Modern style: rigorous, elegant and prestigious

Modern style: rigorous, elegant and prestigious

The modern style links the vision of interior design to architecture, in a relationship of mutual collaboration. Between rigorous furnishings, bright rooms and a prestigious appearance, the modern-style interiors express timeless elegance.

The modern style in history: the masters of design

To fully understand the modern style, it is useful to take a few steps back in time to its historical origins.
We are between the two World Wars in a context of renewal that involves the formal plan of architecture, but also urban planning and design.

Under the classification of Modern Movement, also known as International Style, belong the currents De Stijl, Bauhaus, Constructivism and Italian Rationalism.
The main exponents are architects of the caliber of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe, Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius.

Starting from a strong conception of architecture as an organic structure in relation to the external context to which it belongs, the Modern Movement also sees the house for its social use and not just as a family unit. Frank Lloyd Wright with his organic architecture gives excellent examples.
Among these, the Waterfall House, designed in its architectural conformation in strong relationship with the surrounding geological and natural context. Each element is configured both on the architectural level and on the interior design level based on a strong contamination between inside and outside. In doing this, the choice of proportions based on the human figure is fundamental.

Natural materials combined with organic shapes that favor horizontality, but also harmony and brightness become the key principles of the Modern Movement. Instead, the priority need is to achieve the best functionality of the building, which can also determine its aesthetic beauty.
In doing this, the house frees itself from the unitary vision to which it was accustomed to take on a social meaning in relation to the surrounding buildings.
The extreme example is the building that itself becomes a city, as in the case of Le Corbusier’s Unitè d’Habitation.

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Eileen Gray’s E-1027 House, a modern style living room with iconic piece of furniture.

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Left: modern style living area (Photo: Andrew Pielage, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)
Right: Fallinwater House by Frank Lloyd Wright (Photo: courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy)

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Villa Savoye by le Corbusier. The relationship between inside and outside is expressed in bright rooms and ribbon windows

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Unitè D’Habitation, Le Corbusier. The building becomes a social community by offering, in addition to the family housing units, all the services necessary for individual life.

Modern style furniture: the strong relationship with architecture

The modern-style interiors both in the course of history and in the contemporary context are based on a strong relationship with the architectural context in which they are inserted.
This is how bright environments are created. Here, the exterior constantly communicates with the interior through functional choices that also justify the aesthetics.
Therefore, windows can take on a more elongated shape and it occupy a higher position than the standard ones. This allows the entry of natural light, which will obviously be studied according to the optimal orientation of the house, but at the same time allow the inhabitants not to be seen from the outside.

The subdivision of the rooms between the sleeping and living areas is based on a logic that considers the orientation of the house and its visibility or protection from external factors.
The hearth is definitely a central point in the design of a modern style home.
A place of aggregation and socializing, it expresses hospitality and intimacy at the same time, creating a strong suggestive interior.
For this reason, in modern homes par excellence it occupies the central position with respect to the living area, becoming the fulcrum for the arrangement of the remaining rooms.

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The living area of ​​this modern style attic with the iconic chaise longue designed by Le Corbusier

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Modern style kitchen and living room with reflective materials and simple lines for this Modulor creation

Fine living room view

A modern living area on the bottom of which an elegant wall with a three-dimensional effect is identified

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The equipped corridors of this Modulor realization express their modernity in the choice of material.
Soft and textured to the touch and extremely elegant to the eye.

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Una cucina moderna firmata Modulor con particolare attenzione alla scelta cromatica e materica

Shapes, colors and materials between past and present

The choice of materials in a modern style also comes from the contamination between inside and outside.
Great importance is given to materials capable of enhancing the brightness of environments through their reflective and brilliant surface, even better if of natural origin.

Wood knows its maximum expression both in the traditional form of the Modern Movement and in its contemporary conception.
Chosen for its malleability and natural aesthetics, it brings the exterior directly into the home interior, also molding itself into irregular shapes. Over the years, it has also known the polishing treatments and the recent painting that make it possible to obtain reflective surfaces capable of giving brightness to the environment.

Neutral tones are favored, starting with the classic white, but colored variants are also welcome especially in the current years. In this sense, it is important to underline how the contemporary trend in the modern style prefers monochromatic colors and tone-on-tone games that opt ​​for desaturated colors.
Prestigious and elegant interiors that do not, however, give up a touch of color capable of giving character to the rooms.

