Wood Furniture as a Status Symbol
Around the world, in every culture, there are things that serve to represent status. From markings and clothing to homes and modes of transportation, there has always been a way to distinguish, at a simple glance, those who high on the status system and those who are beneath them. Wealth, regardless of the exchange of currency, has, historically, been synonymous with power. Here, we will discuss some of the historical implications of wood furniture as a status symbol in American households.
The Birth of the Furniture Industry
In the 1800’s the United States entered a period of industrialization that differed from the previous nomadic and pioneer lifestyle that had previously left families living in a fairly temporary state. Around this time, most families set roots and settled down into their forever homes, which allowed for more personalization and ownership of the space. By the 1860’s, stylish furniture and luxuries became status symbols. Women of the homes were expected to create the proper domestic environment, which meant caring for the furniture and belongings in the home including displaying and keeping them clean. Additional rooms became commonplace including sitting rooms, studies, libraries, and dining halls. The furniture that filled these rooms — chairs, tables, couches — were a symbol of wealth and status that could be likened to the size of television and brand of vehicles today.
20th Century Furniture
Into the 1900s, furniture remained a status symbol, including household furniture and spilling into office and patio furniture as well. In the office, the boss’ desk is the biggest, made of the finest wood, whereas the employees have smaller desks made of cheaper wood. Today, one can still establish the status of another based on their furniture. For instance, a college student may have a metal frame futon that functions as both their couch and their bed, whereas the dean would not be caught with a dual-purpose piece of furniture, let alone aluminum furniture in his office or house. The student’s desk, if they have one, is likely made of aluminum and particle board, or may be padded auditorium seating with a flip up partition desk, while the dean’s office will be home to a giant oak or walnut desk. The authority and command presence is exuded by the desk and the rest of the office furniture, regardless of the person assigned to it.
Today’s Wooden Treasures
In today’s homes, quality, luxury furniture displays status and wealth to anyone who enters. Among the highest quality woods to assemble furniture from are cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, and teak. These woods are heavy, solid, and durable. They are more expensive because of the qualities that they offer and the beautiful colors they are available in. Cherry and mahogany are known for their rich color while teak is known for its shine, extreme durability, and relative rarity. Furniture made from these elite woods are often handcrafted and last for decades. Lower-end, more affordable wooden furniture is typically made of synthetic wood or wood blends that offer a less expensive option for typical households. These cheaper woods are not meant to be durable or long lasting but are built to be more affordable, so quality is sometimes lacking.
If you are looking for high-quality furniture that is durable and beautiful, as well as presents an image of status, invest in teak wood furniture. Teak wood is known for its elegant beauty and its durability in any condition. Use teak wood furniture in your rooms, main living spaces, as well as bath, spa, poolside, and patio. To start your collection of elegance, shop the teak wood furniture selection at AquaTeak today!