As New England is the area where the English first colonized, the original style of building very much reflects the style of homes popular in Britain and Europe at the time. Known as First Period style, these buildings would have been similar to the houses back home but with a few differences. Due to the abundance of wood, these early timber frame homes were covered with clapboard or weatherboard and didn’t use the European-favoured wattle and daub. These homes were sturdy and built to withstand the New England weather. They had steep pitched roofs so the heavy snows could slide off. New England Architecture is known for its classic beauty and very much reflects the landscape it originates from. It is easy to imagine how the New England style of furniture started to develop during this time too. No need to ship furniture across the ocean, there was plenty of wood available to build new furniture. As with the buildings, the furniture was also sturdy and built to last.
These early houses were originally built with just one room for all the family to live in but over time were extended as people accrued more items. I can just imagine a family showing off their possessions to visitors in a beautiful dresser such as our New Hampshire dresser.
There are many lovely examples of this early style of building still to be seen today. The Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts is believed to have been built between the late 1630s and early 1640s and housed the Fairbanks family (originally from Yorkshire!) for 8 generations. It is now a museum.
Over the years the architecture changed with the fashions, but towards the end of the 1800s there was a Colonial Revival following the 1876 Philadelphia centenary. This has endured, as even now there is a desire to look back with much fondness. This is also the case with the New England style of furniture. After the interior designs of recent decades there is a desire to return to solid beautiful furniture which is made to last…not only in quality of manufacture, but also in design. Our furniture ranges are very much built with this in mind and even now our furniture also reflects the amazing New England landscape. White wooden pieces, like the white of the beaches, blue accessories, like the blue of the sea and of course the solid, sturdy feel of the furniture, designed to last and withstand the elements. New England style reflects a much simpler time when furniture was all about quality, durability and timeless beauty and that is what our furniture at New England Lifestyle is all about.