by George R. Walker
From the December 2013 issue, #208
An old proverb states that architecture is the mother of all arts. Of all the related decorative arts, furniture is most closely wedded to architecture, and all major furniture styles up through the early 20th century were inspired by an architectural parent. From Jacobean to Chippendale to mission, furniture has always taken design cues from buildings.
Some might find this close connection restrictive, but I find it a huge library of inspiration. It means that not only can we look at outstanding furniture examples to glean ideas, but we can also gather inspiration from buildings both grand and humble.
Let’s begin by taking just one small design idea borrowed from architecture that’s often found in furniture – and just for the fun of it, take a look at a few ways that same idea is expanded and exploited in architecture. Think of this as a search for creative clues to your next design in wood. We’ll start this journey by taking a look at the use of natural or “live” edges incorporated on a tabletop.
Blog: Read more from George R. Walker on his Design Matters blog.
In our store: “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design” and “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings,” DVDs by George R. Walker (Lie-Nielsen).