The Louis Phillipe style, named for the French monarch who’s brief reign lasted from 1830 to 1848, arose out of the revival of earlier Rococo styles after the French revolution. Its design, however, is much more subdued and practical than its inspiration, owing to the changing social climate in France. The French Revolution allowed the growth of a sizeable middle class who now had both the desire and the means to purchase fine furniture.
As it was no longer intended for royalty and aristocracy, the furniture produced during this period showed an increased attention to comfort and usability. The overly embellished decorative elements of the Rococo style were entirely absent, giving way to heavy forms with a clean, understated design. Dark, dense woods like mahogany, walnut, and rosewood were preferred and commodes and chests typically featured fine marble tops.
Louis Phillippe furniture is still very much en vogue today as its elegant subtlety allows it to be easily integrated into almost any home.