You may have heard items of furniture described as Baroque before, but not really have much understanding of what this means exactly. To find out more about Baroque furniture, its origins and features, read our guide.
What was the Baroque era?
When people talk about the Baroque era, they are referring to a period of artistic style that began around the 16th century in Italy and spread throughout Europe. More than simply being a period of time, the Baroque era extends to a distinctive style of architecture, painting, literature, music and furniture.
At the time, the Catholic Church used Baroque architecture and art to create emotional involvement and sensory appeal, with the major shift towards grandeur and luxury also viewed by many as a direct reaction to the end of the Protestant Reformation.
Baroque style often includes curves, twists, gilding and bright colours, and the word itself has come to mean grand and elaborate, no longer confined to describing authentic items from the 16th century alone.
Common types of Baroque furniture
As well as in artwork and buildings, Baroque style was evident in furniture from the 16th century onwards, and is still in demand today in homes where the owners have a penchant for period styles. Chairs and beds made in the Baroque style were heavily carved and featured intricate detail, such as foliage and even human forms, while cabinets would be equally ostentatious and also feature glass fronts.
Baroque designs often incorporated elements of Louis XIV style, which combines grandeur and elegance, and you’ll find this combination of design across an array of furnishings, from dining sets and sideboards to bookcases and armchairs.
What makes Baroque furniture so special?
Baroque furnishings have a timeless appeal as a result of their intricacy and grand appearance. If you’re keen to create period elegance in your home, Baroque items can help you achieve this ambience. However, original furnishings are rare and can be costly – especially if they are in good condition, but you’ll find plenty of replica furnishings available that are such good quality that it’s difficult to discern whether they have been recently made or are, in fact, hundreds of years old.
Often made from rich mahogany wood, Baroque items that are well made can last for years, making them a great investment. Whether you want to create a running theme throughout your property or are simply looking for a focal point for a single room, Baroque items won’t disappoint. Glass-doored cabinets are ideal for displaying ornaments in the lounge, while ornate sideboards can be useful for storing dinner services in the dining room.
Meanwhile, a delicately-carved Baroque bed made from mahogany can make a standout feature in a bedroom, and you could also invest in a matching dressing table and chest of drawers to create a consistent appearance.
You can take care of your Baroque furnishings by ensuring you keep them away from sources of light and heat to prevent the wood from drying out, and remove dust regularly. You can wipe away small stains with a damp cloth but might need to invest in specialist cleaners for hard to remove stains if you don’t want to risk damaging the finish of the wood. It’s also wise to protect the surfaces of Baroque tables with tablecloths or to use special coasters that are backed with felt.
Take a look at the Baroque mahogany furnishings available from Woodlands Furniture.