Modern Furniture Design

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw sweeping social change and major scientific advances—both of which contributed to a new aesthetic: Modernism. Rejecting the rigidity of Victorian artistic conventions, Modernists sought a new means of expression. References to the natural world and ornate classical embellishments gave way to the sleek simplicity of the Machine Age. Architect Philip Johnson characterized the hallmarks of modernism as “machine-like simplicity, smoothness or surface [and] avoidance of ornament.”


     Early practitioners of modernist design include the De Stijl (“The Style”) group, founded in the Netherlands in 1917, and the Bauhaus School, founded two years later in Germany. Followers of both groups produced sleek, spare designs—many of which became icons of daily life in the 20th century. The Modernists rejected both natural and historical references and relied primarily on industrial materials such as metal, glass, plywood, and, later, plastics. While Bauhaus principles Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe created furniture from mass-produced, chrome-plated steel, American visionaries like Charles and Ray Eames worked in materials as novel as molded plywood and fiberglass. Today, Breuer’s Wassily chair, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, and the Eames’s Lounge chair are emblems of progressive design and vintage originals are prized cornerstones of collections.


     It’s difficult to overstate the influence that Modernism continues to wield over designers and architects—and equally difficult to overstate how revolutionary it was when it first appeared a century ago. But because modernist designs are so simple, they can blend in seamlessly with just about any type of décor. Don’t overlook them.

Refine
Atlas Mirror by Bower & Seth Rogen, Mirrored Glass...
Bower
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Wall Mirrors
Enamel, Mirror, Walnut
After discussing mutual interests and points of inspiration, ranging from midcentury to street art to the airbrushed hypercolors found in 1980s pop culture, Brooklyn studio Bower and ac...
Rebelle Goat Hair, Brass and Marble Ottoman by Kelly Wearstler and Aimee Song
Rebelle Goat Hair, Brass and Marble Ottoman by Kel...
Kelly Wearstler
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Ottomans and Poufs
Brass, Goat Hair, Marble
With an inherent spirit of a wild child, Rebelle is a petite sitting stool with a soulful style all her own. Featuring cinnabar-dyed natural long goat hair, sandcast burnished brass leg...
Rosanna Coffee Table in Brass and Steel with Inlai...
Erwan Boulloud
2010s French Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Brass, Steel, Lapis Lazuli
Black steel legs. 26 inlaid Lapis Lazuli. Graduated from the Ecole Boulle in 1995, Erwan Boulloud gained unique know-how which he first put at disposal of different creators, then in...
Contemporary Geometric Modern Led Linear Chandelie...
Studio Endo
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Steel
Alpine V is an extension of the Alpine chandelier family. With this modular series, several lights can be arranged at different heights to create a custom linear composition. Metal f...
Piani Side Table, by Patricia Urquiola for Editions Milano

By Patricia Urquiola, Editions Milano
Piani Side Table, by Patricia Urquiola for Edition...
Patricia Urquiola, Editions Milano
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Side Tables
Cane, Wood
A collection of little furniture where cane is interpreted in an innovate way. A special iridescent lacquering adds unique versatility and contemporaneity to each piece.
Bulgari Sterling Silver Classical Column Desk Clock

By Bulgari
Bulgari Sterling Silver Classical Column Desk Cloc...
Bulgari
Late 20th Century Swiss Modern Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver
Stylish sterling silver desk clock. Made by Bulgari in Geneva. Sectioned fluted column on rectangular base. A Swiss movement in a Classical case. A great gift for an architect. Hallmark...
Big Basket Hanging Chair

Big Basket Hanging Chair
2010s South African Modern Patio and Garden Furniture
Steel
The big basket hanging chair or lounger in a twig pattern has an organic shape that creates a cozy feel. It is spacious and comfortable with ample room to relax. Great for two people - ...
Coracle Bench with Storage, Walnut Wood and Burgundy Vegetable Tanned Leather
Coracle Bench with Storage, Walnut Wood and Burgun...
Jake Whillans
21st Century and Contemporary Canadian Modern Benches
Leather, Walnut
Inspired by ancient fishing vessels, our Coracle bench features a half hide of English bridle leather remarkably formed and stretched about a frame of solid wood. With a duality of f...
Angela Adams Sea Chest Sidecase, Sideboard, White ...
Sherwood Hamill
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Credenzas
Hardwood, Oak
Inspired by a love of the sea, the Sea Chest is a four-door, three-drawer side case that also functions as a sideboard. This piece features selected North American solid wood and veneer...
Chair Bone II, Hand Sculpted, Signed Loic Bard

