My Campaign for Campaign

Want to know what designers use to achieve a truly timeless look?  Want to add a little preppy sophistication to your home?  Look no further than campaign furniture!

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This style dates all the way back to Roman times (400 B.C.-400 A.D. roughly), was re-popularized during the Napoleonic wars (1800-1815 A.D.), and has remained a fashionable staple ever since.  Campaign furniture is based on the idea that while wealthy men were out conquering the 'barbarians' they could still enjoy the luxurious furniture they would have back home.  All campaign pieces were designed to be easily set up and and taken down and most serve multiple functions.

Louis Vuitton Ad Campaign 2010

Louis Vuitton Ad Campaign 2010

Today campaign pieces can range anywhere from traditional:

Restoration Hardware 2010 Iron Campaign Beds

Restoration Hardware 2010 Steamer Trunk Office

to contemporary:

1970's Orange Lacquered Campaign Desk via 1st Dibs

Campaign furniture has been popular for so long, one could easily find vintage pieces second-hand, ready to be re-used, re-purposed, and re-loved.  How can you tell if an item is campaign?  It does take a little training of the eye, but there are two easy ways to spot campaign.

The first way is to look for dressers, chests, and trunks that are boxy with no ornamentation, except for metal brackets and hardware, and usually made of wood, leather, or zinc. 

1st Dibs Nightstands

1st Dibs Small Chests

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Source Unknown

The second way to determine if a piece is campaign, is to look for 'X' stretchers and other architectural elements that look as if one could disassemble the piece easily.

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  1st Dibs 19th Century Italian Desk

1st Dibs 19th Century French Glass and Brass Table

Global Views Nickel and Glass Directoire End Table

Ralph Lauren Desk

Hermes 'Pippa' Chair in Black Croc Leather.  If you own one, I want to come visit it.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate campaign into your home:
  •  Use a campaign desk as a nightstand, behind a sofa, or as a entry console.  You will love having the ample space to drop off the mail when you walk in the door, or place to store your book and glasses at the end of the night.
  • Use a low campaign trunk as a coffee table.  Store unattractive necessities, like remotes, in the drawers and use a tray on top to serve drinks and appetizers.
  • If you find a campaign piece second-hand that could use some TLC, remove all brackets and hardware and soak in metal cleaner to restore original sheen.  Don't like the finish of the wood?  Don't be scared to paint it!  Use high-gloss for a contemporary lacquered look.

So would you add a little campaign to your home?


  1. Hi Brooke,
    I accidently went on my facebook page and saw your new blog. Oh my gosh!!! Beautiful pieces. I really liked the style. Great job!

    Cathy Jones

  2. Some great photos. I remember the LV ads of 2010. I have to admit i prefer the traditional campaigns!