Today marks the beginning of our new blogging series, “Style Guide Fridays”. Each week we’ll be defining the most popular design styles in an easy, informative, and descriptive way from an insider’s point of view. Read along to understand the styles you love on a deeper level and discover which one fits your next project best!
Modern style has many versions from the purist 1920s interpretation to the 1950s kitschy American modernistic movement. Early modern styles include art nouveau, art deco, and art modern. As a varied and mixed style of the 20th century, modern styling stemmed from the early German Bauhaus School of Design and Scandinavian modern movement. Incorporated in the style are elements of Abstract, Cubism and Pop Art which became popular after WWII as the contemporary society we know today began to develop. After the hardships of the war, creativity was sparked and resulted in exciting, imaginative and innovative design touching all aspects of contemporary life.
Phillippe Starck’s chrome floor mirror and glass table set amongst a highly ornamental setting, shows the contrast between the clean lines of modern styling and more ornate styles.
Image above via Capivast.com
Straight and sensuous lines, geometric shapes, polished surfaces and expansive spaces are all characteristics of modern style. After the highly ornamental styles of the past, modern styling was a breath of fresh air with its streamlined and non-fussy aesthetic. Indicative of the style are white walls, large bare windows, open floor plans. Many furniture designs became works of art in their own right with biomorphic curves and non-ornamental lines. Industrial materials such as chrome, painted steel and plastic found their way into the home. Laminated wood and industrial coatings became popularly used in furniture design.
Image Above via GearPatrol.com
Eames 3-seater Sofa is still being reproduced today. Rich walnut and supple leather make it a welcome addition to any modern home.
Designers of the time became legends and their works are still in reproduction to this day. Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames are just a handful of the masters of modern styling. Popular furniture designs coming from this group include the Egg Chair, Tulip Chair, Eames Chair, Panton Chair and the modular sofa. Popular materials used by these designers were polypropylene molded plastic, leather, chrome and glass. Architects of the time, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Neutra and Louis I Kahn, are considered geniuses by many. Their works, like the furniture of the time was simple, streamlined and biomorphic.
Image Above via mocoloco.com
Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona daybed makes this corner a comfortable and classy place to get away from the demands of modern life.
Image Above via furniturestudiodesign.com
Sensuous lines and bold vibrant colors are indicative of Karim Rashid’s modern flair.
Image Above via Brown Davis Interiors
Today, modern furnishings can be found in reproduction both online and off from dealers carrying modern furnishings. The modern movement has not waned since its inception, but has gained popularity with many designers creating new looks such as Philippe Starck with his 2003 Ghost Chair and Karim Rashid with his colorful and fun interior designs. Two highly acclaimed TV shows set in the early 20th century, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, have increased demand for the mid-century modern and art deco modern styles.
Tell us what other aspects you think are important to make modern style exclusively modern. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you’d like to see us include a particular style in this guide that you haven’t yet seen, feel free to let us know which one you’d like to see at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While you’re here, check out our other style guides as well: