Furniture is a movable object that provides a place for people to sit, sleep, eat and work. It can also be used to store things. Furniture is both utilitarian and decorative, and its design reflects a wide range of cultural influences.
The earliest known pieces of furniture are the Seated Woman of Catalhoyuk and a chair discovered in a cave in Turkey that dates to approximately 6000 BC. Furniture from the neolithic period included chests and tables for storage and dining. Later, the development of metal working techniques allowed furniture to be made with more complex constructions.
Contemporary furniture can be found in homes and offices around the world. It is often made from wood, although it can be fabricated from other materials as well. Most modern furniture is designed to be functional and ergonomic, with some emphasis on aesthetics as well.
Antique furniture is usually designed to reflect the historical styles and motifs of the culture that produced it. Decorative elements such as carving, ornamentation and painting may be incorporated. Furniture also serves a symbolic or religious purpose in some cultures.
Some contemporary furniture designers specialize in a specific type of style, while others produce a range of designs that incorporate a variety of styles and materials. Many of these manufacturers are based in the United States, but they also offer products internationally. Consumers can buy furniture from a wide selection of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including traditional home furnishings stores such as Ballard Designs and Crate & Barrel.