The design forms abandon their rigidity and linearity in favor of simple but sometimes irregular solutions. To enrich a modern style home, the icons of Modern design cannot be missing. Here then are seats with leather padding and chromed aluminum structure with slender lines.

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Materials, finishes and aesthetics of the modern style, including upholstery in warm-colored leather and chromed aluminum

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The attention to detail of this wall is expressed in an elegant and monochromatic three-dimensional surface inserted in a prestigious Milanese apartment.
Inside there is a door identifiable by the handle with soft modern shapes.

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In the modern style of recent years, the great icons of design are often inserted in environments that are more daring, not only with neutral colors but also desaturated colors with a timeless beauty

The rediscovery of modern style

In recent years the modern style has undergone a great revaluation. The soft but rigorous shapes of the design icons of the Thirties are back in vogue in a contemporary reinterpretation proposed by the main brands.

Just think of the Five To Nine dormeuse proposal, born from the Studiopepe project for Tacchini (2020) or the Camaleonda modular sofa designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia (2020). But also, the new Pacific (project by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso) and Soriana (design by Tobie and Afra Bianchin Scarpa for Cassina) both launched on the market during Digital Design Week 2021.

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Soriana, Tobia Scarpa and Afra Bianchin Scarpa, Cassina, 2021
Five to Nine, Studiopepe, Tacchini, 2020

With its rigorous and prestigious interiors, the modern style is aimed directly at personalities who love architecture and its relationship with nature. Characterized by a timeless beauty, it is aimed at rigorous characters but at the same time open to new changes.

Giving new life to furniture: adapting them after a move

Giving new life to furniture: adapting them after a move

Facing a move means turning your life around, renovating your home and introducing new furnishing accessories.
Beginning to pack, you make a natural selection of the objects to take with you, recognizing for each their own emotional value.
Many times, this process also involves the world of furnishings, which accompany the owners in this moment of transition.
Giving new life to furniture also means renewing the context in which they are inserted, managing to adapt them in terms of aesthetics and functionality to the new environments.

Adapting furnishing to a new context

When the furnishings are custom designed, their conformation responds to the needs of the customers, perfectly matching with the architectural context in which they are inserted. In doing this, a strong link is born between the rooms in which they are inserted and the shapes, proportions and mechanisms of use of the furnishings.
This would suggest an indissoluble bond between the two components, which would break when the furniture undergoes a relocation.
It is absolutely not said!

In fact, among the potential of custom-made furniture there is a flexibility factor that allows us to give new life to furniture by making few changes.
These make it possible to transform the general imprint of the furniture in order to adapt it to the new context both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

A perfect example are the adaptations made to these furnishing extrapolated from an apartment between classic and contemporary. Let’s discovery this apartment among transformed furniture and new additions.

The kitchen: increases the work space and storage volumes

The kitchen certainly represents the beating heart of a home.
In the case of this apartment between modern and contemporary, its conformation was born from a natural reading of the architectural context in which it was inserted.

The corner development made it possible to exploit the side part with service columns with anthracite gray lacquered MDF doors.
These are equipped with column ovens on the right, pantry with removable trays and a central compartment for the free-standing refrigerator. The front is made up of lower volumes with large drawers and service doors and upper wall units in a brilliant white Lacobel.

The new arrangement has provided additional useful space for the overall dimensions. Being able to use additional space on both sides, the most natural solution was to exploit the remaining gaps with additional volumes.
On the right, we provide a service column which houses a modern wine cellar accompanied by a door with height-adjustable internal shelves.

On the opposite end, the main problem arises when the worktop is made of natural stone, which has undergone a chromatic change over the years.
To avoid incurring a visible difference between the added part and the existing one, a wooden top was thus created. It also acts as a cutting board for preparing meals. An element that not only solves an aesthetically weak point, but also provides a functional solution.

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The living area: a new contemporary aesthetic

To equip the living area, we recovered the furniture made in 2006.
The choice of colors was already avant-garde at the time. Even in a contemporary reworking they can adapt perfectly, resulting elegant and current. The TV cabinet in glossy anthracite gray lacquered MDF alternates flap doors with service drawers, whose recessed handles give visual lightness.

In this case, giving new life to furniture means adapting them to the new context in which they are inserted, managing to exploit the flexibility of the same.
Small changes have been made, mostly considered maintenance. Re-lacquering where necessary or remaking of structural parts.

The same approach was then applied to the service hanging columns, which are made up of doors in the upper part and small drawers in the lower part. Their new position side by side allows them to welcome guests introducing them to the living area and, at the same time, create a visual divider from the more intimate dining room.

