101 Modern Interior Design Classics for Gentlemen

In today’s video,   we’ll be highlighting a number of modern interior design classics that will help   your space look both sleek and appropriately timeless. we produced earlier on interior modern interior design home 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 blogs. With that said, the modern style of interior modern interior design homes was a hallmark of the mid-20th century and it still remains quite popular today. 

modern interior design home

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 blog, we’ll briefly review the formation and history of the modern style of   modern interior design homes 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 modern interior design home 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. And right on cue the drag racers are out.  Microphone might have even picked that one up. That was loud.  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.  Our homes acquire new grace, new glamour, 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.  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 watched 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 Herman-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.Down the stairs, up the stairs, down the stairs.

bedroom interior

It’s our skin. We wash it with soap and water. Why? Well, there’s a special reason. Now, since we’ve tackled two chairs, for our  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.

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.

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, 

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   require much light or watering.

Oh, this next one’s great. Next is the split-leaf philodendron or Monster delicious, 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 plant’s tiny leaves and delicate   variations in color add a lot of visual interest. But, watch out as it will grow quickly and require   regular pruning. Finally here, we’ve got a real mouthful for you. Boy, oh, boy! It’s important to be a good speaker 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.

bedroom interior

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 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 video 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? 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.

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