Unless you have been fortunate enough to build your own house from the very ground up, you may one day be trapped with somebody else's thoughts of interior and furnishings design. You might decide to live with the open-plan interiors or you may feel a sudden urgent longing for abscence of clutter. But just how do you pinpoint your individual style? With this in mind, we have created this review of interior design movements.
It's quite likely that the contemporary leather sofa you acquire today will one day be spotted in the same category as the antique Chippendale settee of your great-grandfather. Not for the reason that they resemble each other in most ways, but because they both were produced in the era of innovative interior design and furnishings.
In fact, to some extent, "Modern" 20th century's design is already beginning to be deemed as a classic style. The recent commencement of a new millennium has made its contribution into a nostalgic reconsideration of the styles in furnishing and design we grew up with. Retro and Modernism, two related but at the same time distinctive looks, are immensely popular trends in home interior design and furnishings in our day.
It may be quite easy to have the terms mixed up but, in a few words, Modernism in interior design refers to greatly refined furniture that's an essential part of the 20th century modern architecture and art. There are great designers and architects connected with this era: Van der Rohe, Gropius, Breuer, Eames, Saarinen, and Aalto are just a few of the best.
Retro (or retrospective) looks back with a different lens. It shares the same timeline with Modernism in interior design, but isn't taking itself so seriously. There's a humor touch with Retro, with styles looking back to the 1950s sitcoms and 1930s Art Deco. In actual fact, television and old movies and the nostalgic thoughts they encourage have as much to do with retrospective as time period or style, so don't be dismayed or confused by the hazy boundaries between Retro and Modernism in interior design.
To add to the blend, there is so-known "Contemporary" style, a signature trend at the moment. That takes in "lifestyle furniture", with plain lines that appeal to a broad range of personal styles and tastes. Lifestyle is the utility vehicle of home furniture: popular, in-style, family-friendly and comfortable all at once.
Retro, Contemporary and Modernism in interior design have their distinctions, but they also all contribute to the energy of the 20th century. It all started with architects, artists and furniture designers who were seeking a way to get rid of the stuffy, over-decorated fashion of the Victorian era.
And at the late 1900s, two alternatives came up. The foremost was the Style of Arts and Crafts (or Mission Style) well-known for honest craftsmanship, clean lines and integrity of materials and construction. The second (and totally different) style was Art Nouveau, a curvilinear influence encouraged by the natural curves of vines, tendrils and flowers.
Although Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts proceed the era of Retro and Modernism in interior design and furniture, they certainly helped set the grounding for new eras of ideas and a bright way of interpreting interior and home design.