When people mention modern furniture, they are often speaking of minimalist
style with sleek lines and unusual curvatures. While some modern pieces are
a bit more ornate than that, all were designed with form and function in
In the early 1800's and before, furniture was quite ornate. Furniture
designers carved their pieces as intricately as sculptures, covering them
with busy designs until the pieces became works of art. Rich fabric
All of that changed in the latter half of the19th Century. That's when the
modernist movement began. Instead of focusing on ornamentation, modern
furniture designers tried to make their pieces as simple and functional as
possible. Unlike the dark, heavy, imposing presence of their predecessors,
modern furnishings were light, clean, and minimal. Lavish woods and
upholstery were replaced by polished metal and synthetic materials. Modern
furniture was also more geometric in appearance, departing from the gentle
curves of traditional furniture.
More than simple aesthetics, modern furniture represented a change in
philosophy. Before the modernist design movement, furniture wasn't just a
decoration for the home; it was a link to the past. Fanciful pieces were
handed down through generations. A well-preserved bed frame wasn't just a
supporter that held up a mattress; it was a reminder of the family's
Modern furniture, on the other hand, was a visual departure from the
overemphasis that was once placed on heritage and lineage. A room full of
modern furniture demonstrated that the owner was independent, a free
thinker, and someone who lived in the present rather than the past. Instead
of being steeped in tradition, a modern furniture owner conveyed the
impression of someone who looked to the future.
On a more basic level, modern furniture represented - and continues to
represent - the notion that originality and new technologies are primary
concerns. Many modern furniture designers are passionate about their craft,
pushing the limits of furniture design in search of the perfect balance of
looks and accessibility. Plastics and metals have been widely incorporated
into modern design. These materials are strong, yet easily to manipulate.
The result of their use has been unique shapes, colors and textures not
found in more traditional designs.
True to form, modern furniture designers looked to the future and saw that
mass production was the next step in the evolution of furniture-making. With
this in mind, they designed pieces that were easily shaped and portable.
They used materials that were cost efficient. As more and more factories
sprang up to manufacture these innovative designs, modern furniture became
available to everyone. Its popularity has waxed and waned over the years,
but it remains one of the most distinct and sought-after categories of
If you'd like to learn more about modern furniture, please browse our web
site and have a look at the beautiful collections featured here. The pieces
range from simple and sterile to warm and inviting, with functionality being
the unifying factor. Through the years, modern furniture has expanded to
include a variety of styles. We're lucky to live in an age where there's
modern furniture to suit every taste and décor.