mercredi 6 mars 2013

How Modern Design Influences Contemporary Interior Design Styles - Guest blogging

The Evolution of Modern Design

Contemporary Design

Modern interior design has evolved and become a prevalent element in contemporary style. The sleek and unadorned sophistication of modern design has become a popular trend, with not only interior designers, but also with mass produced retail outlets such as IKEA. This style is emphasized by strong lines and shapes that contrast with neutral color palettes. Modern interior design is a unique style that has generated a popular resurgence in today's aesthetics for a number of reasons. While modern and contemporary are often used simultaneously, they are not synonymous definitions. Before breaking down the elements of modern design, it is important to understand the categorical distinctions.

Why Sets Modern Apart from Contemporary?

Modern and contemporary, by basic definition, sound interchangeable. This is a common misconception by many. In the simplest terms, modern refers to a specific style originating in the early 1900s and coming to fruition in the 1950s and 60s. Contemporary, on the other hand,


represents a pliable, ever changing category of trends and popular styles. Because it represents moment driven fades, contemporary interior design is very eclectic, pulling from a number of popular styles. Modern design is currently one such trend. Modern interior design is commonly referred to today as retro.

History of Modern Design

To understand the concepts and foundations of modern interior design, it is important to recognize the conceptualization and influence of modern art itself. Modern art was the influential predecessor to modern design. This influence went on to affect not only interior design but also architecture. This movement has its first ties in the post-World War I European influence that saw art and style under the premise that "form follows function." This was then coupled with the art styles in the United States and drawn from aspects of the impressionist movement.

In the 1920s, art and design was highly influenced by the jazz age as well as America's continuing industrial innovations. These socio-economic factors inspired the Art Deco, Streamline Modern and Machine Age styles. Concepts were based on principles such as Italian minimalism with design schemes that were vastly open and large, while for the most part unadorned. There was an underlying functionality to this style.

As World War II concluded and America saw an exponential boom in population, modern design was further influenced by concepts of mass production. Machines were created to produce furniture in mass quantities. Materials such as plastic, steel and plywood became popular. Modern interior designers had access to a larger number of products that were both functional and economical. This design style, as we know it today, is often referred to as "Mid Century Modern," as it reached its pinnacle during the 1950s and 1960s.

What are the Distinctive Qualities of Modern Interior Design?

Form and Function

Modern interior design is similar in form to that of modern architecture. Shapes are geometric and angular with distinctive lines, often asymmetrical. The use of squares and rectangles are often rigid with smooth, even curves. Circles and ovals are also popular and are usually perfectly shaped. Lines are unbroken and rigid. This is a key component of both furniture and art. Modern interior designers will often use striking forms and shapes in artwork or furniture pieces to serve as a focal point or accent piece. These particular pieces are often further highlighted through the use of lighting. Otherwise, there are fairly limited ornamental flourishes. Overall, the design aesthetic remains minimalistic.


The color palette for a modern interior designer is always neutral. Contemporary interior design has emphasized this trend with the popularity of white in wall color and furniture. The aforementioned functionality of accent pieces are typically back dropped by white walls. Color is used sparingly, so neutral palettes are common for not only paint choices but also furnishings, accessories and fabrics alike. If a contrast in style is to be made, it is generally through a unique furniture piece or artwork and not through color. The neutral colors help create the desired feel of openness and expansive interiors.


Retailers like IKEA embrace the sustainability and use of natural, organic materials popular with the widespread green movement and an important element of modern interior design. The prominent use of natural materials has further increased the popularity of this style. Furniture and accent pieces often make use of wood, leather and linen. Contemporary interior design uses furniture of molded plywood, plastic and polished metal. When artificial shapes and materials are used they are often harmonized through the use of expansive windows and open landscapes. There is almost always a draw back to the natural elements. Accent works, such as table legs and cabinet details, are commonly stainless steel and other glossy metals. These, coupled with the popularity of glass and plastic, create smooth surfaces that are complimentary to the form and shape of the furnishings. Modern interior designers often create similar aesthetics with flooring such as granite, concrete and linoleum.

Is Modern Interior Design Here to Stay?

The popularity of modern design stores such as IKEA have proved the sustainability of this particular style. While contemporary interior designers are allowed the ambiguity of a vast style market, modern themes are continuing to increase in popularity. The combination of functionality and style certainly helps establish the longevity of the modern interior design aesthetic.
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Susan Slobac is very familiar with information about on how to fix up your house to a contempory style. Susan refers to modern interior design to find out further information about how to complete your ideal look. Add Susan on Google Plus.

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