By Loic Bard
Chair Bone II, Hand Sculpted, Signed Loic Bard
Loic Bard
2010s Canadian Modern Stools
Maple
Chair Bone II Hand sculpted Signed Loic Bard Dimensions: 61 x 38 x 38 cm Bleached maple with oil finish Available finishes: Blackened, bleached or natural maple Loïc Bard is a M...
Dining Table by Salvino Marsura, Hand-Forged Steel Billet, Late 20th Century
Dining Table by Salvino Marsura, Hand-Forged Steel...
Salvino Marsura
Late 20th Century Italian Modern Dining Room Tables
Metal, Wrought Iron
'Giocolieri' dining table by Salvino Marsura. The base is made from hand-forged and hammered steel billets which are incredibly heavy and difficult to form into the fluid shapes found ...
Lean Light, Milky Glass with Silver Leaf and Black...
FEYZ
2010s American Modern Floor Lamps
Brass, Blown Glass
FEYZ Studio was 2017 NYCxDesign Awards Winner for "Emerging Product Designer" with the 'Lean Light'. The ‘Lean’ light was designed to become a sculptural piece that would casually lean...
PnKrck Armchair by Kelly Behun & Narciso Rodriguez, Linen Suede & Lacquered Oak
PnKrck Armchair by Kelly Behun & Narciso Rodriguez...
Kelly Behun Studio
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Armchairs
Suede, Linen, Oak, Lacquer
Designed over a series of late-night emails between longtime friends, the pnKRck lounge chair is the result of interior designer Kelly Behun and fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez consi...
Kita Covered Cake Stand in Textured Glass by Thaddeus Wolfe and Ignacio Mattos
Kita Covered Cake Stand in Textured Glass by Thadd...
Thaddeus Wolfe
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Glass
Blown Glass
This covered cake stand, by glass artist Thaddeus Wolfe in collaboration with New York chef Ignacio Mattos (Estela, Flora Bar, Café Altro Paradiso), is comprised of two pieces of hand-b...
Relic Cluster 5, Geometric White Porcelain and Brass Chandelier
Relic Cluster 5, Geometric White Porcelain and Bra...
John Sheppard
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass, Porcelain
This sculptural chandelier features five geometric porcelain pendants with a unique textural matte finish, and custom brass hardware. The shades are each handcrafted from slabs of ungla...
Lara Bohinc, Fortress Militia Candlesticks, Bronze Ceramic
Lara Bohinc, Fortress Militia Candlesticks, Bronze...
Lara Bohinc
2010s British Modern Candle Holders
Ceramic
Lara Bohinc continues to work with ancient and futuristic forms with new Fortress designs, further exploring the complex geometry of this range. The hexagonal shapes interlock and embra...
Handmade Porcelain Bowl, Elevated, Striped, Modular, Contemporary, Modern
Handmade Porcelain Bowl, Elevated, Striped, Modula...
Isabell Gatzen
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Bowls and Baskets
Porcelain
This hand-thrown porcelain Bowl is a contemporary and functional stand out piece. Glossy white porcelain with hand carved stripes on the base. The bowl has a size of diameter 29cm, heig...
Pair of Red Powder Coated Steel Robot Bedside Tables

By Jo Wilton and Mirka Grohn
Pair of Red Powder Coated Steel Robot Bedside Tabl...
Jo Wilton and Mirka Grohn
21st Century and Contemporary British Modern Side Tables
Steel
A pair of red powder coated steel Robot bedside tables. The Robot side table features an open shelf on zig zag legs. A fun and functional design made of solid steel, powder coated in pi...
Contemporary Uniform Aluminium Side Table Deep Rust Red and Cut-Out Marble Inlay

By Other Kingdom
Contemporary Uniform Aluminium Side Table Deep Rus...
Other Kingdom
21st Century and Contemporary Indian Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Aluminum, Marble
Other Kingdom's uniform tables complement the natural warmth of a marble top with a precisely formed metal base that is fabricated in powder coated aluminium. The marble top is avail...
Marzipan Pianette by Wall for Apricots and Jason S...
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Collectibles and Curiosities
Maple, Plywood
Wall for Apricots and Jason Schwartzman have come together to create the Marzipan Pianette, a 1970s Hohner Clavinet Pianet keyboard ensconced in a petite console table. The design is an...
Rocking Chair in Galvanized Laser Cut Steel Frame ...
Klein Agency
2010s American Modern Rocking Chairs
Cut Steel, Leather
Low in its stance, wide in its grip, Klein Agency's contemporary low Rocker creates the perfect, soft shell for release and rest of your body. Laser cut precision is utilized to create ...
'New' O Stool in Blackened Steel by Estudio Persona

