Have you heard the term Campaign furniture lately and wondered what on earth it is? Often referred to as exploration furniture, these pieces are becoming integral to many of our much loved styles. from Plantation and Caribbean style, a Hamptons look and even through to an Industrial vibe. I have some favourites of mine to show you and to help you understand how you can incorporate these into your home.
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Background to Campaign Furniture
Remember the explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries adventuring off to far flung parts of the world? Well, they did so in some comfort. Like a modern day grey Nomad, they left none of their home comforts behind.
Desks, chairs, cabinets and trunks were hauled along on the journey and they therefore had to be cleverly designed to be easily transportable and sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of the unknown. What they didn't want to do though was sacrifice on style and so these pieces were elegant and stylish and have endured to the present day. In fact, with the appreciation of the appeal of Campaign furniture, we are seeing a resurgence of these gorgeous pieces.
You will see that in some of your favourite interior schemes there will be at least one piece of Campaign furniture. The key is knowing how to introduce it and ensure that you add these items judiciously to give a hint of the look.
What are the key elements of Campaign Furniture
Firstly, they needed to be easily transportable and this means that many of the pieces are foldable. This isn't your usual beach or camping chair though, as the fixings are sturdy and ornate and the timber is beautifully finished.
In fact, one of the defining elements of Campaign furniture are the ornate brass fixings that in many cases also serve to protect the timber of the chair, table or cabinet.
You will see that many contemporary styles that are suited to coastal or Hamptons styles have the appearance of a foldable chair. This one above has the feel of Campaign furniture, but is in fact a solid chair. You can conjure up the look though with something like this.
Of course, one of the defining looks are the range of trunks that can be used for storage or for coffee/side tables. Again, these are sturdy pieces and their appeal is in the metal and leather finishes.
An intrepid explorer was nothing without their desk to write up the events of the day. This one above gives you the classic Campaign look but on a budget. Rattan is synonymous with this period and works with the look perfectly.
If you like the principle of this style but would like to translate it to a lighter Hamptons look, then this folding side table in white, timber and glass would work well.
Bamboo finishes are also an element of this look and are perfect for a Caribbean style scheme. This folding tray table could work well as a display table, a side table or a drinks table.
Of course, there wasn't electric lighting along the way, but this black tripod lamp would have been a gas one and is perfect to create this look. This is one of the elements that works with an Industrial look well.
The grand explorers would have made good use of a folding dining table. Again the fixings in brass and black that ensure this table will weather the journey works so well with the Industrial vibe.
One of my favourite campaign pieces is the chest of drawers with chunky brass handles and corner fittings to deal with all the bumps and scratches that occur in travelling. Originally in a dark heavy timber, it is popular now to paint these pieces to give them a fresh, contemporary twist.
If you love this look you should read my article on British Colonial Style – 7 steps to achieve this look
I also have a fabulous feature on the very talented Kate Walker's Caribbean style home
If you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, you should check out my FREE Resource Library which has comprehensive checklists and e-books to help you with your project. You can download them for FREE here.