It’s likely that the term “modern furniture” conjures up a certain preconceived notion of what those pieces will look like: minimalist, angular with lots of metal. The truth is that while that’s true in some cases, modern furniture ideas are generally all about clean, crisp lines, a limited color palette and visual lightness. Beyond that, modern design encompasses a wide range of furniture and accessories that have exceptional designs and are creative and different. Many times, these will be very unexpected designs that really grab attention for their silhouettes as well as the materials used. Take a look at these great modern furniture ideas.
Hanging chairs may have started as a boho kind of thing, but they have become more popular and have expanded in the range of styles available. Designers have created pieces that incorporate a little of the traditional woven material styling but have a far more modern feel and updated material choices. This Swing from Point 1920 has an epoxy baked lacquered aluminum frame and the woven section is made from polyester rope. It comes in three different finishes and the cushions can be upholstered in a range of textile choices.
The Naked chair uses the materials most often associated with modern furniture designs: glass and leather. Created by Giovanni Tommaso Garattoni for Tonelli Design, the sleek and stylish seat has a comfy sling seat that comes in black or white leather, suspended between the two thick side panels of glass. Two oval openings are more than just a design element and serve as armrests for when you’re nestled in the chair.
There’s a reason that iconic pieces take their place in design history and the Barcelona line by the renowned Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is a prime example. Companion piece to the iconic chair, the Barcelona Couch was designed in 1930 and has the same elegant form. This is also a super versatile piece of furniture because it can serve as your most comfortable lounging spot in the afternoon and as a perfect seating option for an evening of entertaining. Even if your interior is not strictly modern, you can’t go wrong with an iconic piece.
As already explained, a key element of modern design can be uniquely different shapes that turn a basic piece into a work of art. That’s the case with Holo, a line of tables from Kristalia that feature a shapely based with a glass or wood top. The material used for the base is also unexpected: sheet metal. Creator Kensaku Oshiro uses a process that uses a series of molding and bending procedures to make this softly rounded design. The same silhouette is also found on dining tables as well as coffee tables.
Most of the time, the term “Fatty” isn’t a compliment but in this case, it’s perfect as the name for this thick tabletop supported by three sensuously shaped legs. Designed by Ferruccio Laviani for Emmemobili, the Fatty table demonstrates “a new approach to minimalism in the essentiality of the structure and clean shapes.” The substantial table has unique design features, such as the way the legs join with base in a visible way at the top. It comes in a couple of finishes; however, this glossy top is to die for.
Storage as Art
When considering modern furniture ideas, storage cabinets are a prime area where you aren’t limited to basic, linear styles. This is the Arlequin C, also designed by Ferruccio Laviani for Emmemobili, and it has the most eye-catching silhouette! Triangle-shaped doors are paneled with more triangles, all inspired by the traditional harlequin pattern — but with a twist. It’s available in a tall version, like this one, and a lower version, as well as a wall-mounted option. All have tempered glass shelves inside. Crafted from oak, it comes in an optional all-oak finish, an oak and brass combination, or a mix of oak, brass and lacquered metals, which is shown above.
Modern design ideas don’t have to be all glitz and shine; the Excelsior lamp from Emmemobile features natural wood in a dramatic and very modern way. Designed by Ferruccio Laviani. Using a technique that curved, multilayer wooden bands that are mounted on a central base in a graduated form that creates a focal point for any space. Light spills from the center through the voids between the bands, creating warm illumination and highlighting the unexpected design. Natural wood may be associated with more organic, casual styles of decor but this lamp is just as sophisticated as a glittering chandelier. It is available in a small or large version.
When is a mirror not just a mirror? When it’s rendered as a piece of exquisite art, like this Sturm und Drang mirror designed by Piero Lissoni. GlasItalia’s mirror features an intricate Murano glass frame, created though a complicated hand-crafted production process. The result is that no two mirror frames are alike. The overall frame is made by combining individual elements fixed to a structure that holds the chamfered mirror. Optional LED backlighting elevates the mirror even further adding to its striking nature.