By Estudio Persona
'New' O Stool in Blackened Steel by Estudio Person...
Estudio Persona
2010s American Modern Chairs
Steel
O stool takes the circular shape to its limits, unfolding and folding again to create a fluid softness in steel. The form captures the steady movement of light and shadows pooling and c...
Tolix Casier de Tri in Steel by Xavier Pauchard

By Xavier Pauchard, Tolix
Tolix Casier de Tri in Steel by Xavier Pauchard
Xavier Pauchard, Tolix
21st Century and Contemporary French Modern Shelves
Steel
Desk in steel with shelves - as a pigeonhole. Designed by the famous Xavier Pauchard for all the French post in the 40'.
Lounger Armchair

By Jaime Hayon
Lounger Armchair
Jaime Hayon
21st Century and Contemporary Spanish Modern Armchairs
Leather, Walnut
Seat and backrest in plywood with exteriors in walnut. Upholstered (non-removable) polyether sponge, in various fabrics and leathers available in BD. Structure: Swivel base in fused al...
Athenaeum Settee from O&G Studio, Ebonized Black Ash Stain
Athenaeum Settee from O&G Studio, Ebonized Black A...
O&G Studio
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Benches
Ash
The ATHENAEUM settee is elegantly suited for both contemporary and traditional interiors, a statement piece often used at a dining table or as a dramatic focal point for the entryway. ...
Thin Stool in Contemporary Powdered-Coated Steel w...
Kin & Company
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Stools
Bronze, Steel
Like a tiny creature bending over, brushing her toes on the floor, the Thin stools challenge our notion of strength, urging viewers to ask, Will this support me? At times minimalist and...
SAP Tall Vase No.01 by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and Kaarem in Pink Silk & Resin
SAP Tall Vase No.01 by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio a...
Ladies & Gentlemen Studio
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Vases and Vessels
Silk, Resin
Through a shared passion for exploring materials, Kaarem and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio introduce SAP, a series of vessels inspired by the practice of displaying plant arrangements — a f...
Salvatori Galleria Special Edition Sculpture & Ben...
Ron Gilad, Salvatori
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Benches
Marble
The curved form of Galleria, a special edition piece designed for Salvatori by Ron Gilad, seemingly defies logic, begging the question “But how do you bend stone”. It is beautiful si...
Architecture of Song, Sister Candleholder by the P...
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Candle Holders
Aluminum
If architecture is frozen music, as Goethe once said, what would a song by Angel Olsen look like? Musician Angel Olsen and architect Drew Seskunas have collaborated on a machine that ca...
Contemporary Steam Bent Dressing Table and Stool in Solid Ash by Jonathan Field
Contemporary Steam Bent Dressing Table and Stool i...
Jonathan Field
2010s English Modern Vanities
Ash
Dressing table made from solid steam bent ash that has been given a black tint to the grain and then a white oil finish. The dressing table pictured is the first one of an edition of...
'Lavender' Feyzstudio Cast Crystal Shaped Glass wi...
FEYZ
2010s American Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Blown Glass, Brass
‘Lavender’ takes it’s inspiration from its namesake flowering plant, and is comprised of three elements: the light, the crystal glass and the stem. These three elements can be connect...
Stool Bone XII, Handsculpted, Signed Loic Bard

By Loic Bard
Stool Bone XII, Handsculpted, Signed Loic Bard
Loic Bard
2010s Canadian Modern Stools
Maple
Stool Bone XII Handsculpted Signed Loic Bard Dimensions: 48 x 115 x 20 cm Bleached Maple w/ Oil Finish Available Finishes: Blackened, Bleached or Natural Maple Loïc Bard is a M...
TOTEM Pearly Green Glaze Solid African Wood Island...
FEYZ
2010s American Modern Stools
Hardwood
Inspired by African TOTEM sculptures, the two different designs for Island stools, can also be made Bar height. They are made of an African wood. The color can be customized.
Pacific Armoire by Volk

