Traditional American furniture design is characterized by solid wood in natural shades, with upholstery, furnishings and décor to match. Modern living room furniture tends to be associated with clean lines, whites and bright colors put together to offer a sensation of space with colorful accents intruding as focal points.
That's the artistic view. Many prefer to describe the modern living room as being bright, airy and interesting with colorful accents. Not much difference, then! In fact, much American furniture design does tend to focus a great deal on natural wood finishes, while UK, Scandinavian (aka IKEA!) and continental European designs appear to be more adventurous, making good use of accent colors and experimental shapes.
Is this really true? Many would believe it to be somewhat unfair to American furniture designers, because they tend to cater for what Americans are seeking. However, how do you know what you want if you are continually exposed to the same old stuff?
Modern Living Room Furniture
In fact, many American homeowners are furnishing their homes with modern living room furniture and turning their back on traditional home furniture designs. This does not necessarily mean that solid wood furniture in its natural color is out, since modern designs can make good use of the natural look of many types of wood, particularly American cherry and birch.
However, if the term 'modern' is associated with pure white furniture on bright red or blue carpeting, or brightly colored pieces sitting on pale-colored floors, then not too many American designers tend to go for that type of contrast. Still, when you think on it deeper, this is not 'modern living room furniture' design we are discussing here, but 'home décor' - and a form of home décor that many believe went out in the 1960s.
So perhaps American furniture designers are correct, although their 'modern' upholstered pieces appear to be traditional designs with brightly colored or white upholstery. So what is needed? One answer is simple and obvious - use American ingenuity. Americans are known for their imagination, and there are many American furniture companies that allow you to design your own furniture.
Design Your Own
You design it, and they will make it. You know what? Ordinary American people are doing a great job and are coming up with some fabulous modern living room furniture designs. Leave American furniture design to the ordinary American, and the results can be awesome - so much so that some of these furniture manufacturers have added their clients' designs to their regular range! If you have some good designs for modern living room furniture for your own home, then you can do the same!
Before deciding that you must have modern furniture in your living room, first consider what aspects of American furniture design appeal to you. If none, then consider designing your own. Maybe you like a particular design but not the color - then paint it. If you don't think you can do a professional job then take it to your local body shop for spray-painting. Few will refuse if you don't insist on a quality guarantee - equally few will do a bad job!
American Furniture Design Standards
What is modern living room furniture, and what are the current standards of American furniture design? To answer the second question first, the answer is excellent, although with a tendency to the traditional. In order to answer the question completely, the concept of 'modern' living room furniture must first be considered and agreed upon.
Do we mean modern, contemporary, surrealistic or personal preference? In fact, does the term 'modern' mean anything at all, other than having been designed in the current era? Many people use the term to refer to designs not conforming to current trends, so perhaps 'non-conformist' is a better definition? Nope? Thought not!
The term is generally considered to refer to contrasts in shades rather than colors, so white and red rather than red and blue. Lines are simple, so hold the carving and leave the woodwork plain. Natural wood is fine, but you can paint it in contrasts, such as black and white or bright red and white if you prefer. Use highlighted accent pieces, and keep clear from deep buttoned upholstery with large puffy cushions.
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