When you choose to embark on the world of modernist design your world opens up to another universe where somehow everything makes sense in the design world. Unlike today’s mcmansions which lack any design quality whatsoever other then fake Tuscan homes or fake French country living, true modernism doesn’t fake anything. From the brilliant Eichler homes to timeless furniture from Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller, Knoll and Saarinen – these designs and the lifestyle it goes with last because of their unwillingness to compromise on the integrity of their product.
When I decided to embark on my modern journey it was due to finally seeing the beauty of an Eichler home. It didn’t make sense to me for years. I was raised in a standard 1960’s ranch house with a galley kitchen and a hallway that could have just as easily been a bowling alley. But when I saw my first modern home with its flat roof and radiant heated floors, I saw that it was constructed around an atrium with easy access to other rooms. The entry welcomed visitors without getting them stuck. Rooms are small, yet structurally designed to be functional; homes that are 2000 plus square feet aren’t necessary. A well designed home makes beautiful use of space, designs for function and studies the way a home is used and how people move within the home. The modern movement tears down our society’s need to consume – if you choose good design from the beginning, you don’t need to replace it when the trend changes or the new catalogue comes in.
Pouring over the latest issue of Dwell Magazine I come upon an article about a man who designed his own home in Maine five decades ago, raised a family in it and still lives in that home today. It makes me look at what works and why someone would want to stay in a home for five decades when the average American moves eleven times in their lifetime. McMansions, and I’m sorry if I continue to harp on them, are fads; full of trendy faux textures that will have to be painted over and outdated when the next trend is in and are so flooded with extra rooms that line the hallway that once children are grown the home becomes a shell – storing extra furniture and dust. Modernist takes the best of 50’s small homes and keeps them current and relevant through timeless design including kitchens that open to living and dining spaces creating a family centered space that adjusts perfectly for entertaining. The magazine Atomic Ranch explores mid-century modern from the 1940’s through the 1960’s showcasing architect-designed modernist homes that with updated appeal giving its readers affordable solutions to maintaining a modern home.
In addition to good home design, one will not tire of furnishings that remain constant in modern living. Web sites devoted to modernism such as Yliving, Herman Miller, and Grass Roots Modern inspire readers with affordable, quality furnishings to reflect your good taste and to add sophistication to your home. Current retail giant Ikea is heavily influenced with modern style and features the talents of Scandinavian furniture designers to create affordable pieces that fit well in modernist living.
Good design is part of life – one we can integrate into everyday living with architecture, furnishing and home accessories. Modern living is livable – and is meant for everyone. But – it’s a bold step to walk away from the mass media and what the housing developers try to sell you. Good design endures.