
It is logical to assume that the idea of making furniture must have originated from the human needs. Perhaps, the chest was the first piece of furniture designed by man because of his need to hide his belongings. Followed by the bed, stool and chair etc.
The old oriental furniture carried designs engraved in ebony and teak. The ancient Egyptian style of furniture exhibited the classiest form of woodwork, body and the decoration. It was distinct because of the carvings of animals that had gold and ivory inserted in them. The Greek style of furniture was distinct because of low couches and tripods. In the imperial period furniture was ornately decorated.
The contemporary style of furniture focuses on its multipurpose utility. This gives it a different appearance and is not so costly. For example, the most popular office-cum-bed set can be used for various purposes. It appears to be a bed with bookshelves and a shelf at the bottom, all built in one. But it can be easily converted into the office furniture having a desk, suitable for laptop, side tables and more shelves along with a chair. You have to see it to be able to understand the whole arrangement.
Such beds are already very popular in Europe. Apart from beds there are other pieces of furniture that appear to be something like a sofa but can be converted into many pieces of furniture as required.
Good furniture should be functional and beautiful. It should fit into the environment aesthetically. Furniture must be environment friendly. If it can adapt itself to different uses it will be very affordable, too.