CAMPAIGN STYLE FURNITURE
In my world, interior design trends usually play out like this... I read a lot of design/fashion/lifestyle blogs and magazines, and follow the Instagram and social media accounts of a bunch of artists and designers. While doing all of these things everyday, I start to see patterns develop, usually subconsciously. (I’m not a trendsetter by any means, but I was the first person to wear skinny jeans in my small hometown. Toot toot. I have dated photos to prove it.) I’m drawn to these patterns by repeated exposure, and at some point these trends start to show up in my work or life.
The trends usually start in fashion and then trickle down into interior design. By the time it gets to my front door, they are not always the most accessible pieces. Lets take the Campaign style dresser for example. About a year ago, I searched high and low for weeks for an affordable Campaign dresser for a project. There were only super high-end pieces or expensive vintage options on the market. Fast forward a year later, and now every home goods store has a Campaign dresser for sale. It’s really great. Except now that the market is saturated and everyone has access to it, I’m ready to move onto something else. Sigh.
That being said, Campaign style furniture are classic pieces and they will always have a place in the interior design world. They just happen to be very popular right now, and I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. So instead of bucking the mainstream, I will embrace this fashionable furniture and share some of my favorite Campaign inspired furnishings.
First, a brief history lesson. The term Campaign is commonly used to refer to a style of furniture used by the British army during the expansion of the Empire. Im thinking Victorian era? Don't quote me on that. They were specifically constructed to be packed up and easily moved to different locations on military campaigns. Hence the exposed bolts, recessed hardware, folding chairs and tables, and reinforced corners.
The contemporary interpretations have introduced bold colors, updated details, and lacquer finishes. If you are looking for vintage, it is usually pretty easy to source but good condition pieces will cost you. For the most part, the Campaign style of furniture is very versatile. They work well with lots of different architectural style homes and interior aesthetics. MId-century, eclectic, and transitional are all fair play. If you invest in a piece, it is something that can really move with you as your style grows and changes.
The Campaign dresser has been the forerunner of the trend. It’s simple shape with interesting hardware appeals to everyone. Since it’s been so popular, the details have now been applied to every type of table, console, nightstand, and even bar cabinet. Where-o-where were all these options when I was looking a year ago. Would have saved me a lot of time and heartache. You can even find custom pieces on Etsy with some pretty awesome lacquer finishes on offer, and Etsy along with eBay and Chairish are great sites to look for vintage pieces.
The folding Campaign chair is a little more difficult to come by, but still there are some fun and different options on the market. Think upgraded director’s chair with leather, brass, and/or faux bamboo legs. If only I could find a good reason to pick up one of these for myself. I’ve been eyeing the Anthropologie Rhys chair for a while now, and they have expanded the collection to include linen options in addition to the popular leather. Instead of folding, this chair would have been easy to unstrap and bolt to take apart for moving.
Since I select many more desks, vanities, and console tables than I do dressers (I guess everyone has large closets these days), I’m always on the hunt for a good looking table for projects. West Elm's Malone line of case goods is one of my favorites. The floating top and round hardware are a nice update from the typical style. Check out the stained bar cabinet above. You can find a few iterations of the x-base table shown in navy at more affordable price points, but you lose a little of the detail. All you need is a pretty mirror, stylish seat, and accessories, and any of these desks would make a lovely vanity table.
Looking for the perfect metal canopy bed? These Campaign inspired bed frames are pretty great. The beds give off a delicate and romantic feeling (with or without fabric draped), and would be the centerpiece of any bedroom. Again Anthropologie’s campaign style furniture is on point with one of the best canopy beds ever. The thin, barely there lines look more like an illustration than a metal bed. The PB Teen version of the bed is a little more affordable, and now comes is a sassy brass finish.