Modern Furniture: Roots, Mediums & Endless Possibilities


Think of traditional furniture and one would visualize dark, heavy wood, detailed carvings, “old world antiques,” allowing for time to stand still. Think of modern furniture and visualize crisp, clean lines, different colors, brightness and progressive designs, with the future in mind and a forward outlook.
Noguchi Coffee Table The Roots of Modern Design

Although the modern movement is considered a fairly recent establishment, emerging in the mid nineteenth century in Western Europe, the impact that it had on our society is revolutionary. Breaking barriers in every field such as science, literature, politics, social roles and of course design. Influences from ancient Japanese design are apparent in modern furniture lines, with the use of understated non ornate simple designs which provide a serene look, clean and clutter free, purity and simplicity. The Noguchi Coffee Table, designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1948, portrays the perfect example of eastern influence on western ideas. The light, sculptural lines of this table allow it to be a functional work of art.
LCW - Eames Lounge Chair

Bertoia Wire Bar Stool

New Mediums, more possibilities

When the industrial revolution introduced new materials into modern society, doors opened to create innovative and exciting pieces of furniture. Mediums such as plastic and plywood allowed for creative spirits to thrive. Wood was no longer the only option for creating lasting pieces of furniture. Mass production made it possible to produce beautiful furniture on a large scale, making it affordable to the working class.

Plywood, which consists of layers of wood glued together and molded into organic curved shapes, is what made designers such as Charles and Ray Eames so famous when they designed the Eames Molded Plywood Chair. With its sleek, simple look and organic curves, the Eames Molded Plywood Chair became a modern classic, inspiring a retro modern look in any space.

Wire is another material which in the past would have been considered unconventional for creating furniture. The renowned designer Harry Bertoia used wire to design the now famous Bertoia Wire Chair in the 1950’s, an exceptionally strong chair, with a unique sculptural design; the Bertoia is as durable as it is attractive.

Through experimentation in plastics as a viable medium in interior design & architecture, classics such as the S Chair (a.k.a. Panton Chair) were introduced in the 1960s. The Panton chair is unmistakably unique, with its fluid lines and bright colors, inspired by pop culture, it is a timeless piece.


A Return to the Modern Classics

Throughout the years, the modern classics have remained a staple in every designer’s creative pallete. The influence of early modern design is prevalent in establishments and institutions such as airports, museums, school buildings, office buildings and homes. This influence has kept the modern interior design strong and ever-evolving. However, it has also forced the competitive marketplace to continue its mission in offering high design to the working class, through affordable reproductions of the much-coveted classics of the 20th century.

Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman

Modern in the Home

To many people, living with modern furniture is a necessity, stemming from their love for simple and clean lines, and the sense of air and space that modern furniture tends to portray. The great news for those of us who share the passion for modern furniture but lack a large budget, is that we can still find many pieces of furniture at a flexible price range. Purchase Eileen Gray’s reproduction Side Table and you will own a true retro modern classic. For a seat that is a functional work of art, the Wassily Chair is the one to chose. Designed by the famous designer Marcel Breuer, this chair is of the highest quality reproduction. For a far out look that is undeniably modern there is always the Astro dining table, base is made of champagne molded fibre glass, top is made of glass.

The Nelson Platform Bench is a multifunctional piece, designed by George Nelson in 1946, providing both form and function for the ultimate in modern style.

Spaghetti Lounge Chair & Ottoman

Forever Modern

Today’s modern furniture designs display the same crisp lines as the classics, with a fuss free aesthetic, using avant garde materials. Some of examples are: the Spaghetti Lounge Chair and Ottoman from PIE, handmade of liana vine skin and rattan frame, this piece is a functional work of art. The Amici Jr, Stool is made of solid, stainless steel and also exemplifies our present modern day furniture designs.

Modern design continues to evolve and reshape with the times. By the use of new mediums, new designs and new designers, new pieces of modern furniture are designed every day, but the concept of the modern classic will always remain the same, the optimistic view  of thinking forward, with no boundaries, designing functional works of art, to be used and admired today and always.