How Do You Define Modern Furniture?

Modern furniture, generally speaking is furniture that was designed and manufactured during the latter half of the twentieth century. Interior designers tend to narrow this definition down somewhat as they use the term “modern furniture” when they discuss furniture produced in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. It was during this time that designers had an opportunity to experiment with new materials such as vinyl and highly polished tubular sections. As well as materials, modern furniture included modular pieces, pieces that were designed to accommodate multiple uses.

After World War II ended young families at the time rethought and reconceptualized their homes and living spaces. The demand at this time was affordable, stylish, comfortable mass produced furniture and furnishings that matched their new ideas and perspective. Some well known names in the industry such as Herman Miller, Hans Knoll and others were instrumental in defining the modern furniture era with such pieces as modular sofa sets, high gloss plastic stools in lieu of chairs, unique pedestal tables and the use of light as never used before.

The most influential furniture designers of the era knew intuitively how the furniture they were conceptualizing was to be used in the modern home of the day. It was the use of new materials such as vinyl in place of leather and bright, dynamic printed fabrics rather than heavy, dark brocade that was the fabric of choice prior to the ushering in of the era. These young designers also turned to using plywood rather than heavily carved and accented hardwoods and tubular steel in square, rectangular and round shapes instead of traditional wrought iron. The use of the unconventional materials allowed them to manufacture furniture as it had never been manufactured before; the designs that emerged were non-symmetrical and very fluid. Modern furniture designers were in the process of redefining the definition of the word “elegance” with their minimalist approach using bright colors and open approach.

Prior to the advent of what is known as “modern furniture in Suffolk County NY” the shapes were confined to squares, rectangles and circles. Young designers of the day introduced new and exciting shapes that totally changed the way living spaces were organized. Kidney shapes, oblong pieces, ellipses and other shapes never used before became the norm. The art deco color schemes of the past were replaced in favor of monotones such as black and gray, using colorful hues such as ruby and tangerine as highlights.

Modern furniture ushered in a totally new style, one that proved to be a perfect complement to the new generation of post war families and the homes they lived in.

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