While modern and contemporary design are often used interchangeably, these two styles are actually quite different. Modern design originated in the early to mid-20th century and was highly influenced by German and Scandinavian architecture. The industrialization of the time also impacted the processes and materials of furniture construction. The popular mid-century modern and post-modern design styles evolved out of the modern aesthetic. One of the hallmarks of modern decor is the leather sofa, which looks and feels completely at home in any space that incorporates certain stylistic elements.
Prior to the 20th century, Renaissance, Victorian, and Gothic styles incorporating dark, ornamental, heavily textured elements were popular. The modern aesthetic replaced these characteristics with clean, straight lines and an uncluttered look. The simple design of the classic leather couch is the perfect example of a modern furniture piece.
With the advent of industrialization in furniture production, the modern design style focuses more on the purpose of the furniture than on ornamentation. The leather sofa is a prime example of a functional piece of furniture that is built for comfort and durability. While the look is beautiful in its simplicity, beauty is not its primary purpose.
Low, Long Seating
The leather sofa’s long, low profile is quintessentially modern. The preferred look of the design style is one created for streamlined comfort. Another example is the Eames lounge chair, crafted of leather and molded plywood to emulate the English club chair.
The modern design era features a focus on new materials used in furniture construction. In addition to wood, materials such as steel, molded plywood, and plastic were utilized for a fresh new look. Materials tended to differ by locale with furniture manufacturers leaning toward sustainable, easily attainable regional materials. However, leather is a universally preferred material for much of the seating in modern design, providing a comfortable and utilitarian component as found in the leather couch.
The color palette for modern design tends toward neutrals, including shades of beige, black, and white. While bolder colors can be found in accents, they still lean more toward earthy tones found in natural materials. The leather sofa naturally includes colors that fit perfectly in the modern color aesthetic, with natural leather traditionally available in shades of brown, black, gray, and tan.
In keeping with the uncluttered look and clean lines, modern design prefers an open concept layout. Spaces are delineated by furniture or architectural elements instead of walls. Kitchen islands are used to divide a kitchen from a living area. A leather couch may be used to distinguish between a conversational area and a dining space.
Mid century modern remains highly visible in homes and offices across the globe. As people continue to embrace simplicity in their lifestyles, modern design and its hallmark furnishings, such as the leather sofa that incorporates functionality and an emphasis on clean lines, will continue to be incorporated and featured in living spaces.