‘Period Furniture’ or ‘Furniture of a Period?’

This evening, I whiled away an hour leafing through “The Wise Practical Home Furniture Builder: Simple Plans for the Amateur Craftsman,” a book from 1952 that is similar to the I Can Do That series of beginner projects (a small set of tools, and pieces that are simple to build).

I don’t particularly want to build any of the designs in this book, but they intrigue me – perhaps because they are so very much “of a period,” rather than what we typically think of as “period furniture.” Every piece in the book looks as if it would be at home on the set of “Mad Men”; I prefer designs that would look at home on the set of “The Tudors.

I wonder if, 60 years from now, anyone will leaf idly through a yellowing, fragile copy of our ICDT book and think, “Wow – these projects are so very clearly ‘of a period.'” And maybe, by that time, the 1950s look will be considered “period furniture” instead. And perhaps every home in 2072 will again need a Hat Holder in every closet.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

 

6 thoughts on “‘Period Furniture’ or ‘Furniture of a Period?’

  1. Bill Lattanzio

    I read somewhere once a quote “Fashion is fleeting, but style is eternal. I’m not sure who said that but I feel the same way about furniture. All you need to do is ask which forms of furniture have been around the longest and then you will have the answer on what to build.

  2. jhop42

    While it might be funiture (not a typo) of the period, the question now becomes can it be updated for the current period? For example, can the hat rack be added to something to make it relevant in a tiny home? Can it be incorporated into a travelling suitcase (along the lines of a steampunker trunk)?

    I have a “what to build” inspiration from Popular Mechanics from the 40s I flip through, and while I take offense at their ideas of modernizing old furniture by coating it in plastic sheeting, I think the inspiration is very worthwhile.

  3. John Hutchinson

    My father built a number of the Deltagram projects and this was the furniture that I grew up with. I’d love to see some of the still-relevant projects back in PopWood and watch an editor (Steve?) take them on as built projects. I’ve got a gorgeous, blonde wood and tangerine vinyl, Heywood Wakefield lounge chair that I’ll donate as a photo-shoot prop.

  4. mysticcarver

    I see it all the time, and notice the houses and decorations of alot of the old school Czech’s that live here and often think I’ve walked into a time machine!

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