Simply put, Spanish style furniture are furnishings that borrow designs from the culture of Spain, or of Latin America in general. The furniture can often have complex and elaborate patterns carved or molded into the material. Many, if not most, types of Spanish furniture are made to be heavy, resulting in their durability and sturdiness. The two most prominent characteristics of Spanish style furniture are scale and color. Chair legs are broad and square, and chair backs are high and wide. The lids and doors on chests and cabinetry are substantial in weight. The overall impression of Spanish-style furniture is imposing. Carved from wood, many Spanish-style pieces are painted in bright colors, gold being a favorite. Chests and cabinets, in particular, may be painted in bold colors or covered in fine leather and decorated with metal ornamentation. Often, wrought iron is used as a decorative element.
One of the favored woods for Spanish style furniture is walnut. It’s dark; rich color holds up well to the mass of the style. Mahogany, chestnut, cedar and oak are also used in furniture and cabinetry. Inlays of ebony, ivory and tortoise shell are seen in tabletops and in cabinetry. The inlay may depict elements associated with bull-fighting or courtship. Spanish style furniture is usually well-built and solid. But the style does have a history; in rural areas, less-skilled craftsmen depended on paint or veneers to hide the use of less-desirable woods or shortcomings in their own skill.