William Kent (1685-1748) was the great figure in furniture design in the second quarter of the 18th century. He was the first English architect who included furniture as an integral part of his interior decoration.
He was the leading exponent of the Palladian revival which was sponsored by his patron, the Earl of Burlington. In the great Palladian houses of the period, of which Raynham, Holkham and Houghton are celebrated examples, Kent made free use of the rich and ornate baroque style which he had studied during his travels in Italy. He employed large, elaborately carved festoons, mouldings and masks, in soft woods richly gilt, or in mahogany parcel-gilt.
His furniture was made for a small privileged group of wealthy clients but the influence of its style is noticeable in the general architectural character of much of the best furniture made by leading cabinet-makers after 1725.