The Arts and Crafts movement emerged during the late Victorian period in England, the most industrialized country in the world at that time. Anxieties about industrial life fueled a positive revaluation of handcraftsmanship and pre-capitalist forms of culture and society. Arts and Crafts designers sought to improve standards of decorative design, believed to have been debased by mechanization, and to create environments in which beautiful and fine workmanship governed. The Arts and Crafts movement did not promote a particular style, but it did advocate reform as part of its philosophy and instigated a critique of industrial labor.
American designer Gustav Stickley, founder of The United Crafts (later known as the Craftsman Workshops) was an advocate of the craftsman ideal. Stickley believed that mass-produced furniture was poorly constructed and overly complicated in design and set out to improve American taste through “craftsman” or “mission” furniture with designs governed by honest construction, simple lines, and quality material. Over the years, the words, “Arts and Crafts” became a synonym for clean line, handcrafted design and have come to embody that style group.
The Biedermeier style was a simplified interpretation of the French Empire Style of Napoleon I. Based on utilitarian principals, this influential style of furniture design came from Germany during the period of 1815-1845 and was the first style in the world that emanated from the growing middle class.
Stylistically, the furniture was simple and elegant. Its construction utilized the ideal of truth through material, something that later influenced the Bauhaus and Art Deco periods. Throughout the period, emphasis was kept on minimal ornamentation, however; as time progressed, the style moved from the early rebellion against Romantic-era fussiness to increasingly ornate commissions by a rising middle class, eager to show their newfound wealth. The original Biedermeier period changed with the political unrests of 1845–1848 and furniture of the later years took on a distinct Victorian style.
Fifty years later, Biedermeier style was featured at the Vienna applied arts museum. Visitors were so influenced by this fantasy style and its elegance that a new resurgence began. This revival period lasted up until the Art Deco style became popular.
Early American Country
Early American Country
Furniture history in the United States began with the austere, nonconforming Englishmen who settled New England. It was they who brought the trade of furniture making from old England and in this new environment were, by 1675, making tables, chairs and chests of distinctly American design.
The early colonists were influenced largely by the Jacobean style, which was, then in vogue in Europe. However, when they settled in the New World, they had to forego luxury and develop what was functional. The necessities of life had to be literally carved out of the wilderness. This furniture, with the exception of the few pieces they could bring over in their crowded ships, reflected the simple and often austere life of these people. Premier’s Early American Country designs follow the simple lines and “no frills” styling of the furniture crafted by our Early American ancestors.
Early American Formal
Early American Formal
At its roots, Early American Formal furniture visibly resembles its English, French, and Dutch predecessors. European styles traveled across the ocean with the speed of a merchant ship and were quickly adapted to suit the local materials, tastes, and craft skills of each major region of the American colonies and, eventually, the states. Innovations in style and construction distinguished American pieces from their European counterparts, exhibiting the skill and creativity of American craftsmen throughout the young nation.
All of Premier’s Period Style Groups are influenced by the furniture and architectural details of past decades. As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of Early American Formal period rooms. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
Our English style group is based on elements that range from classic to country cottage and influenced by the furniture of Charles II through the reign of Queen Victoria.
English inspiration details include; twist and trumpet shaped legs, bun feet, and beautifully detailed moldings. Vertical lines, ovals, circles, columns and carvings, part of the Georgian period, are also incorporated into many of the design elements offered by Premier.
As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of English period rooms. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
Our French style group is based on details from French Royal and French provincial design. French Royal details are from the era of kings Louis XIV – XVII; a period where curved lines and asymmetry became the rule and elaborate surface ornamentation with carvings and gilded decoration were included on everything. French Provincial design is simpler and is based on furniture created in the Loire Valley and at Lyon or Liège. Simple scalloped carvings, cabriole legs and ladder-back chairs with woven seats reflect design outside the influence of the king’s court. As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of French period rooms. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
Our Glasgow series of cabinetry is a contemporary expression that draws from the historical works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Eliel Saarinen. Its basis is the counterpoint between the powerful thrust of its vertical pilasters and the lyrical curves and sweeps of the horizontal elements set between them. It distills the languages of form, proportion, rhythm, and detail of the cathedral and skyscraper to their essence, expressed in the form of the finest craft built cabinetry.
Rooted in history but freshly innovative, Glasgow creates a bridge between old and new, craft and machine. Its versatility makes it equally at home in a city apartment building or a farmhouse in the countryside.
As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of Glasgow style rooms. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
The word Mizuki was adapted from the Japanese wordmizuya, meaning kitchen chests. Historically, these chests of a single configuration were crafted to fit into, or adjacent to, home kitchen alcoves, as a way of uniting house storage needs to house architecture during the Meiji Period.
Inspired by the folk houses and Tansu chests of historic Japan, Premier’s Mazuki cabinetry style is based on the Japanese design principals of simplicity and minimalism. These design elements, rooted in the cultural life of the Japanese people, are as important in Japan today as they were hundreds of years ago. Our interpretation of the simple forms and patterns of Japanese furniture and architecture are showcased in the softly curved, clean-line design that is Mizuki.
As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of Mizuiki styled cabinetry. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
Renaissance Eclectic is an all-encompassing design designation that covers many 19th century styles. Loosely based on Italian Renaissance architecture, it draws from French, Regency and other classically influenced styles. Heavy and ornate, furniture and cabinet proportions are typically large, creating an overall feel of Old World splendor.
As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of Renaissance Eclectic rooms. All spaces were created to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.
Beaux Arts classical form and modernist clarity of line fuse to create the Stanford cabinetry and design system. Familiar elements with refined profiles and bold proportions define a look that integrates perfectly with contemporary traditional homes and furnishings. Stanford is the confident offspring of past and present styles.
There was not one dominant furniture style in Victorian England. As the middle-class started to accumulate wealth, their desire to be on equal footing with the aristocracy made it impossible for one style to meet everyone’s needs. Hence, designers mixed historic styles like, Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan and others, with the introduction of Middle East and Asian design influences.
Medieval styles appealed to the Victorian new rich because they endowed them with a ready-made British heritage. Victorian design became a grand elaboration of excess detail piled onto furniture, and carved pieces in Norman and Gothic style, to pieces painted with knights and ladies, to glittering, heavily encrusted 14th century inspired furniture became “all the rage”. As the Victorian period progressed, design started to be viewed more critically and interest shifted away from decoration, towards structure and form.
As you browse through our collection of photos you will see various interpretations of Victorian period rooms. All spaces were designed to be historically beautiful and modern-day functional.