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


Texas Ranch Style Homes: What Makes them Unique?

Original Texas ranch homes have rustic qualities which are unique to this style of architecture.  One  of the most striking differences between a modern Texas home and a traditional ranch styled Texas home is that a traditional ranch styled home will include materials of leather, hair-on-hide cow hides, nail heads trims, taxidermy wildlife, neutral color tones, stones, exposed wood and novelty items which show off the Lone Star State pride. Most Texans are quite proud to call themselves Texans and this pride can spill over into their home furnishings and decor.

Traditional Ranch Style Interior Home

Limestone and Austin stone are two of the natural resources that are plentiful in the state of Texas.  For luxurious homes that have  ranch themes to them, many individuals incorporate this natural material in walls, floors, bars and fireplaces as well as  landscaping.

Limestone Contemporary Fireplace

Limestone Wall to encase stairs

Texas Outdoor Limestone Kitchen and Bar

As you can see from the pictures above, stone can be used in both traditional and  contemporary applications.  Much of these aesthetic techniques depend on how the stone is cut or polished.   One of the most famous places in Dallas, Texas that shows the incorporation of limestone in their architecture and art is the Nasher Sculpture Center.  I have provided a link if you are interested in learning more about the center. (http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/James/Turrell/Skyspace)

Other materials that are common in Texas homes are cow hides.   There are three major different types of cow hides that Texans love to incorporate in their  ranch style homes:  leather, suede, and hair-on-hides.  Leather is commonly used with nail heads to create that ultra- traditional ranch look.  A benefit to using leather in homes is that it is that most  spills  can wipe right up.  Since leather is a natural product, you must condition it about every 6 months to keep its luxurious appeal.  Leather is not so forgiving when it comes to punctures so it is important to keep sharp objects off of it.  Many of our clients at Fabrics and Frames like to go with a leather and fabric combo on their furniture to help minimize these types of accidents from happening with their furniture.

Traditional Leather and Fabric Combination Sofa

I must warn you that leather furniture which is not made at Fabrics and Frames, may not be fully leather.  Much of the mass-produced “leather” furniture is a combination of leather and vinyl. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to put leather wherever you touch  and use vinyl everywhere else. It is not a bad look with all the very nice vinyls available today but don’t be fooled into thinking you are buying a full leather sofa when in fact you are not.  In the past couple of years, a new product called bonded leather has come out which is a vinyl top layer and a leather back layer. This is commonly sold as leather in the furniture world and will have the disadvantages of vinyl.  One of the main disadvantages of vinyl is that the top layer can peel but it is resistant to stains.

Great Resource for someone who wants that leather look at a high-end vinyl price!

Suede is a great natural product to use on something for decorative purposes but it is not very functional.  As many of us suede shoe owners know, once you get a spot on suede it’s hard to get it out!  A great compromise to this look is Nova suede or Ultrasuede which should not be confused with microfibers.  This generally will give the same look but stains are usually easy to get it out with a little soap and water!

Nova suede

Hair-on-hides are great for either rugs or upholstery.  There are many people who are just buying hides of this product to use  as a throw rug.  This product also makes  great accent pieces as well when used on small occasional chairs!  I would not recommend this product for someone who has allergies because it is actual hair from the cow on the hide and  may cause some people to have an allergic reaction.  If you are not one that is prone to allergies, then this product is a great way to incorporate a unique texture in the room!

Interior using Hair-on-hide rug

Hair-On- Hide Chair

Pillow using Hair-on-hide

As you can see, with this style of home you often have many different textures incorporated into the design.  A way to keep from being  so over- whelmed with texture is by using a neutral design palette  so that the textures will stand out without being distracted by color.  If you choose to use patterns, a suggestion would be to use tone-on-tone patterned  fabrics to keep the minimalistic approach to the design of the room which will enhance the rustic aesthetics of this Texas style.  At Fabrics and Frames we are always willing to help  create the  aesthetic design which suits our customer best! If you are interested in bringing this unique style to your home come see us for that perfect, polished look. We love being Texans and have great pride for our wonderful state and want to help you create that very special room!

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

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

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