I was talking with someone recently about what I do and mentioned furniture making. This other chap, who was getting into woodworking himself, asked what style of furniture I make and then went into what he knew and the different styles. In the world of furniture making you have a variety to choose from: Craftsman, Victorian, Queen Anne, Shaker, etc.
Furniture should have a useful purpose. It should invite the user to use it and it should be tough enough to handle that use. It shouldn’t be ugly but if it has to be, the; it should have tight joints and show care/craftsmanship in construction. Ornamentation should be meaningful and tell a story. The piece above might be ugly but it’s a simple phone stand I made out of a block of wood that sees daily use with zero fear of breaking.
Recently I made a bed for my youngest and carved a flower, butterfly, and hearts into the headboard. They were things she liked, described who the bed was for (a 4-year-old princess) and were simple. The rest of the bed carried on the simple theme but was also built to withstand WW3.
I told my friend I wasn’t sure how to label it. What does it mean to have a particular style? Usually it’s as simple as just having plans to follow or a simplification of the design process. Sometimes it’s about skill level (a beginner isn’t going to start with Queen Anne style ), or just what matches the furniture in your home.
So my style would ideally be simple, durable and meaningful. That sounds canned, like language you’d expect in marketing materials for a piece of crap from Wal-Mart. Maybe the simple portion of it, there’s just not the right weight behind the word. I’ll keep noodling it.