Modern furniture is a term people frequently used on design shows, in magazines, and in advertisements, but what exactly qualifies as modern furniture?
A Brief History
Modern furniture first started being produced in the early to mid-twentieth century. Although often used interchangeably with contemporary furniture, modern furniture, and modern design were actually the precursor to contemporary furniture. Modern furniture became popular at the peak of the modern art movement and was heavily influenced by Dutch design and German Bauhaus design. This is why Dutch furniture and modern furniture are one and the same - the Dutch helped create modern design.
Dutch furniture is minimalistic and functional. The furniture tends to utilize natural materials like wood, stone, leather, and exposed metal. The color palette is primarily made up of earth tones with vivid color accents. Dutch furniture boasts smooth surfaces with straight angles, sleek lines, and sweeping curves.
Contemporary Furniture vs. Modern Furniture
Since modern and contemporary are incorrectly used to describe each other quite often, it’s helpful to know the differences between the two.
Modern furniture refers to a style that is credited to the early to mid-twentieth century and actually falls into a specific category within modern design called functionalist modern design. Contemporary furniture has a much more fluid definition. It does not refer to any one-time period; instead, it constantly changes to reflect current popular styles. Modern furniture is based on the design style that came out of the modern art movement, whereas contemporary furniture reflects many different styles, including minimalism, art deco, and modernism.
Modern furniture and contemporary furniture do have some design elements in common. For example, they both have clean lines, utilize natural materials, and focus on minimalism. While these elements remain consistent for modern furniture, the elements that are essential to contemporary furniture can evolve over time and may not always line up so closely with modern furniture.
Examples of Modern Furniture
While describing modern furniture gives you a sense of what it looks like, it’s best to see the design for yourself. Below are some of our favorite pieces of modern furniture and ideas for where you could integrate them into your home.
This piece of Dutch furniture is a perfect example of modern design. Using clean lines, natural fabrics like leather and felt, and neutral colors, the Puik bar stool creates the perfect seating for your kitchen island or bar.
This minimalistic piece of Dutch furniture highlights the functionality and minimalism of modern design. It can be used as either a stool or a side table, providing extra seating when needed or a place to rest your morning coffee. The clean lines and seamless design help to open up your space, making this the perfect piece of modern furniture for any room.
Puik created a gorgeous piece of Dutch furniture with the Shunan table. Made from wood and steel, it boasts clean lines and natural elements while being versatile enough to be used as a coffee table, side table, nightstand, or work station.
This unique coffee table is made of birchwood, 100% natural oil, and cotton steel. This piece of modern furniture is actually 31 pieces that are fit together like a puzzle. The warm earth tones, clean lines, and unique design make this an excellent centerpiece for your living room.
Modern furniture is perfect for any room, but modern design goes far beyond just furniture. Since modern furniture was inspired by the modern art movement, there are plenty of decor pieces that can help every room in your home feel complete. Just as Dutch design inspired modern furniture, it also inspired modern decor. You will recognize the earth tones, sweeping curves, clean lines, and functionalism in the decor pieces just as you did in the furniture pieces.
The Nadesign bowl is the epitome of every aspect of Dutch design. Made from clay and wood, the Nadesign bowl boasts earth tones, clean lines in the wooden legs, and sweeping curves in the shape of the bowl. This piece makes for the perfect centerpiece or countertop adornment.
While you may consider a shelf more of a storage piece than decor, this shelf by Puik is so functional and aesthetically pleasing it can double as both. Its clean lines and minimalistic design showcase the key elements of modern design.
K’Willem In Huis created a beautiful piece of Dutch design with their flat bowl. The curve of its surface, combined with its minimalistic appearance, creates the perfect piece to display on your sideboard or bar.
Before viewing Zuperzozial’s bread basket, you might wonder how something so normal and mundane could be a piece of decor. This bread basket made from bamboo, corn, and melamine combines functionality, minimalism, and clean lines to turn a boring kitchen necessity into a beautiful piece of modern decor.
Dutch design can be seen in fabric pieces as well as furniture. These gorgeous pillows from Puik will add a pop of color and comfort to any room and coordinate perfectly with the earth tones present in your other Dutch design pieces.
A truly beautiful piece of modern design with a rustic twist, this hurricane lantern in copper showcases the clean lines and sweeping curves of Dutch design in the most elegant way. These lanterns are perfect to bring a touch of modern design to your outdoor living space.
The next time you’re visiting a friend, dining at a restaurant, or watching a movie, take a closer look to see if you can spot Dutch furniture pieces. You’ll likely be surprised at how often modern design appears in your day-to-day life.
At Uniek Living, we carry high-quality brands that make beautiful products. Each piece of modern furniture you purchase from us is unique. Browse our online store today to find the perfect Dutch design elements to incorporate into your home.