Five Facts About the History of Furniture You Might Not Have Known

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Furniture plays an important role in our everyday lives. We rely on furniture for comfort, utility and making our houses look like homes. From living room furniture packages to bedroom furniture, these items serve a variety of purposes.

What you might not know is that furniture (and furniture building materials) has a long, fascinating history dating back to prehistoric times. What you learn might just surprise you.

Here are five of the most interesting facts about the history of furniture:

1. Archaeologists have discovered furniture in the Neolithic village of Skara Brae dating as far back as 3100 to 2500 BC. Because of the shortage of wood in the area, these people used stone as their primary furniture building materials.

2. During the Middle Ages, furniture building materials usually consisted of heavy oak constructions with ornamentation and carved designs. The noble classes were usually the only people who had chairs — everyone else sat on benches or stools.

3. The earliest beds consisted of “furniture building materials” like straw or other readily-available materials like leaves or animal furs.

4. The “Age of Walnut” refers to the 17th century, when improvements in sawing led to walnut becoming one of the most popular furniture building materials. This century is also referred to as the “century of magnificent beds.”

5. In the 1950s, people began to use furniture building materials like plastic and fiberglass more often. They continued to gain popularity as style trends like Art Deco maintained their presence throughout the century.

Throughout the last several thousand years, the way we have evolved in our preference for types of furniture styles and furniture building materials is fascinating to examine. Aren’t you glad you don’t sleep on a bed of stone like prehistoric peoples did?

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