2010s American Minimalist Sofas
Wool, Wood, Textile
2010s American Minimalist Lounge Chairs
Organic Material, Wool, Upholstery, Wood
A Close Look at minimalist Furniture
A revival in the popularity of authentic Minimalist furniture is rooted in history while reflecting the needs and tastes of the 21st century. Designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s aphorism that “less is more” influenced the evolution of 20th-century interiors with an emphasis on function and order. This was a shift from the 19th century, with its lavish Victorian decorating, and was spread around the world through design styles including Bauhaus and brutalism.
Yet Minimalism was present in furniture design long before the clean lines of modernism, such as in the simple and elegant utility of Shaker furniture. Although the Minimalist art movement of the 1960s and ’70s had little crossover with furniture design, artist Donald Judd was inspired by the Shakers in creating his own spare daybeds and tables from sturdy wood. (Judd, whose advocacy of symmetry also informed his architectural projects, furnished his Manhattan loft with unassuming but poetic works by iconic modernist designers such as Gerrit Rietveld and Alvar Aalto.)
Understatement rather than ornamentation and open space instead of clutter are central themes for a Minimalist living room and bedroom. As opposed to Maximalism, the focus for Minimalist furniture and decor is on simplicity and considering the design and purpose of every object.
Furnishings are usually made in neutral or monochrome colors and pared down to their essentials — think nesting coffee tables, sectional sofas and accent pieces such as ottomans. And Minimalist ceramics can help achieve a decor that is both timeless and of the moment. The organic textures and personalization of handmade craftsmanship associated with these works have served as a sort of anti-Internet to screen-weary decorators. That said, while the thoughtful ergonomics of Scandinavian modern furniture, with its handcrafted teak frames, are at home in Minimalist spaces, so are the quietly striking pieces by Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa that employ industrial materials like stainless steel, aluminum and plastic.
Minimalist furniture is not for making flashy statements; it boasts subdued appeal and excels at harmonizing with any room. And, as it encompasses many different movements and eras of design, it also never goes out of style, owing to its tasteful refinement.
Find a collection of Minimalist tables, seating, lighting and more furniture on 1stDibs.
Finding the Right Seating for You
With entire areas of our homes reserved for “sitting rooms,” the value of quality antique and vintage seating cannot be overstated.
Fortunately, the design of side chairs, armchairs and other lounge furniture — since what were, quite literally, the early perches of our ancestors — has evolved considerably.
Among the earliest standard seating furniture were stools. Egyptian stools, for example, designed for one person with no seat back, were x-shaped and typically folded to be tucked away. These rudimentary chairs informed the design of Greek and Roman stools, all of which were a long way from Sori Yanagi's Butterfly stool or Alvar Aalto's Stool 60. In the 18th century and earlier, seats with backs and armrests were largely reserved for high nobility.
The seating of today is more inclusive but the style and placement of chairs can still make a statement. Antique desk chairs and armchairs designed in the style of Louis XV, which eventually included painted furniture and were often made of rare woods, feature prominently curved legs as well as Chinese themes and varied ornaments. Much like the thrones of fairy tales and the regency, elegant lounges crafted in the Louis XV style convey wealth and prestige. In the kitchen, the dining chair placed at the head of the table is typically reserved for the head of the household or a revered guest.
Of course, with luxurious vintage or antique furnishings, every chair can seem like the best seat in the house. Whether your preference is stretching out on a plush sofa, such as the Serpentine, designed by Vladimir Kagan, or cozying up in a vintage wingback chair, there is likely to be a comfy classic or contemporary gem for you on 1stDibs.
With respect to the latest obsessions in design, cane seating has been cropping up everywhere, from sleek armchairs to lounge chairs, while bouclé fabric, a staple of modern furniture design, can be seen in mid-century modern, Scandinavian modern and Hollywood Regency furniture styles.
Admirers of the sophisticated craftsmanship and dark woods frequently associated with mid-century modern seating can find timeless furnishings in our expansive collection of lounge chairs, dining chairs and other items — whether they’re vintage editions or alluring official reproductions of iconic designs from the likes of Hans Wegner or from Charles and Ray Eames. Shop our inventory of Egg chairs, designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen, the Florence Knoll lounge chair and more.
No matter your style, the collection of antique, new and vintage seating on 1stDibs is surely worthy of a standing ovation.
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