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Modern Interior Design Classics For Gentlemen

Moesha Andersen / small / 20 January 2022, 06:04:23
Elegant Modern Men Majlis Contemporary Designs With Luxury Interior Design Classics Decor Bar Cart Eames Lounger Style Barcelona Chair Wall Art Pictures Gentleman

This article is a sequel of sorts to one we produced  earlier on interior design classics from a bit   further back in history. If you'd like to look  at these even more classically inspired pieces,   you can check out that article here. With that said,  the modern style of interior design was a hallmark   of the mid-20th century and it still remains quite  popular today.

With its emphasis on clean lines,   functional materials, and practicality, it can, at its best, represent the apex of both   comfort and beauty and, thus, it's incredibly  appropriate for gentlemanly spaces. So,   in today's article, we'll briefly review the  formation and history of the modern style of   design before highlighting a number of different  pieces you can use to decorate your own space.   Contrary to what you might think at first though,  decorating your space in the modern style doesn't   mean appointing it like the headquarters of a  James Bond villain or like the Brady Bunch home.   There are a number of more subtle modern design  touches that can be effortlessly implemented   in a gentleman's home, but at the same time, we do  recognize that the modern style can be polarizing.   So, whether you want to go full  Mad Men with your interior design   or just add a few modern touches, we think that  there's a lot to love in this versatile style. Jumping into the background for today, then, we  should first clarify that when we say "modern,"   we're not referring to the interior design styles  of the modern day. Rather, for styles of the   present day, the term "contemporary" will be used  more often. Modern style started developing at the   beginning of the 20th century and came into its  own in the middle of the century.

Overall, it was   a reaction of sorts to the heavy, sumptuous, and  ornate styles of the late Victorian Era, which by   this time, were viewed as gaudy and overwrought.  By the 1890s, decorating styles like "mission"   and "arts and crafts" were already starting to  eschew some of these features, but modern style   really started coming into its own after World  War I. And, as you might expect, modern interior   design was often influenced by modern architecture  with styles like internationalism and Bauhaus,   emphasizing that buildings ought to be made  from practical materials, free from ostentatious   decoration, and designed, above all, for comfort  and utility. In fact, American architect and the   so-called "Father of the Skyscraper," Louis  Sullivan, presaged this line of thinking when   he declared in 1896: "That form ever follows  function. This is the law." These tenets applied   to modern furnishings, as well, with many  of these designers also designing furniture.  new accommodations. Expressing not only the American love of beauty,  but also the basic freedom of the American people.

Following the Second World War, modern  furniture became extremely popular   as it was relatively cheap to produce and, thus,  could be easily procured by middle-class families. And, in the United States, mid-century  modern became quite popular as this style   was exemplified by heavy-grain wood panels, matte  leathers or fabrics, organic forms, tapered legs, and simple geometric shapes. For examples  of these kinds of interiors, you can look at   early sitcoms or heist movies or the films of The  Rat Pack made in the 1960s. And after the 60s, modern style began to bifurcate more  and more into sub-genres, ranging from   the kitsch of the 1970s to the minimalism  of the 1980s. With all that said though,   modern style does still remain  popular today.

So, as you can see,   the modern style actually encompasses  several different sub-genres of design, but through all of them, there are a certain  amount of fundamental principles. Firstly,   it emphasizes open and integrated spaces where  all of the elements are functioning together,   including the use of natural light. Next,  it's practical and comfortable, utilizing   simple shapes and forms, as well as constructions,   to satisfy its users. It also emphasizes  clean, horizontal and vertical lines, but keep in mind, too, that clean doesn't always  have to mean straight. So, simple, rounded curves   can also be used.

It takes advantage of natural  and sustainable materials whenever possible. So, think of things like wood, leather, stone, and  metal. It often foregoes bold colors and patterns   in favor of natural and neutral tones, and  it takes advantage of naturally occurring   textures to create sensory interest. So, there's  the history and the basics of the modern style out   of the way. Next, we'll move on to some specific  recommendations for your space starting with the   Barcelona chair.

This chair was designed by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and German designer Lily Reich for 1929's  International Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain   for which it came to be named. It  represented an intentional effort   to blend luxury and utility and it  was even used by the King of Spain   as he readed the opening of  the International Exhibition. It featured pigskin leather over a steel frame and  Knoll Incorporated was the company to manufacture   it for the mass market. It's been in production  almost continuously since 1929, and in 1950,   the design was updated to feature a form made  from a seamless piece of stainless steel, which gives the chair its iconic continuous  curve. These chairs are ideal for both reading   and conversation and, as such, they'd be a great  choice for a library or a living room.

You can   pair them with similarly sized chairs or use them  to offset a larger sofa. Best of all, due to its   unassuming silhouette and simple lines, it can  be seamlessly integrated into almost any design   scheme. When selecting your leather color, natural  colors are going to blend more with traditional   design schemes, whereas choosing something bolder  will give you a more truly modern air. Now, for   our next pick, fans of the TV show "Frasier" might  recognize it, but no, it's not a psychiatrist's   couch. It's the famed Eames Lounger.  Another iconic piece of American furniture, the Eames Lounger and its matching ottoman  were designed by married collaborators   Charles and Ray Eames in 1956 for the  Hermann-Miller Company.

It was made from   premium leather and layered plywood and was  designed to communicate that a chair made from   modern materials with a simple design could  still make for a luxurious piece of furniture.   It originally retailed for around $300,  closer to $3,000 in today's money,  which made it affordable enough for the upper  middle-class families, who were often the   tastemakers for American society at that time. It was an immediate hit with the American   public. It's been in production  constantly since its debut, and it also comes in a wide variety of colors  to suit any space. It does have a relatively   large footprint, so you might want to consider  setting it apart from other pieces of furniture   in its own nook or area of the room. And when  integrating it with other pieces of furniture,   we'd suggest pairing it with pieces that are  either noticeably larger or noticeably smaller   as this will lead to not having  an appearance of clutter.

Hello, Phil. How's everything? You and I have a coat of armor that  protects our bodies from the outside world.  It's our skin. We wash it with soap and  water. Why? Well, there's a special reason. number three pick, let's  turn to a sofa designed by another one of the greats of American interior  design.

This would be the Knoll sofa, designed   by Florence Knoll, who was an American  architect, designer, and manufacturer   who helped introduce many iconic European  furniture designs to mass markets   like the Barcelona chair we mentioned  before, as well as Eero Saarinen's   tulip chair. She also designed many  pieces of furniture of her own, including the sofa that still bears her name.  She wanted it to appear streamlined and sleek,   so she avoided any unnecessary details and focused  on the quality and construction of the materials.   With its chrome base for durability and  reinforced wood frame to prevent sagging,   it became a durable and long-lasting piece  of many American interiors. It's also   available with your choice of either leather  or fabric upholstery for maximum versatility.   It works well in front of a television or  as the largest piece in a conversation area   like a living room, den, or drawing room. Settee varieties are also available for smaller  spaces. With its simple rectangular footprint and   unassuming design, it's able to blend into most  any design scheme.

And due to its sturdy frame   and simple lines, it's very good at pairing with  and toning down more dramatic pieces such as   Eero Aarnio's ball chair or Marcel Breuer's  Wassily chair. We'll shift into other kinds   of furniture introduced in the Modern Era that  you might like to incorporate in your own home   and we'll start here with the pop-up bar. Opinions  about drinking, especially in the United States,   underwent a radical shift over  the course of the 20th century,  and as a result, new pieces of furniture  popped up in accordance with this.   One such piece is the pop-up bar, which  looks like an ordinary cabinet or cupboard   but can be opened to reveal a miniature bar  setup. As cocktails became increasingly popular,   pop-up bars were a space-saving way to store one's  cocktail materials. And for propriety's sake, they   could also discreetly appear like any other piece  of furniture.

