This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
The inlay or marqueterie of divers coloured woods and bone was of simple but effective execution and generally showed an adaptation of some of the motifs already mentioned. The aid of colour was more frequently resorted to than many imagine. The carved headboards and panelled canopies of the bedsteads were often enriched with heraldic blasonings and the same form of ornamentation was also applied in other places. There was comparatively little upholstered furniture and such as there was in the early part of the century may usually be traced to a Continental origin; after the principles of the Commonwealth had swept aside tradition regarding the use of chairs and they had become plentiful, we find both seats and backs frequently covered with either leather or "Turkey work." For a full discussion of all the furniture during the first sixty years of the seventeenth century, the reader is referred to Chapter II (Interior Decoration In England And America During The Eighteenth Century And The First Three Decades Of The Nineteenth), "Practical Book of Period Furniture": Eberlein & McClure.
With the access of new and varied influences attending the Restoration and profoundly affecting cultural conditions during the rest of the century, there was not only a vast growth in the taste for luxurious and ample household furnishings but also a perceptible increase in the kinds of articles that came into common use. While the furniture of former days continued in use along with the newer types in a majority of the houses, and while the former styles continued to be copied in country districts, the new modes exercised a far-reaching and modifying effect, completely transformed and enriched the average interior where they had been adopted along with the substantial residuum of earlier equipment, and in houses where only le dernier cri of fashion was heeded to the exclusion of all previous vogue - as in the establishments of some of the king's mistresses - produced a revolution in the art of interior decoration.
In addition to the tale of articles previously set forth as usual items of equipment, we must now mention chests of drawers on stands, highboys and lowboys, cabinets with doors on high stands, Chinese lacquered cabinets, with or without doors, on carved stands, chests of drawers without stands, desks or bureaux, bureau bookcases, presses, bookcases, mirrors, tall case clocks and a great assortment of small tables for one special purpose or another. In the matter of contour, we may note that while the old rectilinear principle continued to be strongly felt, the curvilinear influence made its appearance and rapidly gained favour. This curvilinear influence manifested itself plainly in Baroque tendencies and we have such plentiful examples as scrolled legs, hooded tops to cabinet work, curved contours of chair backs in the Portuguese fashion and the beginnings of cabriole leg dominance.
The decorative processes employed included carving, painting and gilding or parcel gilding, veneering, inlay and marqueterie and lacquering. The vogue for lacquered furniture became a positive passion and not only did the importation of numerous Oriental pieces indicate a potent infusion of "the Chinese taste" in interior decoration, but the rage for this species of polychrome embellishment led amateurs to engage extensively in the process and the results of their endeavours often achieved an high degree of excellence. The style of carving that now came into fashion was realistic and wholly different from the methods that had previously prevailed. Much elaborately carved or turned furniture was made of pine, lime, beech, birch and other soft woods and then painted and parcel gilt or wholly gilded. The art of veneering was developed to an extent hitherto unknown and produced admirable results in whose composition were considered not only the pleasing effects to be gained from the contrasting colours of different woods but also the divers agreeable effects of grain and the pattern employed. Akin to veneering, but involving greater scope for the exercise of decorative design and the properties of multi-coloured woods, was the process of marqueterie which, in England, reached the high-water mark of its most skillful expression towards the end of the century. The value of upholstery as a decorative accessory was now fully understood and a great many chairs, settees and stools were covered with needlework of gros point and petit point, with velvets and brocades, with silks and even with printed linens and chintzes.