Classic Chinese furniture is typically made of a class of hardwoods, known collectively as "rosewood" (紅木, literally "red wood"). Platform construction is based on box designs and uses frame-and-panel construction in simple form during earlier periods evolving into more and more modified forms in later periods.
From the Qing dynasty furniture made for export, mostly to Europe, became a distinct style, generally made in rather different shapes to suit the destination markets and highly decorated in lacquer and other techniques.
Chinese furniture for sitting or lying on was very often used with cushions, but textiles and upholstery are not, until very late historical periods, incorporated into the piece itself in the Western manner.
based on frame and panel, yoke and rack (based on post and rail seen in architecture) and bamboo construction techniques.
Chinese home furniture evolved independently of Western furniture into many similar forms including chairs, tables, stools, cupboards, cabinets, beds and sofas.
Use of thick lacquer finish and detailed engraving and painted decoration as well as pragmatic design elements would continue to flourish. Woods which have a finely patterned, high contrast grain that is similar to the feathers of certain birds, such as chickens and partridges.
Significant foreign design influence would not be felt until increased contact with the West began in the 19th century, due to efforts on the part of the ruling elite to limit trade. The wood is taken typically from Millettia laurentii (非洲崖豆木), Millettia leucantha (白花崖豆木), Ormosia hosiei(相思木), and either Senna siamea or Mesua ferrea (鐵力木) Furniture and carving made from these woods are typically referred to, in the market, as "hongmu furniture" (紅木家具, literally "rosewood furniture").
Ming styles have largely set the style for furniture in traditional Chinese style in subsequent periods, though as in other areas of Chinese art, the 18th and 19th centuries saw increasing prosperity used for sometimes excessively elaborated pieces, as wider groups in society were able to imitate court styles.
What is now considered the Chinese aesthetic had its origins in China as far back as 1500–1000 BC.
Some of the styles now widely regarded as Chinese began appearing more prominently in the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD).