As opposed to the ornamented, sometimes gaudy styles of furniture that characterized the Classical period in the 18th and 19th Centuries, a simpler, sleeker, and more idiosyncratic style of furniture began to take over the 20th Century. This emergence of “modern furniture” can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century, when the Modernist movement began shifting directions in art, music, film, and literature across many nations. Today, top modern furniture brands are always evolving, moving with technology and ongoing cultural changes.
The Modernist movement was defined by a denial of traditional values and established forms of culture. This rejection of the norm often manifested itself in chaotic and surprising ways. The result could be simultaneously simple and complex. Hans Hoffman, a Modernist painter, expressed himself with a fury of clashing colors and often simple shapes like squares and rectangles. Pablo Picasso, perhaps the most known Modernist painter, bent reality by skewing the proportions of human bodies. His lines were well-defined and eye-popping. In music, Jazz began gaining popularity, especially in Harlem and New Orleans. This style of music featured dissonance, polyrhythms, and improvisation never before heard in music halls.
2. Furniture Evolution
The Modernist movement affected furniture styles in similar ways it affected the arts and culture around the world. In Germany in 1919, the Bauhaus was founded, a school that taught emerging trends in design. Here was one of the birthplaces of modern furniture. The Bauhaus emphasized a unity of the arts, seeking to bring together all forms of art in a tangible way. Architecture and furniture which came out of the Bauhaus was characterized by sharply defined lines, efficient proportions, and sleek exteriors. In the U.S., the American Arts and Crafts movement also pushed furniture design in this new direction. This school of thought aimed to do away with generic, superfluous ornamentation and instead focused on the individuality of the designer, asymmetry, and proportionality.
3. Trends in Top Modern Furniture Brands Today
Today modern furniture is still evolving, and there are clear trends one can see in top modern furniture brands. A major trend today is multi-functional furniture. For instance, a couch might have built-in storage spaces (shelves and drawers), a table might double as a chair, and so on. Our society today, always multi-tasking, seems to invite this relatively new trend. Some modern home furniture even connects with new technology, like smart devices and computers. Leather is also making a comeback in modern furniture stores, along with a resurgence of vintage furniture styles. Like fashion and hairstyles, what’s in vogue with furniture seems to move in cycles, always evolving but also returning to previous forms.