Modern Design

“In the early Twenty-First Century a Modern style has emerged that blends the multiple design philosophies of the past 100 years into a set of principals that define contemporary interior design. At its core is the Bauhaus “form follows function” ethos that revolutionized design in the 1920s. The emphasis is on open space, clean, uncluttered lines, and the unadorned use of glass, steel and concrete. Progressing from this rather ascetic ideal, Modern style also incorporates movements like Art Deco, as well as the bold expression of abstract art. Flexibility is key. For me the spare, cool look is heightened through the use of antique accents, a classic armoire say, or a Deco end table with rich, wood tones. Against a stark backdrop, furnishings jump out and make vivid statements through the use of color and shape.

“To create the basic setting for Modern interior design, you start with a light, neutral palette, simple molding and baseboard, and an open plan with few obstructions. Areas in the open space are delineated by furnishings, light and floor coverings. Large windows are covered by nothing more than plain white sheers or blinds. Overall the plan should focus on angular, geometric shapes, with the copious light from large windows creating a sense of drama. Floors add warmth to the plentiful glass, steel and concrete through the use of natural materials like stone and wood. Shag area rugs also add warmth, and softly patterned rugs or sisal add contrast. Contrast is also important in the choice of furnishings. Stark, monochromatic pieces in chrome or stainless steel with leather upholstery can be juxtaposed with softer, more accessible transitional pieces, antique accents or classics like the Eames chair.

“Electronics are everywhere today, including the home, and rather than being hidden, they should be treated as essential elements of the design. The sleek look of the latest TV/Computer equipment fit naturally into modern interior design motifs. New smart home technologies control entertainment, ventilation, lighting, and security, and their controls are seamlessly integrated into the plan. Recessed, track lighting, or standing spotlights are used to focus light on artwork. The artwork mirrors the design, with bright colors and large canvasses. Stylistically the artwork of the abstract revolution of the early Twentieth Century, continuing through post war abstract expressionism to Pop Art and beyond anchor Modern interior design.

“Balancing the clean, stark and open ideals of Modern style with comfort, warmth and accessibility is the interior design challenge. Ultimately it is my clients who determine where on the spectrum of modernity they wish to reside.”

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