Good Morning and Happy Thursday!
Trends in furniture or fashion are always great indicators of changing times and distinct decades. While I love looking through old vintage pieces and finding little treasures around the store, this week I wanted to explore another great indicator of times and changes throughout history – Language!
It’s really amazing how many names there are for different pieces of furniture. Antique terms for everyday pieces can be so different than what we know them as today; a hassock for example might not be something you’ve heard of, but its modern term would be a no brainier!
Some of you may be experts in these vintage furniture terms, and others ( like me, I’ll be honest!) may learn something entirely new!
Cheval – This term refers to a full length mirror that’s mounted to a swivel on a frame.
I actually have a chiffonier, and I didn’t even know it!
Semainier – A chest of seven drawers, designed to hold clothing for each day of the week. Semaine actually means ‘week’ in French, which explains the design and the name! Today these pieces are often referred to as lingerie chests.
Credenza– Traditionally credenzas were small pieces of furniture, used primarily for décor. Present day credenzas are used in a variety of spaces – offices for example, for extra storage space, etc.
Bonheur Du Jour – This was the traditional term for a small ‘lady’s’ desk.
Vitrine – A vitrine is a glass display case, used to showcase valuables. You’ll see these types of cases in museums, for example!
Davenport– This term actually has two different definitions , depending on where you live! According to Merriam-Webster, The North American definition of Davenport is a large upholstered sofa, typically able to be converted into a bed. The British version of the word however refers to an ornamental writing desk with drawers and a sloping surface for writing
Divan – A divan is a long and low sofa, often placed up against a wall.
By no means have I touched on all the fun old words for furniture – do you have another term that you can share with me?