20th Century Furniture

Irish Furniture: an Overview of the 20th century

The history of 20th century furniture design is a controversial one, marred by long periods when few industries recognised the commercial importance of good furniture. Factories did not have trained designers; rather designs were copied from neighbouring countries.

Ireland was slow to adopt new ideas. All attempts at modern interiors were greeted with suspicion. Modernising the home by employing the services of an interior decorator did not catch on until much later. In an Irish Times interview, in May 1953, a furniture manufacturer said of contemporary furniture, “If there was a demand for that sort of stuff, we’d stock it. Don’t blame us for those depressing little furniture suites, blame the public taste.” Despite this, the 20th century reveals a number of movements, designers and craftsmen, working both here and abroad, which significantly contributed to the canon of Irish modernism.

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