The Louis XVI commode adopted an ancient vocabulary and neoclassical style, following the discovery of the buried cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Cabinetmakers and ornamentalists favoured straight lines (columns, pilasters, balusters) and motifs borrowed from Greek or Roman Antiquity (fluting, ribbons, egg-and-dart friezes, laurel leaves).
On the strength of its great success, the Louis XVI commode was produced in large numbers and numerous variations. However, it most often retained a rectangular form, opening with two or three drawers in a row, of which one somewhat straighter. It features a marble plateau, tapered feet and fluted legs; it is adorned with figurative or geometric marquetry, and porcelain plaques in the rarest designs. The "demi-lune" commode makes its appearance under Louis XVI. It features a rounded profile with drawers in front and flanking swing doors.