Another design issue that deserves a push of the RESET button is the state of modern design. For the last few years modern has been the popular style of choice. We have lived with design ideas like Minimalism, Zen and Mid-Century for so long that they are starting to feel like parodies of themselves. The true originals of these looks are design classics. I am talking about the work of the minimalist master John Pawson and the true greats of Mid Century design like Eames, Nelson and Knoll but lately all the copies and derivatives are starting to feel anything but modern. I mean when you see a Buddha head go from a spiritual statue to a bookend, to a side table to a doorstop it’s time to rethink what we are doing to the beauty of Zen principles.
So the question is “what IS the new modern?” I see it as more classic modern designs with an emphasis on individual personal style- a kind of New Modern Traditionalism. Sounds like an oxymoron but by this I mean design that takes a truly classic American approach– a melting pot of the best of international influences rooted in crisp tailored modernism. These days it seem like we need something softer, brighter and more optimistic to go home to. A Yes We Can Attitude to meet us at the front door.
Here are a few spaces by the legendary designer Albert Hadley that I think are a great illustration of what I would like to see more of in today’s design seen. These spaces are timeless; they could have been created today or 30 years ago.
And here are some contemporary designs that I think have the same spirit as Mr. Hadley’s:
All of these spaces have an air of modernism but none would be considered modern in a pure sense. There is a youthful take on traditionalism practiced in all of the spaces.
This is the style I am most attracted to so it is no wonder I would push to see more of it. I try to achieve the idea of classic modern design – “New Modern Traditionalism”-. I plan to expound on the principle I use to build a room in a post later this week so make sure to check back. These are photos from some of my design projects: