Furniture refers generally to movable, durable objects designed to support different human activities like eating, sleeping, and sitting. Furniture may also be utilized to hold delicate objects at an affordable height for safe-keeping, or to make work more convenient. Furniture, unlike machines and electronic equipments, is a functional product of human design and is perceived as a form of aesthetic art. The conventional definition of furniture as ‘packing stuff’ may have varied interpretations, depending on the circumstances and preferences of different individuals. A furniture item is generally defined by the legislation as’Furniture intended for use’ or’Furniture specially designed for living purposes’.
In the past, pre-packaged furniture came into prominence with the inception of mass production techniques that increased the speed and profitability of many manufacturing concerns. These types of furniture items were typically manufactured in large, box-like structures. Though they followed the same general shapes (longer and thinner than post-modern styles), they had subtle differences in color (usually darker than traditional styles), wood finish (dark or light), frame style, and accessories like handles and table-top height. The production of such pre-packaged products gave rise to the modern concept of ‘home furnishing’, which was later adopted as a synonym for furniture design.
During the period of Classical antiquity, the style of furniture making prevalent in classical towns ( Athens and Rome ) included many pieces that were produced on a small scale (for example, chairs and tables), and were assembled by individual workers (rather than by an assembling crew). These early examples of classic furniture were characterized by a clear sense of composition and design, characterized by a ’rounded’ top or ‘box-like’ body, often covered with mosaic tiles or sculptured wood, and featuring intricate floral and botanical motifs. Though not entirely different from the later styles of modern furniture, the Classical models were characterized more by the materials used in their construction (rather than by their artistic merit), and by a focus on classical motifs and geometrical forms.