Last year, Elle Décor held an online conversation asking this question: Is it time to leave Mid Century Modern behind? Needless to say, comments flooded in with one resounding response: NO WAY. It turns out that people no longer see Mid Century Modern design as a transitory trend. Rather, they see it as something of a lifestyle. Timeless. Classic. Flexible.
That’s especially true in living and dining spaces, where Mid Century Modern sofas, , and create pared down, clean-lined, yet welcoming rooms that provide a neat backdrop to the ongoing drama of our lives. Mid Century Modern is simple enough and versatile enough to work with almost any furniture period.
Take, for instance, modern sofas like the by Kure, sold at , pictured above. It has clean lines that would look great in a glass-encased high-rise condo, but its neutral color and shape sit somewhere between modern and traditional. It could work just as easily in a craftsman bungalow. Similarly, the (below) at Rove Concepts would look just as good in an Eames Case Study House as a Victorian parlor. Let’s face it, modern sofas have a versatility that Rococo French fainting couches don’t.
Above, , at Rove, provides a classic feel to an airy, open interior. And check out the interior below, an example of how Mid Century Modern can mix effortlessly for an eclectic look. In the Upper West Side apartment, from Rove Concepts, mixes with more traditional furniture styles for a warm, vibrant feel.
Here’s yet another example:
It seems that Mid Century Modern furniture, really is here to stay, no longer just a trend, but a fixture in American homes.
In a globalized world ruled by Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, trends rip through the design world faster than you can click a mouse. Thanks to global furniture retailers like Ikea and BoConcept, today, the way we live in Brussels is the way we live in Boston. As in all matters, there are advantages and disadvantages to the increasing globalization of design. On one hand, you can say that as we all begin to enjoy and have access to similar things and ways of being, our ability to appreciate and understand each other should grow. But there is also an argument to be made that our world is becoming increasingly homogenized. Everyone’s house looks like everyone else’s house.
Whatever you may happen to think, here are three global design trends that have taken the world by storm:
- The Open Concept Home.
From Sydney to Shanghai, from Toronto to Turin, more and more new construction incorporates an open floor plan, in which a kitchen opens to a dining and/or living room. It’s the way we want to live today, and is borne of the idea that we live much less formally than we used to. With men and women sharing equally in household chores, and with families dispensing with “help” who might have once been relegated to a far corner of the home, families are now wanting to share physical space in which they can cook with each other, talk to each other, and just hang out.
Above, a Massachusetts beach house incorporates the open concept floor plan. And below, so does an apartment in Munich, Germany.
And below, a Russian home looks much the same as the others in the United States and Germany:
And here, a country house in Spain:
Maybe it’s a result of an increased concern for sustainability and a desire to live more lightly on the earth. Or perhaps it’s a result of burgeoning city populations around the world, meaning more of us are living in denser and smaller spaces. Or maybe it’s a result of skyrocketing housing expenses, where every square meter counts. Or perhaps we’re just getting smart. Whatever it is, it seems there has been a global move toward incorporating smart, multi-purpose furniture and design into our homes. Gone are the days when one single-purpose room might have sat unused the majority of the time.
For instance, below in Spain, PKMN Arquitectura has devised a clever way to help a home transition from open space to a closed-space layout. Rotating walls allow spaces to be used in multiple ways.
And in Vancouver, a home makes use of a convertible coffee table that allows a living room to stand in as a dining room when necessary.
In London, a living room in a studio apartment instantly transforms into a bedroom, thanks to a cleverly designed Murphy Bed.
Also in London, a sofa bed retains great style:
And in San Francisco, a bathroom combines the toilet and bidet into one space-saving fixture.
For years, this was the norm in many parts of the world. But it’s only more recently that this trend has also made its way to places like the United States where once the nuclear family reigned supreme.
Below, a Minneapolis family room includes plenty of seating for young and old alike.
A kitchen with a table on casters allows for dining space to be rearranged easily to accommodate different needs:
Below, a Moscow in-law suite:
And an in-law “cottage” in Seattle, Washington:
Other international trends we can identify:
An embrace of pared-down, sleek furnishings as best categorized by the Mid Century modern craze.
More attention paid to lighting and lighting fixtures.
Martin Videgård of Tham & Videgård, designed Husarö House as a vacation home for his own family.
Extremely simple materials were chosen so the project could stay within a tight budget.
Sun fills the fresh wood interior of the vacation home sited overlooking the water of the Stockholm archipelago.
The refreshing simplicity of the furniture is encourages pared-down camp-style holidays.
Plentiful Scandinavian pine lines the walls.
Even the layout is the simplest possible.
Central stairs lead up to the bedrooms.
Behind these stairs, the kitchen gets a wide open window to the sea views.
Upstairs, the large bedroom houses three kids in a bunk wall to open shared play space, while parents get a more compact bedroom.
Each bunk is built in to the wall finished just in particle board.
Boxes underneath house a few simple holiday clothes for all.
A very Scandinavian touch, a wood stove heats the house for winter vacations.
Tham & Videgård Arkitekter have created a two story house as simple as a child’s drawing.