When it comes to furniture design, some things just never go out of style and if history is anything to go by, probably never will.
Tapered legs, the slender legs that gradually slim down from top to bottom seem to have a charm that lasts the test of time. But why are tapered legs so popular and why do they continue to be a go-to choice in furniture design?
Sleek and Stylish Looks
Tapered legs bring a touch of elegance to furniture and it’s perhaps the style most associated with period pieces.
Tapering creates a sleek and streamlined look that adds sophistication, whether it’s a chair, table or cabinet. What’s more, tapered legs fit into a range of different interior styles, from modern to traditional.
These types of legs can adapt to various furniture styles and design periods with ease. From the curvy and ornate cabriole legs of yesteryears to the clean and minimalist designs of today, tapered legs have the ability to blend in and elevate the look of any piece.
They’re Practical Too
Tapered legs also serve a practical purpose. The wider top end provides stability, ensuring that the furniture piece remains sturdy and focusing the weight into one place.
Tapered Legs in History
In the ever-changing world of design, some elements have an enduring charm. Tapered legs are sleek and stylish, versatile, practical and have been a staple throughout history.
In the mid-18th century, the style of Thomas Chippendale was popularised in England. It featured the use of cabriole legs, which featured an S-shaped curve and tapered form. Another version that became popular was the ball and claw.
Following this, 19th Century furniture styles underwent significant transformations. The Neoclassical and Empire styles gained prominence, influenced by ancient Greek and Roman designs. Tapered legs with straight or slightly flared profiles, reflecting this classical aesthetic, became popular.
The modern movement, which spanned roughly from the 1930s to the 1960s, introduced an innovative approach to furniture design. Designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Hans Wegner relied on tapered legs as a defining feature of their pieces.
Legs were often made of wood and added a sense of lightness and simplicity to the furniture, aligning with the movement’s emphasis on clean lines, organic forms and functionality.
Similarly, tapered legs are also closely associated with Scandinavian design. Designers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland used tapered legs in their furniture, highlighting the minimalist and functional aesthetic for which Scandinavian design is famous.
The general squareness of tapered legs makes them a great choice for hardwood tables, or side and coffee tables. They make great sofa legs and you can also use them on metal furnishings, or outdoor furniture like chairs and benches.
And if it’s wood, you can station them in any colour you want to match your room décor.
Changing It Up
If you’re looking to give your furniture a new look, one of the easiest ways is by swapping out the existing legs for tapered legs. It’s a simple change, but one that can transform the style of your furniture.
The sleek lines and clean looks of tapered legs give furniture a contemporary look, more refined and elegant.
And the good news is, thanks to their looks, tapered legs can be integrated with and complement a range of designs.
Tapered legs come in different materials, including wood, metal or acrylic. That means you can change the texture as well as the option that best suits your style. Additionally, you can select the leg length and degree of taper to tailor the look and proportions to your specific preferences.
Revamping your furniture by changing the legs is a cost-effective alternative to buying new furniture too. It’s a budget-friendly option that delivers a huge style impact.
If you are swapping out the legs for something tapered, just get the measurements right and you’ll be living with that new style in no time.
Furniture design is ever changing. But the taper has stayed thanks to its simplicity and its clean lines. As versatile as they are practical, tapered legs look as good on a curved chair as they do on a table or dresser. Try it for yourself.