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Children’s bedrooms: new tailor-made solutions to exploit architectural voids

The sleeping area houses the two small bedrooms whose conformation alternates architectural voids with important structural elements.
A tailor-made solution was therefore designed in both rooms in order to include all the necessary furnishings without sacrificing practicality and visual freedom.

For the first bedroom it was therefore decided to take advantage of the basement that leads to the mezzanine area to equip it with a shaped wardrobe.
Since the room is intended for a child, the dimensions and heights necessary for the clothes have certainly facilitated the design. Despite having little space available, taking advantage of the inclined height of the basement, it was still possible to create a double-height wardrobe with alternating shelves with fixed hangers.
The wardrobe is accompanied by a standing alone chest of drawers which is also used as a support surface.
The large one and a half bed is inserted in a niche. The latter used in the depth to fix shelves with hidden lighting.

In the second small room, the depth of the niche is useful for a certainly wider wardrobe. Full-height doors with push opening accommodate fixed tubulars, drawers for linen and shelves for folded items to satisfy the needs of a young girl.

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The master bedroom: a wardrobe like new

The master bedroom is best equipped with a large wardrobe with sliding doors placed parallel to the bed.
Its linear aesthetic combined with spot ceiling lighting allows at the same time to hide its grandeur.
The result is a capacious and functional volume which, in the aesthetic impact of the room, tends to disappear while giving character and elegance.
Relocated from the old house, the different internal height has led to a reduction in height which has thus made it possible to better adapt to new environments.

The composition of the wardrobe comes from a natural division into three departments, corresponding to the division of the sliding doors.
On the outside, the double-height hanger houses removable glass shelves in the center. These are particularly suitable for storing folded shirts using the external sliding mechanism to reduce the internal height between the trays.
In the central compartment, the large linen drawers are accompanied by a pair of shelves for folded items and hangers in the upper part.
The left compartment instead houses a double hanger to accommodate long dresses and coats whose greater height compensates for the reduced space reserved for folded trousers and skirts.

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Giving new life to furniture does not only mean rejuvenating it and making changes to its aesthetics. The bespoke design allows you to create furnishings that are versatile and able to adapt to new environments. Restoring a balance between aesthetic conformation in relation to the room and functional needs becomes the main goal.

If you want to deepen the theme of furniture flexibility, we suggest you this article in which series furniture and tailor-made solutions help each other!

A cerulean blue modern kitchen

A cerulean blue modern kitchen

The cerulean blue hue defines the stylistic firm of this modern kitchen, set on dark wood tones with brass finishes. The care of detail gives shape to an extremely elegant project, modern in aesthetics and contemporary in settings.

Modulor modern kitchen with dark tones_01

The on-view composition

An interior that becomes furniture. The design of this kitchen diverges from the traditional vision of the closed room to become an open space composed of different volumes.
The main block is a visual union of the low volume in ribbed wood set between wall units with a vertical subdivision and full-height columns.

The common thread that contain the perception of the environment is the brass base, taken from the light and linear handles.
The island block with rounded shapes and overhang countertop, elegantly conforms to the main volume, despite a stylistic change in the design forms.

Indeed, it is this difference between the straight and geometric shapes of the back unit and the rounding of the profile in the central island that defines the stylistic imprint of this kitchen.

The traditional closing shoulder is replaced by a recessed library that visually lightens the perception of the kitchen characterizing the furniture. A full-height bookcase compartment that alternates shelves in a well-balanced geometric composition.

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Functionality and aesthetics in symbiosis

Not only the general volumetric setting, but also the internal organization demonstrates a perfect relationship between functionality and aesthetics.

As a demonstration of this, the central island is equipped with rounded corner doors in order to make the best use of each available corners.
Shaped white shelves stand out among the dark tones and blue doors of this modern kitchen, showing all their functionality. The choice of appliances is also avant-garde, as for example the induction hob with attached extractor hood that reduces the functional components to the essential in favor of visual essentiality without sacrificing the practicality.

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open door with shaped shelves

Colors and materials

Cerulean blue matt lacquered MDF, dark ribbed wood and brass are the protagonists of this modern kitchen in which dark tones are chosen for their elegance.

A rigorous environment that is being fascinated by contemporary functionality.

The chosen shade of blue, extremely modern, is enriched with a warm appearance especially when combined with the dark-dyed ribbed.

