What is a Cabriole Leg?

A cabriole leg is a curved furniture leg that typically terminates in a distinctive foot.


A cabriole leg, distinguished by its elegant S-shaped curve, is a design element deeply rooted in the history of furniture. Originating in Europe during the early 18th century, particularly popular during the Queen Anne and Chippendale periods, this leg style is an emblem of grace and sophistication in furniture design.

The leg's unique curve starts thicker at the top and thins out towards the bottom, often ending with a decorative foot such as a ball-and-claw or pad. The shape of the cabriole leg not only serves aesthetic purposes but also provides structural stability to the piece of furniture it supports. This dual functionality showcases the craftsmanship and thoughtful design execution of historic furniture makers.

The cabriole leg has been adapted throughout the centuries and can be found across a wide range of furniture styles, from traditional to contemporary. Its timeless appeal ensures that it remains a popular choice for designers looking to incorporate elegant curves and a sense of history into their creations.


Cabriole legs are commonly found on a wide range of furniture pieces, including chairs, tables, sofas, and case goods such as chests and cabinets. They are a signature feature of furniture styles from the Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Louis XV periods, but modern designers also use cabriole legs in contemporary pieces to add a classic touch to a modern aesthetic.


  • What time period is the cabriole leg associated with?

    The cabriole leg is most closely associated with the early 18th century, particularly with the Queen Anne and Chippendale periods.

  • Can cabriole legs be used in modern furniture design?

    Yes, while cabriole legs are deeply rooted in historical design, modern designers often incorporate them into contemporary pieces to add elegance and a classic touch.

  • What types of decorative feet are commonly found on cabriole legs?

    Common decorative feet on cabriole legs include the ball-and-claw, pad, and scrolled varieties, each adding its own character to the furniture piece.

Practical Application

When incorporating cabriole legs into your furniture design or selection, consider the overall style and era you aim to evoke. The leg's shape and the type of decorative foot can significantly influence the piece's aesthetic. Pairing cabriole legs with appropriate furniture styles and decorative techniques ensures a cohesive and historically informed look.