Furniture Styles

Gary Adriance Designs
Since 1983, thousands of custom handmade furniture artworks have been finely crafted by Adriance artisans for our discerning clientele. Always in pursuit of graceful proportions, these pieces were inspired by precise measurements taken by Gary Adriance of archetypical masterworks from New England museums and private collections. The result is an original Adriance style of elegant furniture handmade in beautiful woods with unsurpassed craftsmanship and offering genuine value. Culminating decades of meticulous attention to detail, Adriance handmade furniture evokes quiet dignity and intrinsic merit with an American pedigree.

Shaker, circa 1810-1850
Adriance Shaker designs embrace the early nineteenth-century elegant-but-simple design principles of harmonious proportion, constructive integrity, and form based on function. Shorn of excess ornamentation, this furniture aesthetic lends a quiet grace to any space, evoking the Shaker philosophy of “Less is More.” Original Shaker communities from New England to the Midwest believed “Tis a Gift to be Simple” and with “Hands to Work and Hearts to God” they elevated American cherry & pine to artistic forms of plain perfection. Their version of abundance has stood the test of time, as will Adriance Shaker handmade heirlooms.

Nautical, circa 1820-1850
Adriance Nautical craftwork celebrates the seamanship skills of early New England mariners, conjuring the mystery of the “blue-water world” with its exacting standards and matchless discipline. The glorious nineteenth-century age of sail is tangible in our fancy sea chests, hoisted by marlinspike-art rope beckets and inlaid with five-point stars, as well as handcarved rope legs for tables. Exquisite South American mahogany is the preferred wood for this genre. Adriance Nautical handmade heirlooms embody a flavor of old-world craftsmanship, uncommon in today’s world.

 Colonial, circa 1740–1775
Adriance American Colonial masterworks emulate the richness of Newport & Boston’s eighteenth-century furniture, so eagerly sought by informed collectors. That era witnessed a confluence of rich natural resources, global sea-trade, artistic genius, and brilliant expression of craft. All combined to produce a furniture legacy unique in world history. We are indebted to the superior workmanship of Newport’s earliest celebrity-artisans such as John Townsend and John Goddard (born 1723 in Dartmouth, MA, near our workshop). Early New England’s obsession with furniture refinement reflected passions popular on both sides of the Atlantic. The cyma (S-curve), espoused by English artist William Hogarth as “the line of beauty,” developed into refined shapes such as sinuous cabriole legs. Influenced by Thomas Chippendale’s 1752 London treatise, gifted American furnituremakers further embellished serpentine chests with scallop-carved shells. Mahogany and walnut were preferred for their superlative grain and carving characteristics. Adriance Colonial handmade heirlooms showcase the desired crisp carving and exuberant turning seen in classic American museum furniture.

 Federal circa 1785-1815
Adriance Federal artworks exhibit the finest craftsmanship, graceful proportions, rarity of material, and sophisticated ornament appreciated by furniture connoisseurs then as now. Early works were influenced by the English design books of Robert Adam-1774, George Hepplewhite-1788 & Thomas Sheraton-1794, who championed a refined aesthetic movement of neoclassical taste borrowed from classical Italian architecture. Their august delineations of unparalleled workmanship featured beautifully contrasting woods and inlays, pendant bellflowers, reticulated carvings and reeded legs. After the American Revolution, the homes and furnishings of enlightened Americans including George Washington, became adorned with flowering sprays, swags and garland themes borrowed from warmer ancient Mediterranean climes. Talented  artisans such as John Seymour of Boston, Samuel McIntire of Salem, and Duncan Phyfe of New York created dignified masterpieces of elegance and taste, collectively evincing a breathtaking American resolve. Adriance Federal handmade heirlooms feature the prized inlay and carving found in rare American museum examples.