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The unique identity of a home is determined by its interior construction and furniture. Changes in social and cultural life have a direct impact on people's needs and ever-changing fashion trends inevitably reflect on their tastes and requirements. The drive to simplified living space and forms and the minimalist design that appeared at the beginning of 21st century are combined with the desire for individuality, the search for new solutions, unusual colors and textures. Technological progress, characterising our modern times, can be largely observed in the furniture industry as well. The new technologies and materials allow for greater flexibility in terms of shape formation and function, and hence - for unconventional design solutions. The main objective of the present paper is to track down the trends in home furnishing during the last years and to identify the characteristics of the contemporary interior and furniture design.
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Fig. 1
TRENDS IN MODERN HOME INTERIOR AND FURNITURE
Yancho Genchev, Maria Marinova
University of Forestry
ABSTRACT
The unique identity of a home is determined by its interior construction and furniture.
Changes in social and cultural life have a direct impact on people's needs and ever-changing
fashion trends inevitably reflect on their tastes and requirements. The drive to simplified
living space and forms and the minimalist design that appeared at the beginning of 21st
century are combined with the desire for individuality, the search for new solutions, unusual
colors and textures.
Technological progress, characterising our modern times, can be largely observed in
the furniture industry as well. The new technologies and materials allow for greater flexibility
in terms of shape formation and function, and hence - for unconventional design solutions.
The main objective of the present paper is to track down the trends in home furnishing
during the last years and to identify the characteristics of the contemporary interior and
furniture design.
Keywords: interior, furniture, design, trends
The interior and furniture design is closely related to the art and architecture trends
and follows their guidelines and visual identity. They reflect in the mass residential interior as
well, although in a lesser extent. It should be noted that this is due to the existing financial or
technological constraints, imposed by the specificity of the user group inhabiting mass
housings.
During the last 30 years there can be distinguished several trends that can be combined
into three larger periods.
The first one continues to the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. It is
characterised by a tendency towards over saturation and filling-in the space in vertical
direction. Storage furniture was designed as a system of cabinets units reaching the ceiling,
each shelf being deeper than the one below. The main material used is veneered chipboard,
sometimes in harmonious combinations of different front surface textures. Glass showcases
and open volumes are combined in one common functional structure.
The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century is characterised by the drive
to simplified living space and forms. The influence of the minimalism can be felt a little bit
later in the interior
design. It appeared in
art at the end of the
60ies, especially in
the paintings, as
opposed to the
abstract
expressionism. The
pictures of Frank
Stella (Fig. 1 and 2)
can be used as an
example.
Fig. 2
Fig. 3 Torres de Satélite, Luis Barragán
Fig. 4 Fuente de los Amantes,
Luis Barragán
Fig. 5 Minimalist house, Makoto Yamaguchi
Fig. 6 Example of an open-spaces house
In architecture these ideas are
developed during the 80ies, when the
search is to minimize ornamental and
aesthetic elements (Fig. 3, 4 and 5). The
idea is not to totally remove the
decoration, but each part, element or joint
to be brought to such a point that nothing
more could be removed to improve the
design. Light, form and material
expressiveness are used as major
compositional components in organizing
the architectural space in order to achieve
an aesthetic impact on people.
Minimalism follows the famous motto of
architect Mies van der Rohe "Less is
more", describing his aesthetic tactic of
arranging numerous necessary
components to create an impression of
extreme simplicity, by enlisting every
element and detail to serve multiple visual
and functional purposes.
Another principles, supporting the same
idea, are designer Buckminster Fuller's "Doing
more with less," and designer Dieter Rams'
motto "Less, but better".
Minimalism is inspired mostly by
Japanese culture and lifestyle ("Zen" culture)
(Fig. 10). An example is the principles of
"wabi-sabi", that values the quality of
conventional and flat objects. Another aesthetic
principle is "Ma", which affects the empty and
open spaces. According to it all non-bearing
interior walls are removed, thus opening the
space between interior and exterior (Fig. 6). An
Fig. 10 Interior modelled after the
Japanese culture
Fig. 8 Apartment in NY, USA
Bonetti-Kozerski Studio
Fig. 7 Hakuei Residence, Akira Sakamoto
example of this is the Japanese sliding door, allowing to bring the exterior into the interior,
which influenced Frank Lloyd Wright.
