Exploring Generations of Contemporary Design

In 1919, a school by the name of Bauhaus emerged pushing designs which did not fit the norm.  The teachings by modernist designers professed the idea of getting rid of ornamental features  and bringing more linear clean lines to design.  This opened a door for future designs to emerge leading to what we consider contemporary design.

As the different forms of contemporary design started to unfold, you could really start to see the modern impact that would take hold by the late 1930’s.  The United States was coming out of the depression and individuals were seeking a way to show that they were moving towards a brighter future.  Charles and Ray Eames were two of the innovators who pushed the idea of “affordable” contemporary furniture for the modern home.  By creating architecture and furniture which was more organic and economical for the average consumer, they  helped to create the look that we more commonly refer to as mid-century modern furniture.

Mid-century furniture

Mid-century furniture

As the continuation of contemporary furniture evolved, the sleek linear lines remained.  Fabrics changed through the years but the styles remained similar.  Commonly found on mid-century furniture were tweeds and Herculean wool fabrics which enhanced the sleek lines of the furniture piece.

In the 1980’s more asymmetrical styled furniture started to emerge.  Keeping the linear lines in mind, this look referred back to classic design from the Art Deco period and De stijl  period to create a look which was considered quite contemporary.  Commonly creating pieces which were upholstered in a bright colored velvet, Ultrasuede, or bold pattern geometric, this look in design proved to not be a memorable period for innovation.

Velvet Asymmetrical Chair

Velvet Asymmetrical Chair

De stijl inspired 80's room

De stijl inspired 80’s room

As we approach more modern day contemporary styles, we generally are conflicted as to whether we should call the current style eclectic, transitional, or sleek chic modern.  The most innovative contemporary style would be considered sleek contemporary because it pushes boundaries of classic styles. These designs often disregard the “no ornament” rule by including tufts or other surface details and opt to create a merging of styles.  Although the overall look generally maintains clean lines and minimal appearance, we do see that a “bubble” trend is beginning to be a popular contemporary look.

"Bubble" contemporary sofa

“Bubble” contemporary sofa

Modular  Contemporary Sofa

Modular Contemporary Sofa

The modern world will always continue to change and merge in style as time marches on.  To make sure you are not stuck in unpopular past trends, remember to update your look to remain current!  Fabrics and Frames Furniture is a family owned company that specializes in custom furniture, allowing you to create a custom look for your home which will  keep you modern and up-to-date with high-quality affordable furniture or help you transform your old worn pieces into modern works of art!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:


We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir


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