HISTORY AND CONTEXT
During the pre-civil war era (also known as Antebellum), many plantation homes were built in the southern parts of America. These homes revived the Greek and French architectural styles. It was during this time that the antebellum style furniture became well-known and popular. Owing to the classical designs that were used in the creation of these furniture pieces, they are still popular with many. Civil War style furniture kits based on the original designs are wanted by all sorts of people, ranging from furniture kit collectors looking for Civil War reproduction furniture to young professionals looking to add a classic touch to their household.
One of the pioneers who mastered the art of styling antebellum furniture in North Carolina was Thomas Day. However, with the start of the Civil War, the furniture industry rapidly went downhill. Another problem was posed by the agriculture-based economy that hampered the growth of the antebellum furniture industry. The style finally began to flourish again in the post war era and antebellum furniture is, to date, regarded as the finest pieces of craftsmanship.
The neoclassical style was the most important factor that had an impact on antebellum style architecture and its appearance as well. The style depicted the impressions and grandeur of the old South, which was successfully brought out in the furniture.
The furniture is often made of mahogany veneers and solid walnut wood. For the inlaying of the furniture, maple and ebony are often used. The combination of different types of woods adds a multi-tonal impact that is instantly recognizable. The characteristic feature of this furniture is the ample use of curves and ornamental inlaying that makes it stand out from other types of furniture. These curves and ornamental features are why antebellum style furniture is often characterized as toned-down Victorian. Straight lines are rather avoided so that the final piece exudes an air of splendor and classiness.
The plantation homes were adorned with popular antebellum designs like Chippendale, Duncan Phyfe, Empire, Hepplewhite, Queen Anne and Sheraton. All these styles were inspired from different eras but all of them had ornamentation and curves in common. They were embellished with different types of motifs that served to add to the elegance of these masterpieces.
These classical furniture pieces are an excellent addition to the living room, dining room, drawing room and the bedroom. With its deep shades, antebellum furniture easily complements light colors like pastels, off-white and white. These colors serve to create an aura of openness in the room and contrast nicely with the darker colors of the furniture.
As they were originally designed for the Southern states that are known for their intense heat, the antebellum furniture style goes more with light fabrics like cotton and linen. The same should be employed for the curtains and upholstery. Heavy drapes are not recommended. Printed cushions and throw pillows also supplement the antebellum furniture quite well.
Plenty of chairs, flowers and big couches add a nice touch to the antebellum furniture, creating an air of coziness along with elegance that is the signature of these classic pieces. Accessories like large vases and antiques, in the same tones as the furniture add to the magnificence of the furniture.
Getting an antebellum furniture kit is an excellent way to add a majestic touch to the home interiors. Currently, you can find the antebellum/Civil War style with the following furniture kits: