Hello there modernist furniture!

Hello there modernist furniture!

Hello there modernist furniture!

It’s always a gratifying experience watching over our forefathers’ ancient and traditional furniture. However, in today’s time and age, it’s close to impossible to keep and maintain such ornate stuff.

They take up huge spaces and intricate designs usually catch more dust if not praise! Plus, big pieces may just not gel with the rest of the home decor. A practical yet stylish solution to this is the advent of modernist furniture.

History speaks

Modern furniture design, also referred to as mid-century modern for its popularity during the mid-20th century, was influenced by the idea that craftsmen and artists could work together to create functional furniture with a more artistic appeal. So, modern here does not refer to the current day, but to a particular aesthetic. One fantastic modernist furniture designer was renowned Spanish artist Antoni Goudí.

His way-ahead-of-time architectural and design solutions took the world by storm.
Casa Batllo, a house built by Goudi in Barcelona houses such furniture that people from all over the world come over to see. And the material used was simple varnished solid oak.

His simple yet elegant designs don’t just offer a sleek and smooth look, but also come with the ultimate functionality in terms of usage, look and feel.

For example, a typical Goudi chair would be seamless and smooth, with no sharp edges and a sleek and soft feature to its look and feel.

Modern furniture design evolved out of a number of different influences, including the Werkbund and Bauhaus Schools, exotic designs from foreign countries, Art Nouveau and the designers and artists of the period. “Modernist designs can be very eclectic, because they are ever changing and borrow pieces and styles from all
different eras. The finishing details and furniture are in — ornate and use of clean lines,” says Mahima Singh, visual merchandiser, Furlenco.

So, what is a modernist approach?

If you notice, you will see that with time, furniture became ‘lighter’ in more than one sense. The emphasis shifted from furniture as a piece of art to furniture as a functional and accessible belonging. Modern furniture changed the focus from traditional to new, original and practical with an eye toward the future.

The advent of modern design provided more economical methods of constructing furniture, along with new, more flexible materials. Modern furniture design features sleek, straight lines with smooth and shiny surfaces. The focus is on simple geometric shapes rather than heavy ornamentation. The objective is to create an uncluttered look, free from chaotic lines and colour schemes.

Traditional furniture was visually heavy, while modern design seeks to offer a lighter visual appearance. The use of materials such as stainless steel, nickel or aluminium, exposed light woods, plastic with clean lines and an absence of ornate details are the hallmarks of a modern design.

Don’t get confused

Modern furniture design is often mistaken for contemporary design. The two may share some similarities, but overall, they are not interchangeable.

Modern furniture is angular and very artistic. Contemporary design shares the same clean lines, but is more functional, less artistic, and has a softer look and feel.

Contemporary design is an updated traditional look with a slight mid-century modern influence. “The design of a contemporary space often includes modern elements such as brushed nickel light fixtures and light wood accents. The main furniture will be more comfortable, overstuffed, and with softer curved lines and little ornate detailing,” says Mahima.

Doing it the modernist way

Comfort and sustainability are key values that are important in a contemporary home. This may require a smart streamlining of everything — from your DVD player to your flat screen television to the furniture around. Keep in mind the simplicity of design and ease of functionality and there you go – that’s all about adapting a modernist design. Price range for such pieces could be very high, as the design and technique used are futuristic.

However, since the idea of modernist furniture is to be at par with the ever-evolving needs and changes, you could also look at renting furniture and changing it when you’re done with it.

 “Now, more than ever, people are looking for newer materials being used in a modernist approach. So it’s important to also use different materials creatively. It adds to the aesthetics and takes the whole emotional experience part to a different level. We use a lot of new age materials like cement, brass along with wood and leather to create modernist furniture lines,” says Bobby Aggarwal, designer and founder, Portside Café furniture studio.


One of the most commonly recognised features of modern furniture is its simplicity. These kinds of furnishings are uncomplicated, with straight, clean angles. You’re less likely to find sweeping curves or rounded edges when looking at a modern aesthetic. Additionally, modern furniture is made from a variety of materials and is usually quite light. Things like light-coloured woods, wrought iron, or laminated wood are just a few of the materials found in modern furniture.

So, look around and you will surely embark upon some modernist styles that can be a part of your living. May be a furniture piece at a time, but such a change of taste is a great step towards modernity!