Creating the Perfect Home and Garden

A Quick Guide to Furniture Styles

When shopping for new furniture, it can be difficult to find what you need if you're not familiar with the words and terms used to describe various styles and pieces. Understanding a bit of furniture terminology can help you to narrow down your choices, and to know what a salesperson is talking about as well! Note a few quick terms that you might come across when furniture shopping, and this will make the process of selecting your new pieces easier for you.

Barrel chair

Barrel chairs were originally made from actual wine barrels; today they are typically made of exposed wood, and will have a distinct round shape, like a barrel. This can make them a good choice for corners or any smaller space where a larger armchair may not fit.


A camelback sofa has a large, rounded area in the middle of the sofa back. In some pieces, that rounded area may be framed with wood that matches the sofa legs. Camelback is a very classic design and it can help offset square lines of other furniture pieces.

Chair-side end table

A chair-side end table is small and compact, and is a good choice for use next to a lounge chair, such as in a reading nook. Some chair-side end tables will have a lamp attached to the outer edge of the table, opening up the limited space of the table surface.

Club chair

A club chair is an armchair with a low back and a very distinct square shape. The seat of a club chair is usually deeper or longer than most armchairs, so a club chair can be good for someone who is taller or who has longer legs. The lower arms and slimmer width of a club chair allow it to be used with a low dining table or desk, for something more comfortable than a standard wood chair.


A curio is a set of enclosed shelves for displaying photos, knickknacks, and the like. A curio cabinet can be part of an entertainment centre, but the shelving of a curio is often too flimsy to hold the weight of a television and other such items, so don't assume you can use this cabinet for your TV or computer.

Modular lounge

A lounge typically refers to a sofa that has deeper or longer seating from front to back, so that you can relax in the space. Modular lounges come in pieces, so you have flexibility over their width, if you want to create a ninety-degree angle with the piece, and so on.