The following examples illustrate the influence of minimalism on interior design.
Typical approaches are the use of basic geometric shapes, lack of detail, large spaces,
achromatic colours and mostly wood and natural textures. Glossy surfaces, mostly white,
reinforce the minimalist line and give a feeling of cleanliness, spaciousness and freedom.
Light, as well as its interrelation with the elements of the interior, is quite important (Fig. 7).
Together with opposing dark to light colours, it underlines the straight lines and forms and
thus strengthens the minimalist vision of the interior as a whole (Fig. 8 and 9).
Minimalism influences other arts as well, for example music ("techno" style),
photography, poetry (using less words and focusing on the surface description) etc.
During the last 4 - 5 years there can be observed a certain change in the so far stable
tendency, influenced by minimalism. There is, however, no abrupt change in the interior
design of mass housing; its development could rather be said to be an upgrade, a
complementing and individualising the vision. The saturation of the market with various
goods allows the user to chose and compose himself the individuality of his home, while the
new technologies and materials allow for non-standard design solutions.
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
A characteristic feature of the
new trends is adding a bright, vivid
colour for emphasis, while keeping
the basic achromatic ones. The
minimalist vision remains, but there
is a certain break of the straight lines
and search for new forms aiming at a
non-standard and original vision
(Fig. 11 and 12). The glossy finish is
still preferred by the majority of
users, but the matte effect is also
sought for its different aesthetic
effect and lower cost. Visible fittings
are almost missing, replaced by
"push" opening system, discreet grip
door handles hidden in the edge or
embedded in the door. There is a
certain tendency towards the use
of natural materials, natural
wood, veneer (Fig. 13), but still
the most widely used material for
front surfaces are the medium
density fibreboards (MDF),
allowing for more options both in
financial and in aesthetic terms.
Engineers in the field of furniture
design tend to use lightweight
boards with paper or other filling,
and coatings with different visual
effects. Another tendency, which
can be observed in the latest
trends in mass dwellings
furnishing, is connected with the desire to return to the past,
presence of authentic elements or
entire furniture, and it is defined by
the term "vintage". In fact the term
is applicable to ancient furniture
from 30 to 100 years old. The
older ones are classified as antique
furniture and those from less than
30 years - as used ones. But
technically the term is used to
group together old or aged
furniture, best representing a given
style period or reminding of it.
They are characterised by the
natural look of the materials
(mostly natural), which has been
Fig. 14
preserved with time, or which is imitated by
variety of finishing methods contributing to
the aging effect (Fig.14).
A similar contemporary style in the
furniture design is the so-called "rustic" style,
which aims at imitating village interior. In
Bulgaria the rustic style finds its application
in kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. They
are characterised by the use of coniferous
solid wood with specific forming of the
details in the structural elements with frame
construction and panels. Another distinctive
feature is the decorative elements - bars,
boards, friezes. The fittings are also
ornamental and unique; the materials are most
often brass or other metal with patina,
ceramics, textile etc.
Finally, the following conclusions can be synthesized:
Based on our review of the last 30 years, the trends in the interior
design can be grouped in three periods - transitional, minimalist and
individualistic.
The minimalist trend in art and architecture has its influence on
furniture and interior and has imposed itself as a leading factor in the design
solutions.
As opposed to the uniform standard furnishing during the 80s and 90s,
the modern mass housing interior begins to feature a desire for individuality and
irregularity. Residents wish to achieve a stylish and modern aesthetic appearance
of the home in which to present their personal vision and taste.
There is also another trend in mass residential interiors, characterized
by a return to the past, introduction of details, components, accessories or entire
furniture in styles from the near or more distant past with their specific aesthetic
effect.
References:
o Guenova, B., 2010, Apartment buildings, С.
o Marinova, M., Analysis of the modern dwellings' planning schemes
o Minimalist interiors, 2005, Taschen Marinova, M., Analysis of the modern dwellings'
planning schemes
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