Among the modern furniture ideas we love the most are those that use unexpected techniques to transform everyday objects. This is the case with the Liquefy coffee tables by design powerhouse Patricia Urquiola. Presented by GlasItalia, the tempered glass tables are made even more special with an organic look that resembles the veins found in marble. It’s a dynamic design because the image is altered when you change your viewing perspective. This amazing shape-shifting design is available in four colors: green, pink-beige, whisky and anthracite-grey.
Shine and Shimmer
Colorful accents certainly have their place in modern furniture groupings and the Shimmer tavoli is a glimmering but subtler way to add some pop to a room. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, the Shimmer tables are constructed of laminated and glued glass that features a special iridescent multichromatic finish. The hue of the table segments changes with the angle of the light as well as the viewer’s vantage point. Sure, it’s colorful, but it’s also a fantasy look that has an ethereal nature. These are available as side tables, coffee tables or consoles.
Lean and Minimal
Minimalist design doesn’t have to mean sharp angles and a rigid vibe — it’s all about the materials and the lines. This is the Beleos 3200 dining table by Bross and it pairs a spare base made of rich wood with an elegant and elongated oval glass top. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti, the structure is inspired by the genetic matrix and the long metal beam connects the two end elements. Refined wooden legs are tapered and the shape of each looks a little different depending on which angle you are viewing it from. The base is available in solid American walnut or oak and can be left natural or be stained or matte lacquered. The beam has a matte bronzed and/or lacquered metal finish.
Some people don’t associate modern furniture ideas with comfort, but the Sienna armchair by Studio Balutto for Horm will convince them otherwise. Inspired by Swedish designs from the 1970s, the chair has a solid black ash wooden base that supports the padded and upholstered shell whose front is gently tipped upward for comfort. Inside the shell, goose feather cushions envelop the person for a totally relaxing experience. It’s a very versatile piece of modern furniture, appropriate for a range of decor styles.
It’s nearly possible to discuss modern furniture ideas and not include some funky silhouettes for chairs. In fact, if you want to add some more avant-garde modern pieces to your decor, chairs can be a good place to start. Here are two great examples: The Alieno Peacock designed by GamFratesi for Casamania — on the right — is a lounge chair you can use indoors or out. It is named for the Latin “alius”, which means “other” and is intended to convey the idea of contrast. The chair’s shape is simple but immediately memorable. To the left is the Pablita, created by designer Marcello Pozzi for Horm and inspired by the sculptures of Pablo Picasso. The truly minimalist design is crafted from wood, carbon fiber, leather and steel. The unusual three-legged chair features a suspended leather seat and the entire design required countless prototypes to achieve the right look and comfort while avoiding any low crosspieces between the legs.
Minimalist in style but retro in inspiration, this shiny cabinet is reminiscent of the lockers you might find in a school hallway. Actually, the Longing Cabinet by Nika Zupak for De Castelli is inspired by old sideboards where biscuits and candies were locked away from children. This cabinet is one of wishes and features a decorative key for each compartment, along with a selection of De Castelli copper finishes. Each separate compartment sports a unique finish and all meld together in an opulent yet minimalist piece of modern furniture.
Because many pieces of modern furniture are striking designs because of the unusual composition or material used, it’s easy to find a statement piece that will transform a room. The Polifemo cabinet by Elena Salmistraro for DeCastelli is one such piece. Slim legs support a rounded cabinet that appears to have a single eye in the middle like a cyclops. The central element is actually a pair of handles that open the cabinet to reveal three interior shelves. The overall visual is one of imbalance, due to the very slender base and ample rounded cabinet. made from solid wood, the Polifemo comes finished in stainless steel or copper, as shown here.
This selection of modern furniture ideas should have changed your mind about the allegedly limited options within this design style. As you can see, it’s far more expressive and wide-ranging than the angular styles that are found among the stereotypes of modern furniture. There’s likely a piece you’ll find to incorporate in your own space once you start looking!