It is precisely the materiality in the latter’s finish that enriches the main volumes of the kitchen with movement and rhythm.

The brass of skirting boards and handles, underlines the design lines with a precious character that gives refinement to the project.

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Modulor modern kitchen with dark tones front view
Modulor materials finishes

Advice

The choice of colors and materials often defines the character of an interior. We are often intimidated by intense colors and dark tones, especially if imagined on large surfaces. The final impact can instead reserve great surprises, and give a touch of freshness and modernity.
Here is another example, in this case a dark gray kitchen with oak inserts.

An eclectic apartment in Parisian Style

An eclectic apartment in Parisian Style

An eclectic, bohemian but also essential apartment, finds its harmony in the  Parisian style of a bygone era while being in the heart of contemporary Milan.  

DEFINE THE STYLE OF A HOME CONTEXT THE PARISIAN STYLE DETAILS OUR WORK

 

DEFINE THE STYLE OF A HOME

The house is the mirror of the people who live there. Those who enter in our house get an idea of us even just by seeing where we live and which objects we choose, it is therefore important to bring out coherent thoughts and emotions. There are such particular environments that are really difficult to classify because they are born from people’s lives, which enrich them with objects they care of. These built an eclectic scenario which does not define a real prevailing style but give a fragmented image that can sometimes seems comfusing . To maintain a predominant and tasteful style it is always advisable to follow the basic rules of the style that fits us best. If in doubt, however, the help of a professionist never hurts.  

CONTEXT

This Milan house was already starting with a precise identity: an apartment in a historic complex with distinctive flooring in elegant black and white tiles positioned at 45°, “French style” herringbone parquet and exposed ceiling beams. All the windows and doors are in classic style with raised strips and frames. A great stylistic work was carried out by Arch. Pierluigi Fasoli, who in close collaboration with the home owners gave useful advice for a small internal renovation and for the choice and insertion of new furnishings.

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THE PARISIAN STYLE

Listening to customer requests, strong ideas and clear tastes emerged. The style that has been defined starts from these premises and let itself be guided by some existing furnishing elements.

The Parisian style was the solution. In fact, it is characterized by elegance and splendor, looking for luxurious furniture that give charm to the environment but without exceeding. In this case, the dark-colored velvet sofas and poufs in the living area, combined with a large shaped mirror with golden frame and the multi-arm chandelier in polished brass in the dining area are able to provide preciousness to the rooms.

Another characteristic element of this style is the mix of modern and antique furnishings, elements that belong to different eras combined in a wise way. So in fact we can see, in the dining area, chairs and table with an antique and oriental style while the sofas in the living area with shaped brass feet, clear antiques match with more modern elements, such as an essential bookcase and square crystal coffee tables.

dining room in Parisian Style
furniture dining room in Parisian Style
living room in Parisian Style

DETAILS

The predominant colors of the Parisian style are always delicate, usually white is used allowing to give a lot of brightness to any interior, even on the grayest days. Here the white of the ceilings has been combined with a light green-gray in the bedrooms and a dove-gray in the kitchen. Note the white frame left between the color of the walls and that of the ceiling. Wall paneling are missing, but all the baseboards, window frames and classic doors have been painted in a warm white. Plaster decorations and ceiling frames have also been added in rooms where white painted wooden beams are not present.

kitchen eclectic apartment Milan
kitchen eclectic apartment Milan
studio in Parisian Style

OUR INTERVENTION

As requested by the architect, our creations, some furniture in the living area, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms and in the sleeping area, were supplied unfinished and then painted by the customer. So you can see the varnish passed by hand, with its imperfections that do not hide the essence of the wood below. For the openings and closings of the doors, brass knobs and a sort of made-to-measure wooden bolt have been chosen.

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furniture in Parisian Style
living room apartment Milan
bedroom detail
bedroom detail Milan apartment
bedroom in Parisian Style bed

A quick ovrview of the 40 Years of Modulor

A quick ovrview of the 40 Years of Modulor

Today we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of foundation of Modulor! Exactly forty years ago the young Carla started her business in a small shed in Torre Boldone.