Indeed, even if you don't drink,   you might consider incorporating a pop-up bar  just as a way to have more general storage. As   far as placement is concerned, you may actually  want to select a space based on the piece. Taking visual complexity into consideration, for example, a bolder piece is going to look   visually larger than a more subdued one. As pop-up  bars continued to be popular well into the 1980s, there were a wide variety of different styles and   shapes produced. But, if after all is  said and done, you don't think you've   got the room or the style necessary in  your space to incorporate a pop-up bar,   then a bar cart might be the answer for you.

Inspired by the service trolleys used by waiters, bar carts are meant for the easy storage and  moving of drinks, their accoutrements, and their   glasses. And they also come in a variety of sizes  depending on what you might need. And although, they're designed to be rolled around, it's also  perfectly acceptable to keep a bar cart stationary   as we do here in the Gentleman's Gazette  Studios. Like pop-up bars, bar carts were also   quite popular throughout the 20th century and as  such, they come in a number of different styles.   With their gorgeous metallic detailing, art  deco bar carts are extremely popular and they're   definitely a statement piece. For something more  neutral, though, you could consider the wood   finish and the clean lines of a mid-century modern  bar cart.

And for the ultimate in understated   utilitarianism, you could consider this bar cart  designed by Richard Schultz in 1966 for the Knoll   Company. Few lamps are more recognizable and  draw more extreme opinions than the Arco floor   lamp. Designed for the Flos Company in 1962 by the  Castiglioni Brothers, Pier Giacomo and Achille,   it consists of a bulb with a large metallic shade  connected by an arm to a heavy counterweight.   It was originally made from spun aluminum with  the counterweight made from Carrara marble.   It was intended to provide direct light to a  specific area in an unobtrusive and elegant way,   although, critics do say that it looks like  a light that belongs more on a spaceship   than in your living room. You make the call. So, while this one is an especially daring piece  and only you can decide if it's right for you, the   Arco floor lamp can help to improve lighting where  ceiling lights and other lamps aren't practical, instantly add an unforgettable  pop to a drab space,   or tie together a room with other odd pieces.

In other words, because the Arco floor lamp is  so unusual, having it in a space that also has   other pieces of furniture from different design  schools will reinforce the impression that your   tastes are deliberate and eclectic rather  than just a mishmash of different pieces. During the day, of course,  you'll probably prefer to   rely on lighting your space with natural sunlight, which brings us on to our next design tip:  incorporating houseplants. Despite its   associations with industrial materials, nature has  always played an important part in the aesthetics   of the modern design movement. As we've already  mentioned, many modern homes feature accents in   wood and stone and some even have extensive water  features. Now, we're not saying you should install   exposed redwood beams or a trickling fountain in  your main room, but there are ways to incorporate   a more natural touch into the modern style.

If  you do choose to use house plants in this way, the modern style favors deep, rich greens  rather than excessively vibrant colors. So,   we'd suggest using leafy plants rather than  flowering ones. As such, here are a few   suggestions. We'll start with the fiddle-leaf  fig tree or Ficus lyrata, where the deep   greens of the leaves are a pleasure to behold, but be aware that it does need a lot of light.   Next up, would be the African spear plant  or Sansevieria cylindrica, where the unique   spheres of the plant blend nicely with the linear  forms of the modern style, and this one doesn't   Next is the split-leaf philodendron or Monstera  deliciosa, where the lilting organic curves of   the unique philodendron can add a subtle  organic touch to any modern room. Next,   the creeping fig or Ficus pumila 'Variegata,'  where the plants tiny leaves and delicate   variations in color add a lot of visual interest.  But, read out as it will grow quickly and require   Boy, oh, boy! Finally here, we've got one that's a real  mouthful.

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, simply called the ZZ plant by most people, for  obvious reasons. It provides all the benefits of   glossy deep green leaves and it requires little  attention. So, we think this one is the ZZ tops. Considering placement, you'll want to value clean  lines here. So, consider flanking doorways or   large pieces of furniture with plants.

