Furniture is a noun that can be used to describe any movable objects that are to be used to help in any human activities. This can really refer to almost anything. Beds help with sleeping, tables with eating and chairs for sitting. Really any thing mobile in a home or office can be considered furniture, any thing used to hold objects or used for storage.
Furniture is not just a useful product but is also considered an art form by many people and can be used to decorate any living space. Above and beyond the functional and artistic uses many pieces are used in a symbolic or even religious manner. Furniture can be made from just about anything including but not limited to metal, plastic, and wood.
Now with all the fancy things you can pick up at your local department store you might not think that furniture has been an important part of human culture for a very very long time. Evidence of furnishing exists in ancient paintings from the neolithic period, in sculptures in Pompeii, and tombs including furniture have been excavated in Ghiordes, Egypt, modern day Turkey, and modern day Vietnam.
Through out history furniture pieces have changed drastically. Starting in the Neolithic Period from three thousand to twenty five thousand years BC there are a large number of stone furnishings that have been found in Scotland.
Luckily for us there was a wood shortage in the area during that time so most homes and in the area have been build out of stone and include furniture such as dressers, cupboards, beds, shelves, seats, even early aquariums for raising and eating limpets. The stone dressers where the most important and central piece in these ancient homes probably used to display and show off wealth or religions objects.
Later in history during what is considered the Classical World there are pieces that still exist from the 8th century BC Assyrian palace of Nimrud including tables and inlaid serving stands. Carpet has been found dating to this period in a frozen tomb in Siberia. Ancient Egyptian beds have been discovering in Tarkhan in the tomb of Queen Hetepheres along with some of first chairs. Chairs have also been found in Ancient Greek.
Early modern Europe usually made their furniture of heavy oak wood and would carve very ornamented designs. These Baroque designs are characterized as being gilded and opulent usually incorporating lots of carved designs. During this time period the designs where usually inspired by Greco Roman art.
In the 19th Century there where many changes in style and even a revival style including Neoclassicism, Rococo, and Gothic. The Aesthetic and the Arts and Crafts movement along with Art Nouveau were some of the new styles during the 19th century