Recently, I discovered that a furniture term I use ALL THE TIME is not even accurate.
For years now, whenever I have waxed on about the delights of seductively simple fluid design, I have often referred to it as either a modern or contemporary look.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I stumbled across an old web article, that I realized I have been messing up my furniture lingo. (Insert angst here.)
Modern and contemporary are NOT interchangeable words.
Check this out…Relish Interior published this little tidbit back on March 10, 2012. “Modern design refers to a period of time, it is a design style that was created in the 1920ʹs – 1950ʹs. It doesn’t change, it is a defined style, and will remain such forever.”
Head thump. This means that modern design only refers to classically simple icons that were birthed during this epic window. Here’s what else came into focus, have you ever heard of the term, “form and function”? Well, it was all the rage during the modern era. Simply put it means to design a piece with a clear vision of usage or function and strip away any ornamental detail, so you can solely concentrate on the form.
This credo gave a no frills design directive to create artistically simple and stunning pieces. It is no wonder the Eames chair, Le Corbusier chaise and Jacobson’s Egg chair are just a few of the modern mega hits that epitomize this era.
Many of these design divas are over 80 years young and are still monstrously popular. In fact, variations of them are likely sitting, right now, on the floor at your local posh furniture store.
Now, are you wondering when you call a design “contemporary”? No worries. It is when any mindfully simple or form and function inspired design has been knocked out in the past 54 years.
With that said, trend calling can still be a tad confusing since modern designs are totally inspiring today’s contemporary product.
The only absolute way to truly call it out correctly is to know the birthday of the design. Modern being 1920-1959 and Contemporary being 1960 – to now. Which is why I propose we christen a new movement called “Modemporary”.
the barefooted deigner