You can  also create balanced, symmetrical compositions on   tabletops or elsewhere within a room. And to  help delineate spaces and create more order, you can consider using plants as dividers. There  are specialty planters available for this purpose,  but you could also simply make your own with a  long, low planter or a series of pots. If they're   arranged on a table or another linear surface at  the edge of a room, as the plants grow, they'll   create a leafy green wall of sorts to confine  the space a bit. Taking care of real plants does,   of course, require a bit of time and effort, but  we think that this investment is worth it to liven   up your spaces.

Or, as we do here in the studios and elsewhere around Raphael and Teresa's home, you could also consider high-quality faux plants.  As you show off your green thumb, you might also   consider showing off your artistic tastes. But  as there are a few considerations here as well,   we'll now go into displaying modern art. If you're  familiar with famous modern homes, you may have   noted that the walls often tend to be more bare as  the clean and simple lines of the modern movement   can be somewhat at odds with a cluttered, jumbled  assortment of many different framed art pieces.   However, this doesn't mean that modern homes are  completely without art. Rather, they're often just   meant to be central focal points in a room. Stated  in another way, you'll want to focus on quality   over quantity here and make design decisions  like putting a large piece of art opposite a   window or at the end of a hallway.

And if you  do want to display multiple pieces, consider   a regimented arrangement where you hang similarly  sized and framed pictures in an orderly row or in   otherwise symmetrical compositions. In general,  the modern style favors unframed pictures or   simple frames in black, white, or metallics. And,  regarding sculpture, similar rules apply here, where you should consider  having one large focal piece,   rather than a variety of small statuettes.  Or if you do have multiple smaller pieces,   you could take another design cue  from a certain doctor from Seattle   and display them in a compartmentalized case  or cabinet. When it comes to what art you're   displaying, though, don't feel that just because  you're working within the modern style of design   for your space that you must choose a modern art  piece. The simplistic approach used in the modern   style for displaying art will draw attention  to any art piece regardless of its own style You could also consider acquiring an original  piece from a local artist.

But, on the subject of   acquisitions, that brings us to our final section  for today. We should note here that famous modern   art pieces purchased new tend to have relatively  steep price tags anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000.   So, you should keep this in mind and decide  whether this is truly the right decision for you. And due to their popularity, famous pieces of  modern furniture can even be somewhat expensive   secondhand and, of course, you should also keep  an eye out for forgeries. Helpfully though,   there are guides available online that can  help you to discern a fake from an original, and we've included links in the description. And  speaking of reproductions, lower-quality furniture   manufacturers will often pump out facsimiles of  these famous pieces that are lower in quality.

Therefore, it's always best to be able to test out  a piece of furniture in person, so that it looks, feels, and performs the way you want it to.  There are, of course, some manufacturers who more   closely adhere to the design elements of  the originals while not necessarily being   those exact pieces. So, this could be a more  budget-friendly option to consider if that's   valuable for you. As with many other things,  research is going to be your best friend here. So,   we hope today's article has helped you to understand  the fundamentals of the modern school of design   and also introduced you to some of its most  famous furniture pieces. Most of all, though,   we hope we've given you some good ideas on  creating and constructing a space that works   well for you.

As Charles Eames, himself, put it:  "The role of the designer is that of a very good,   thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his  guests." And after all, who visits your own home   more than you do? In today's article, I'm wearing  a relatively casual outfit, good for spending   some time around the house. The central element  is my blood orange sweater from Hawes & Curtis,   under which I'm wearing a shirt featuring  a small microgrid pattern of orange, green,   purple, and blue on a white ground. The  shirt has French cuffs, but I'm wearing   simple black links in them today and I've got  the cuffs configured in a barrel style to fit   more easily under the sleeves of my sweater. My  trousers are in a taupe shade somewhere between   brown and gray and my socks from Fort Belvedere  are our two-tone shadow-stripe models in charcoal,  gray, and orange to harmonize with the trousers  as well as my sweater. Rounding out the outfit   today are my tobacco brown suede loafers, which  also harmonize with the overall color palette.   And, of course, you can find the socks I'm wearing  in today's article in the Fort Belvedere shop   along with a wide array of other  stylish classic men's accessories.


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