'It's European, Silly'



European,European furniture,european lighting,European style

Saying that a lighting fixture or piece of furniture looks "European" is the same as saying something tastes like chicken. It's too general to have much meaning and always sounds suspicious, because everyone knows the only thing that really tastes like chicken ... is chicken.

People at all familiar with Europe can tell you that a) it's pretty big, and b) it's extremely diverse in terms of its various histories, styles and sense of design. To say a lamp looks very "European" is to say it looks English, or Italian, or Spanish, or German, etc. The problem is, all of those countries have design elements and styles that are often nothing alike, particularly across different historical periods.

It's not like saying something is American. Nebraska may not be the same as California, but they're far more similar than Albania is to Iceland. Europe is composed of 50 countries (as of 2012) and has about 30 different languages. They may all be European, but if you call a Scot an Irishman you better have a face made of metal.

So, in an attempt to clear up the "European" misnomer, here are some relatively safe associations that can be made when it comes to styles that hail from a few select countries in this madcap continent.

Italian Style

Although contemporary Italian lighting and furniture has pushed fully into the modern and post-modern movement, traditional Italian style relied on extremely ornate designs that were often inspired by patterns found in nature, particularly with regard to flowers and plant life. Of course, this Roman influence can be seen in many European modes of design over the years (centuries, in fact) thanks to their conquest of the region, and this design is arguably the most "European" when people use that term; however, to reduce every cultural design movement in Europe to Roman precursors seems like an insult. For example ...

German Style

Germans are known for their minimalism and efficiency in contemporary design, which stems from a modern movement that arose from neoclassicism after the Romanesque period. Put more simply, Germany has followed a trend that shifts away from excessive design elements and focuses on strong, solid lines and crisp functional design. There are always exceptions, of course, particularly in traditional Bavarian furniture and architectural design, but German lighting and furniture are typified by bold simplicity.

English Style

Much of the modern English style in lighting and furniture often follows one of two paths that are split between a history of extravagant tastes among the ruling class and the staunch practicality of English peasantry. The former was influenced by the English Renaissance period of design that emphasized great amounts of elaborate detail, while the former utilized available materials to make strong and reliable designs.

Spanish Style

Spain is unique among its Western European neighbors thanks to the converging art and design influence of the medieval Muslim Moors, the Romans and the Netherlanders (Flanders) during the beginning of the Spanish Renaissance. The result is a wild cornucopia of styles that is noticeably different from many other European locales. The jumble of influences can still be seen in many Spanish lighting and furniture designs that combine fine detail with natural shapes and materials.

In summary ... 

When someone says your table or chandelier looks "European" what they really mean to say is that it doesn't look American, and may quite possibly be Italian. Just kidding. They probably don't know what they mean at all.

Visit ATGStores.com to browse millions of lighting and furniture options, most of which can be vaguely described as "European," especially if you're squinting.

This modern lampshade style produced by the Danish firm Le Klint was designed by architect Poul Christiansen in the 1970s and has since become a symbol for chic lighting couture. 

This modern dining set from Italian firm Domitalia makes a sleek statement in beechwood, chrome and glass. 

Your Recently Viewed Items
You have no recently viewed items. After viewing product detail pages or search results, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to products you are interested in.
Your Recommended Items See More

You currently have no recommended items. Browse a few more items to give us an idea of what you like.
©1999 - 2017  ATGStores.com.  All Rights Reserved v2.5.0.4 release/EV17.10
Copyright notice | Site Map | By using this site you agree to our Terms & Conditions of Use and Privacy Statement | Your California Privacy Rights | Interest-Based Advertising
Server: WWW50 Created On: 3/26/2017 1:32:27 AM