Two Sides of Interiors, Part I: Modern Luxury
With so many great websites and magazines full of inspirational imagery, it would be surprising if you didn’t have about twenty different design directions for your perfect home: from a modern minimalist kitchen space, with all straight lines and shiny surfaces, to a cosy, fabric-draped den, full of bright cushions and throws both fuzzy and knitted. Is it possible for these two approaches to interior design to co-exist in harmony? In Part I of this blog we’ll start with a closer look at modern luxury trends. In Part II we’ll look at bohemian chic and explore the possibility of bringing these two styles together to create something potentially magnificent.
Minimalist, neutral and abstract are terms which could more or less sum up most contemporary design trends. The continuous process of simplification and removing the excessive has become signature for western design in recent years. Simple shapes, straight lines and soft curves take over the spaces in the form of furniture which would look quite bland in a different setting. The minimalist trend has turned simplicity into a synonym of sophistication, as if the smooth, refined and elegant nature of the interior reflects the nature of those who reside within it.
One of the first notable characteristics is the space. There is a lot of it. With tall ceilings, wide open rooms and large concrete or brick walls, a semi-industrial setting has proven to be a most desirable starting point. Whether you decide to keep parts of the original look or completely redesign it, the aim is one and the same – turning that cold, negative space into an exquisitely designed personal abode which satisfies you and impresses all those you invite over. Of course, such a place, as a design piece in itself, can only be shared with people who will appreciate it. That is why the air of exclusivity is always present, even if the make-up of the interior isn’t as remarkable.
Leather is often a common feature – sofas, poufs, armchairs and all such home furniture and accessories. Leather is to a contemporary interior like a handbag is to a lady – not at all necessary but a choice which embodies a specific aesthetic, and addresses the respective connotations.
Another aspect of modern design and interior is abstraction, both in the face of unusually designed furniture (chairs, stools, coffee tables, shelving units etc.), eccentric additions (lighting, vases, candle holders, baskets etc.) and, of course, works of art (paintings, sculptures, installations).
Such pieces add to the sophistication, showing creative awareness and and hinting at a taste for modern art. If you are keen on having an abstract piece or two at home, it’s always worth a visit to your local gallery, and seeking the advice of a designer or curator to avoid out of context arrangements.
We can recognise modern luxury by its simplicity to the point of abstraction; the clever use of settings, the straight clear lines and curvature of objects and furniture, the earthy touch of metals, stone, wood, crystal and leather, and the ultimately neutral tones of the compositions.
In Part II of this blog, we’ll be looking at the bohemian face of interior design, and all the colour and clutter this brings.