Surely you’ve heard it said that everything old is new again? Well one classic that seems to be coming back in a big way is campaign furniture. Campaign furniture can be really pricey in antique stores but sometimes you can come across a low priced piece at a garage sale or on Craigslist because the owner doesn’t know the value. A little TLC and some reproduction campaign furniture hardware, and your diamond-in-the-rough can be the focal point of a very chic modern room. What is campaign furniture and how can you use it? Read on.
Campaign furniture is any furniture that has been designed to break down or fold up for ease of traveling. It got its name because it was used by traveling armies as far back as the Roman Empire but is most associated British Army officers and their military campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of the most popular and coveted pieces include officers’ desks, trunks, tables and chairs – and even beds, sofas and couches, wash stands and chests of drawers. Nearly any type of furniture was made to be portable and it seems there was no end to what a well-commissioned officer would take on a campaign.
Surely you’ve heard it said that everything old is new again? Well one classic that seems to be coming back in a big way is campaign furniture.
CC image courtesy of javajoba
It was often made of rich, classic woods like rosewood and many styles of furniture that we love today, such as the iconic Paragon folding chair with its canvas seat, are examples of campaign furniture.
Campaign furniture is evocative of more romantic times and they are popular today because they feature ingenious, simple designs with timeless, classic appeal. The stark simplicity and design of campaign furniture makes it work wonderfully in modern decors where there is an emphasis on form as function. While you can find very expensive pieces in antique and vintage stores, there are many present day manufacturers of campaign furniture and these pieces are more moderately priced. Many of these manufacturers offer campaign furniture that is very well suited to outdoor use, such as on a deck, patio or dock. Its fold-up capability makes it perfect for transient uses, such as a picnic under the oaks or an impromptu gathering on a screened porch. More substantial pieces, such as chests, trunks, desks and other furniture make a striking focal point when combined with other contemporary pieces or as a foil to more ornate antiques. Should you happen upon a used piece of campaign furniture that shows some wear, replacement hardware such as corner straps and caps are available from salvage shops or online hardware manufacturers.
Maria Anderson writes for The Decorative Hardware Studio. DHS is a custom manufacturer of museum quality drapery, furniture, door hardware and carpet rods in solid brass and leaded crystal.