Look for slightly curved chair arms, evident in many pieces, which reflects the graceful style of this era.
Search for drawer pulls that were popular in this type of furnishing. Rosette, lion's head and mushroom-shaped drawer pulls were often used in American Empire furniture.
Feel and identify the fabrics in the furniture. Brocades, velvet and damask materials were frequently seen in this style. This material feels rich and luxurious and reflects the refined taste of this era.
Check out the feet of your furniture piece. Many times a foot was in the shape of an animal paw or claw; sometimes these were made of brass.
Look for dark woods. Black walnut, cherry, rosewood and mahogany were prevalent in American Empire furnishings.
Search for motifs on the furniture. Often pineapples, urn shapes, eagles, cornucopias and stars were incorporated into the woodcarvings.