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From sleek and minimalist, to retro and modern, to classic and feminine, your legs say a lot more about your style than you’d think … if we’re talking about furniture legs, that is. What your furniture stands on might seem like a small detail in the grand scheme of a room, but the style of your furniture legs can actually play a big role in informing and solidifying the design of a space.
To help you get to know your legs a little better, we’ve put together a quick guide.
Cabriole-style legs, also known as Queen Anne, are marked by their rounded, curvaceous shape and upturned foot. They’re most popular on French Rococo antique styles, like Louis VX bergere and fauteuil chairs. Furniture with cabriole legs naturally feels feminine and sophisticated, and pairs best with traditional, French Country, shabby-chic, or romantic spaces.
Like cabriole legs, Federalist-style is rooted in antique design, but is still incredibly popular today. Federalist furniture legs have a more masculine look, however, characterized by straight, slim lines and a square shape, making them ideal for small spaces and balancing out heavier antiques.
Tapered legs are a hallmark of midcentury furniture design, and almost always feel modern and retro. For true midcentury style, opt for rounded tapered legs. For a contemporary look, legs that are squared off, but still tapered, are more present day. Either style fits best in an eclectic or transitional space paired with other clean-lined, simple pieces (but take caution: too many midcentury style pieces and your home can start to feel like a time capsule!).
Like tapered legs, hairpin styles are a signature midcentury look, and one that’s come back into style in a big way over the last few years. Hairpin legs are made out of metal and are anything but traditional, so choose the style for rooms with a contemporary, fashion-forward edge.
The term “turned wood” encompasses a wide range of styles, since the technique has been used across design eras and cultures for centuries. The one thing turned legs have in common, however, is a beautiful, highly decorative look–they’re meant to be centerpieces in a room design. Thus, it’s important to limit turned-wood pieces to just a few; too many will compete with one another and make a room feel busy.
Square and simple: You’ll probably see a ton of these in your favorite furniture store, because straight, Parson’s style legs are almost the default for today’s design, especially when it comes to seating like dining chairs and sofas. Their simplicity means straight legs work with almost any style, and are perfect for balancing out more decorative furniture styles.
Check out our legs: We have seating and tables in all sorts of styles!