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In those years she has lived, observed and taken inspiration for his projects from the furnishing trends that have followed one another quickly. But what has changed in people’s taste over the years? Carla grows with the eccentricity of the 60s. An explosion of colors as a response to the austerities of the war, the term kitsch is coined precisely because of these contrasting combinations. There are geometric patterns in the floors and plastic is chosen as an innovative and exclusive material, to be used in any sphere and shape. Ps: Remember that in the 60s Andy Warhol’s Pop Art was born with the exaltation of the main symbols of the consumer society. In the 70s the teenager Carla participated in the Hippie movement also called “Children of the flowers”. The unbridled use of floral symbols and geometric and psychedelic shapes are the fundamental stylistic signatures of those years. The plastic is put aside for a moment and in its place more traditional materials are reintroduced, such as leather. The latter is mainly used in its natural color and metals.

 

THE CAREFULNESS OF THE 80’S

And finally we arrive at the doors of the 80s when the Modulor Company was born with the aim to become a guideline for architecture and interior design on a human scale, relating in harmony and in symbiosis with the needs of its customers. The term “Le Modulor” is coined directly by Le Corbusier around the 50s of the twentieth century, which defines a scale of proportions derived from human measurements. What was avant-garde forty years ago, is now back in fashion. A style characterized by the permanence of bright colors, sometimes even in opaque colors and the use of a mix of contrasting materials, which find themselves happily living together in the same room. In furnishing accessories, handles and profiles, in wood or metal, take importance. In fact, they are not left in a natural finish but painted in colors such as red, very fashionable, or even green and black. The living area becomes the fulcrum of the home and there cannot be missing large leather sofas, chairs and designer lamps. It is precisely in recent years that there is a surge in the production and variety of design objects for the living area. Deserving of mention, the famous pop works of Alessandro Mendini, while for the most sought after, we remember icons of design with a modern style. Achille Castiglioni’s unforgettable Arco or Parentesi, Marcel Breuer’s Wassily armchair, or Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcellona are just a few examples. The first soft colors are also introduced and the new material that takes the place of traditional glass is synthetic plexiglass.

 
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SOBRIETY IS BACK IN THE 90’S

The furniture leaves the rounded shapes and sinuous lines that had distinguished them in previous years to return to simple, essential and minimal geometric shapes. Smooth and shiny surfaces are in fashion, here in fact the first bases are laid for what will be the essence of contemporary furniture. The colored plastic makes space entirely for classic materials such as glass, wood and wrought iron. Even the bright colors of previous years leave room for the soft hues, which from the walls expand to the furnishings and accessories. An explosion of beige, blush and pure white that sometimes matches with dark colors such as anthracite gray and black. The carpet and the parquet, two opposite floors live in harmony and the colored synthetic fur spreads mainly on armchairs and poufs as material. The functionality of the elements, which are designed for the purpose of the activity to be carried out by them, still leave room for creativity, especially in the original and unique forms.  

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living room 90s

THE YEARS 2000 AND THE MULTIFUNCTIONALITY

The sizes of the houses are reduced in the projects of new apartments. The airy houses of the previous eras are downsized according to need and practicality. This entails rethinking the different furniture with a view to maximizing optimization for spaces and functions favouring convertible sofa beds, extendable tables and consoles. The materials become more flexible and lighter. There is in fact the passage from solid wood, heavy and subject to deformations related to humidity, towards the MDF or blockboard, a high quality compound excellent for lacquering. Various furnishing trends are beginning to emerge such as Urban or Hi-Tech, which leave space to essential lines and industrial materials. Technology officially enters the world of interior design, becoming a functional and aesthetic feature. In total opposition, the Bohemian style is back in vogue and the Shabby Chic is born, the “elegant scruffy”. Vintage antique furniture dominates the interior of the house, defining a retro taste revisited in a contemporary perspective.

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velvet and metals living

MODULOR PREPARES TO FACE THE NEW STYLISTIC CHALLENGES OF THE BECOMING YEARS

What will the trends of the coming years hold for us? Surely fashion will increasingly become part of all areas related to design, including the interior. The trendy nuances will then dictate the rules, such as more feminine colors or green accents, which also recall the eco and bio trend. More and more wallpapers with geometric graphic will be used, which can already be found in tiles and accessories, or with large floral motifs. Velvet will be one of the materials that will characterize the years to come, being the perfect blend of luxury and comfort to which  different finishes of metallic materials, such as silver, gold, tin and copper will be matched.  

CONCLUSIONS

In all these years curiosity has never left Carla who today, with all of us, is looking forward to discovering what the new trends are and offering them enthusiastically to her customers. The 40 years of Modulor’s activity are only a starting point and an incentive for continuous growth and research. Ps: even if the years go by Carla is always young, she’s never gets old 🙂