Legs play a critical role in furniture design, yet their nuances often go unnoticed. But the next time you admire a table or chair, take a closer look down below.
The furniture leg styles might surprise you in how stylish they can be. From classically tapered to intricately turned, leg styles introduce aesthetic flair while providing structural support.
16 Furniture Leg Styles
In this article, I’ll highlight the most common furniture leg varieties – from Cabriole to Marlborough and everything in between. With descriptions and illustrations of distinct leg styles, you’ll learn to identify staple silhouettes like fluted and scrolled. By the end, you’ll have the vocabulary to appreciate legs as a subtle but impactful furniture feature!
1. Adam Leg Style
The Adam Style was designed by Robert Adam (1760-1795). A classic Adam leg design includes reeded and tapered effects.
2. Double Scroll
The double scroll is identified by the leg’s two “rolled” design elements. This style can also be called Flemish scroll legs, created in the 17th century.
3. Double Twist
As the name implies, the ornate double-twist furniture leg style makes the wood appear as if two strands are twisted together. You might see this design done by fancier furniture brands.
4. Cabriole Leg Styles
The cabriole leg style reminds me of a horse’s rear legs. The upper arc is convex (outward), and the lower is concave (inward).
5. Fluted Leg Style
A classic element of the fluted furniture leg is the concave reeded design which makes the legs look like Greek architectural columns. The fluted leg may sometimes taper slightly. You can also find vertically carved grooves at regular intervals along the length of the fluted leg.
The Marlborough leg is plain and square and common to see on ottomans and coffee tables. Some versions of the Marlborough leg may taper while some designs are straight. It’s a great furniture leg when the rest of the furniture is busy and heavily designed.
Reeded legs include vertical lines created either by raised reeds or concave reeds. Reeded legs are often combined with other leg styles.
8. Reverse Scroll
The reverse scroll is a table leg or chair leg with 2 rolled elements but on opposite sides of the leg.
9. Saber Leg Style
I love the name of this one: saber leg. It’s aptly named for the saber-like shape akin to the curved fangs of a tiger or curved sword.
10. Sheraton Tapered
Sheraton furniture legs date to the end of 18th and beginning of 19th centuries. The most common type is the square tapered leg.
The spade leg is in reference to the foot, which widens like a spade. This is a pretty simple design and nice to pick if you’re trying to have a lot of your furniture match.
This one is pretty straight forward… see what I did there? With this furniture leg, it’s straight from top to bottom with no significant curves or angles in it.
14. Fluted Turned
A fluted turned leg is created on a lathe, giving it a rounded, tapered shape with decorative grooves. The leg has vertical fluted indentations that provide ornamentation and elegance.
15. Turned Twist
A turned twist leg is a wood design giving a twisted appearance. Unlike the double twist above, this style only has a single twist.
16. Walnut Period
A walnut period leg refers to legs used on furniture made during the walnut period of furniture manufacturing. This style of leg is slim, gently curved, and tapered, often made of walnut wood to match furniture from 1660 to 1720.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Legs of Furniture Called?
The legs of furniture are simply referred to as “legs.” They are structural elements that support and elevate different types of furniture, providing them with stability and style. They play an essential role in the piece’s aesthetics and functionality. These legs are available in various styles and materials, opening up various design possibilities.
What Are the Different Types of Table Legs?
Table legs can be divided into two main categories: straight legs and curved legs. Straight legs are the most common type of table leg, and they can be found on tables of all styles. Curved legs are not as common as the straight leg. However, they can give a table an air of sophistication and elegance.
What Are the Names of Chair Legs?
Chair legs are primarily referred to as “chair legs.” However, they can also be classified by their particular style or shape, which frequently corresponds to the chair’s design.
Some common chair leg styles include straight, saber legs (knee curving outward), and curved legs, each contributing to the chair’s overall comfort and aesthetic appeal.
What Are the Names of Table Legs?
The name of table legs varies depending on their style and design. Straight table legs look great in modern and minimalist settings. Tapered table legs are often seen in mid-century and contemporary tables.
Cabriole table legs are frequently associated with traditional and vintage table designs. Turned table legs are more popular in antique and classic table styles.
What Is a Spindle Leg Table?
A spindle leg table has legs that look like cylindrical spindles. These legs are often crafted by turning wood on a lathe. This results in a series of rounded, evenly spaced sections that create a visually appealing and symmetrical design. They are known for their elegant and timeless look and are commonly used in traditional and contemporary furniture designs.
Furniture leg styles are an essential part of the overall design of a piece of furniture. They can give a table, chair, or other piece of furniture a touch of elegance, sophistication, or even whimsy. It is critical to consider the overall style of your décor when selecting furniture a leg style for your home.