It’s hard to imagine a world that doesn’t have modern living room furniture, but before the modernist movement in the early 19th century, furniture was overly ornate and complicated, almost to the point of ignoring comfort.
The modernist movement changed all that. Their mantra was “form follows function” and was amazingly simple in its intent. Build a chair that is comfortable, then make it look good. Emphasize shapes and designs that fit the purpose of the piece and don’t make it artistic just for the sake of showing off your workmanship.
That doesn’t mean that modern living room furniture is ugly or cheap. Far from it. Some of the best designers in the modern movement have had their hand in creating modern living room furniture that is beautiful to behold, yet fabulously functional in design.
The names are familiar to fans of modern living room furniture: Charles Le Corbusier, who greatly influenced mass production of modern living room furniture. Many of his pieces, including the Le Corbusier chair, are icons of the movement. So too is the work of George Nelson who created the Marshmallow Sofa and Florence Knoll, whose pieces are housed in the Museum of Modern Art. And who could overlook the names of Charles Eames and Ludwig van der Rohe, whose modern living room furniture transformed millions of American homes virtually overnight with their visionary designs that are just as fresh today as they were when first introduced.
If you’re drawn to modern living room furniture, you’re not alone. Its minimalist form isn’t static or boring. It is vibrant, energetic and very fashion forward. The wonderful thing about modern living room furniture is that pieces designed in the late 1920s blend seamlessly with other pieces that came onto the scene just last year.
Because form always follows function when it comes to this style of furniture, it never looks dated or goes out of style. That’s an added bonus as you can continue to add to your modern furniture over time with new pieces and they all go together. The style itself ties things together, so you can easily vary the fabric, colors or materials.
One of the hallmarks of modern furniture is the use of industrial materials instead of traditional woods and metals. You’ll find furniture that is made of pressure formed plywood, plastic, fiberglass, acrylic and aluminum, among other materials.
Another nice thing about modern is that you can accent the furniture with amazing lighting that looks more like conceptual art than a light. This only adds to the beauty and visual interest of your living spaces as fixtures swing and dance above you or cantilever from out of nowhere right to the spot where you’re reading. It is a blend of industrial and artistic design that is a marvel of innovation and industry. That’s because many of the original innovators were actually architects and engineers, not traditional furniture designers.
When shopping for modern living room furniture, you may want to combine a little bricks and mortar shopping with shopping online. While traditional showrooms may have limited stock, online stores can offer virtually limitless selection. This is particularly good if you’re shopping for a Barcelona Chair, Eames Chair or other signature piece to serve as the focal point of your living room. Often, these stores offer accent pieces that will complement these signature pieces, giving you a cohesive look without having to know a lot about the intricacies of interior design.
Many will also let you order custom so you can choose the fabric, pattern and color that is just right for you.
One thing’s for sure. It’s hard to go wrong with modern furniture if you’re looking for fashion forward furniture that will never go out of style.