What Was the Furniture Like in Ancient Greece?

Furniture has been an important aspect of human life since ancient times. The furniture of ancient Greece is particularly noteworthy for its elegant and distinctive style. Greek furniture was influenced by their art, architecture, and culture, making it unique and highly recognizable.

The Materials Used in Ancient Greek Furniture

The Greeks used a variety of materials to create their furniture. Wood was the most commonly used material, with oak being a favorite due to its durability.

Other woods used included cedar, pine, and cypress. The Greeks also used bronze for decorative elements such as feet and handles.

The Style of Ancient Greek Furniture

The style of ancient Greek furniture was simple yet elegant. It was characterized by clean lines and minimal decoration. The Greeks believed in the concept of “less is more,” which is evident in their furniture design.

One distinguishing feature of Greek furniture was the use of curved legs on chairs and tables. These were known as sabre legs because they were shaped like a sabre sword. Another feature was the frequent use of animal motifs in the furniture’s decoration.

The Functionality of Ancient Greek Furniture

Ancient Greek furniture had both functional and symbolic purposes. Chairs were often used during symposiums, which were gatherings where men would discuss philosophy, politics, and other topics while drinking wine. The symposium chair had a high backrest to support the head after drinking too much wine.

Tables were also an important piece of furniture in ancient Greece. They were typically low to the ground with three legs and were used for dining or playing games such as dice or board games like backgammon.

Ancient Greek Beds

Beds in ancient Greece were usually made out of wood with woven straps or ropes for support instead of a mattress. These beds were called klines, and they could be quite ornate with intricate carvings and decorations.

Ancient Greek Cabinets

Cabinets were used in ancient Greece for storage. They were typically made out of wood and had one or more doors. The Greeks often decorated their cabinets with intricate carvings or paintings.


In conclusion, ancient Greek furniture was elegant, functional, and symbolic. It was created to reflect the culture and values of the Greeks, which is evident in its simple yet beautiful design. Today, ancient Greek furniture is still admired for its unique style and continues to inspire modern furniture designers.