We recently came across a blog post listing ten furniture pieces that, in the opinion of the author, are becoming extinct in the wake of modern lifestyles, technologies and tastes – including TV cabinets, roll-top desks, and water beds. This spurred our thinking about how furniture changes with the times – not just the era-specific styles (e.g., ornate Louis XIV or spare mid-century modern) reflected in furniture design, but also the actual pieces of furniture that in some time periods are more central to daily life than in others. Curio cabinets and ferneries were particularly well-suited to Victorian hobbies and décor, whereas sectional sofas and mudroom storage cubbies are popular today.
Much of the antique furniture we sell, however, is placed in rustic retreats where families consciously lead a more relaxed and simpler lifestyle that provides a respite from the normal bustle and patterns of modern everyday life. So along with rustic versions of the basics that are desirable furnishings in any modern home – dining tables and chairs, upholstered chairs, rocking chairs, sofas, console tables, lamps, mirrors and the like – rustic homes often include types of furniture that harken back to earlier eras. Here are five such pieces that prove to be ever popular for rustic retreats:
1. Game tables. Card games and jigsaw puzzles typically happen during leisure hours with family members of all ages. There is not always room in our primary homes to dedicate a table surface to a jigsaw puzzle in progress, but having a table that is always available for and well suited to holding puzzles, board games and card games is a priority in many vacation retreats.
2. Porch gliders. Nothing quite evokes an idyllic rustic lifestyle like whiling away an evening gently gliding to and fro on a porch with a view of nature. Rustic gliders, especially versions with seat springs and cushions, are sometimes used as indoor sofas as well.
3. Coat trees. In more formal homes, outdoor coats typically reside in a hall closet. But free-standing coat trees, developed when houses did not have commodious closets, get a lot of use in rustic homes – in bedrooms for a favorite flannel shirt and wool sweater, in bathrooms for towels and robes, and near doors for sunhats and fishing caps, binoculars and creels, jackets and rain slickers.