In the 1920s Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier were designing and building flat roofed houses out of modern materials like concrete and steel. Their International Style approach to architecture and modern interiors was a direct rebellion of the architecture principals and decorative elements of past Beaux Arts design styles. Their approach has since inspired today's modern buildings, homes and minimalist interiors flooding the real estate market and popular magazines.
Le Corbusier, International Style:
I always admire those who think outside the box and value innovation and change while pushing the mainstream to step outside their comfort zone. I think it is important for not only a designer, but for anyone to resist polarized ideals, opinions, and aesthetics. Having an open mind and being able to question your own choices is the only way to really grow as an individual . The best designs incorporate the refined elements of the past with the novelty of the new and avant garde blending and refining the best qualities of each.
A short boat ride from the European home of the International Style, another modern movement known as Scandinavian "Functionalism" was being established in the countries of Sweden, Norway, and the islands of Denmark. The talented cabinetmakers and designers were inventing and crafting very modern furniture in terms of its form and structure, while respecting the beauty of handmade craftsmanship, natural materials, and bold colors and patterns.
Below are some of my favorite vibrant floral patterns by the most well known Scandinavian textile designer, Josef Frank as well as more contemporary patterns that have a similar resemblance.
Josef Frank, Scandinavian:
(left) Josef Frank, "Rox & Fix"; (right) Kelly Wearstler
(left) Josef Frank, "Vegetable Tree"; (right) Katie Ridder
(left) Josef Frank, "La Plata"; (right) Roberta Roller Rabbit
For me, a well designed "modern" home today is one that incorporates the clean lines and modern materials of International Style architecture and furniture with the natural handcrafted furniture and bold patterns of the Scandinavian modern movement.