Understanding Modern Furniture Design

Mid-century modern furniture became popular during the mid-20th century. The artists and craftsmen of this furniture design idea that functionality and artistry.

This modern furniture design was the result of the artists’ and craftsmen idea of putting functionality and artistry together. The modern in this design sense refers to a specific aesthetic instead of being current.

The main objective of this design theme is to introduce a cleaner, simpler design using modern materials that are available thru technological processes.

Driven by the desire to use these new materials. They focused on the shape by producing furniture with a more artistic appeal yet is functional. For example, they created chairs from molded fiberglass or fitted lounge chairs with stainless steel legs. These designs captured the eyes and hearts of consumers. After World War II, homeowners with a more disposable income demanded these new fresh designs to furnish their new suburban homes.

What Defines Modern Furniture Design

 Sleek, straight lines with smooth, shiny surfaces are the features of modern furniture design. The emphasis is on simple geometric forms instead of ornate designs featured on traditional designs. Modern furniture designs aim to produce items that are clean devoid of intricacies, messy lines, and color schemes.

Compared to the heavy visual presentation of traditional furniture, modern furniture designs have a lighter visual appeal. The trademarks of modern furniture design are the use of modern materials such as exposed light woods, stainless steel, chrome, aluminum or nickel, plastic with clean, simple lines devoid of any intricate details.

The well-known designers of modern furniture designs include Charles and Ray Eames (husband and wife), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Florence Knoll Basset, Arne Jacobsen, and Herman Miller. These designers were the leaders of the modernist movement during the 50s and 60s. From this group, we owe iconic furniture pieces such as the Barcelona chair, Tongue chair, and more exemplary items.

Milo Baughmann is another modern designer who renewed the look of classic styles. Working with furniture builders, Drexel and Henredon, they were able to bring these styles to the masses. Knoll, the company owned by Basset, still exists and continues to offer modern designs. Check out the vintage pieces created by any of the above designers if you like modern furniture designs. You can also find quality reproductions from online furniture stores.

Modern Design Furniture vs. Contemporary Design Furniture

Some people often mistook modern design furniture for contemporary design furniture.

Although modern and contemporary designs may have a few similarities, they are not identical or transposable.

Modern Furniture Design

Modern design furniture focuses on a specific time era taking on with the German Bauhaus and Scandinavian designs. It features:

  • Noticeable aesthetics
  • Angular
  • Clean, crisp lines
  • Warm neutrals
  • Balance

Contemporary Furniture Design

 Contemporary design changes constantly to display or demonstrate the popular styles of current day design. It features:

  • Minimalism, modernism, and other universal styles without emphasizing on a specific component
  • Restructured traditional look with a modest midcentury modern influence
  • Less artistic
  • Clean, curved, softer lines but more practical or functional and a few intricate detailing
  • Overstuffed with a softer look and feel

Incorporating sleek modern furniture design into your home is easy as you can buy it from online modern furniture stores. Check them out and watch my next post to have a better understanding of modern furniture design.

By Jackie Muzo (957 Posts)

I enjoy writing about interior design and trending furniture pieces. Furniture is fashion, styles are constantly changing!