By VOLK
Pacific Armoire by Volk
VOLK
2010s American Modern Wardrobes and Armoires
Copper, Leather, Ash
As shown: Solid ash with ash veneer and whitewashed finish. Turned copper legs and drawer pulls Swing doors with inset leather panels Flat waterborne finish Dimensions: 69" H x 3...
Contemporary m2kr Me Chair in Galavanized Steel wi...
Myriam Kuehne-Rauner
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Chairs
Design studio m2kr playfully transforms gender symbols into the extravagant chair collection "ME", "You", "Family" The minimalist design, high quality workmanship and the material wit...
Liquid Collusion Large Light Sculpture by Liam Gil...
Liam Gillick
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Floor Lamps
Steel, Plexiglass
A true collaboration between contemporary artist Liam Gillick and designer Harry Nuriev, and an honest dialogue between art and function, Liquid Collusion is where Gillick’s iconic glas...
Alice Pendant by Bethan Gray for Editions Milano

By Bethan Gray, Editions Milano
Alice Pendant by Bethan Gray for Editions Milano
Bethan Gray, Editions Milano
2010s Italian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Marble
Alice collection is originally inspired by the spectacular black and white stone configurations found in historical buildings across Europe, in particular the 12th century Cathedral in ...
HW10 Valet in Marble, Brass and Leather by Home St...
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Racks and Stands
Brass, Leather, Marble
This clothing stand by designer Oliver Haslegrave and stylist Natasha Royt is a modern interpretation of a cherished mainstay of sartorial decor: the suit valet. Haslegrave and Royt sel...
Three Quilt Collection Wool and Leather by Rafael De Cardenas & Mel Ottenberg

By Rafael De Cardenas, Maharam
Three Quilt Collection Wool and Leather by Rafael ...
Rafael De Cardenas, Maharam
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Textiles
Suede, Silk, Wool
Designer Rafael de Cárdenas and fashion stylist Mel Ottenberg have joined together on a collection of three quilts with support from Maharam. Simultaneously intimate yet formal, decorat...
Studio Moss and Black Wool Blend Geometric Rectangle Reversible Rug

By Meredith Thayer
Studio Moss and Black Wool Blend Geometric Rectang...
Meredith Thayer
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Caucasian Rugs
Wool
Studio moss & black wool blend geometric 8' x 10' rectangle reversible rug. Angled lines and use of color create pattern in our Studio Rug. Black and moss wool blend yarns are grounded ...
Contemporary Mobile Geometric Modern LED Chandelie...
Studio Endo
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Steel
Concord is a sculptural mobile LED chandelier. Three angular bars of continuous light suspend from each other, creating an elegant composition. Concord adds a dynamic sense of balance a...
Colorful Tembo Stool, Note Design Studio

By Note Design Studio
Colorful Tembo Stool, Note Design Studio
Note Design Studio
2010s French Modern Stools
Colorful tembo stool - Note Design Studio Measures: Height: 19 inches (low stool) or 30,3 inches (high stool) Diameter: 14 inches Weight: 30,8 lbs (low stool) or 37,5 lbs (high sto...
Console Model "Orgue", France, 1970s

Console Model "Orgue", France, 1970s
Vintage 1970s French Modern Console Tables
Bronze, Glass
Polished bronze console “orgue” with a polished bronze base supporting a rectangular brass and glass top.  
Piani Console, by Patricia Urquiola for Editions Milano

By Patricia Urquiola, Editions Milano
Piani Console, by Patricia Urquiola for Editions M...
Patricia Urquiola, Editions Milano
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Console Tables
Cane, Wood
A collection of little furniture where cane is interpreted in an innovate way. A special iridescent lacquering adds unique versatility and contemporaneity to each piece.
Monumental Pair of Marcello Fantoni Etruscan Sgraffiti Vases with Covers

By Marcello Fantoni
Monumental Pair of Marcello Fantoni Etruscan Sgraf...
Marcello Fantoni
Mid-20th Century Italian Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
An outstanding pair of vases with covers in the sgraffiti technique by the Italian master Marcello Fantoni. These ceramic masterpieces are in perfect condition and they are both signed....
Smart Sterling Silver Desk Box by Tiffany

By Tiffany & Co.
Smart Sterling Silver Desk Box by Tiffany
Tiffany & Co.
Vintage 1940s American Modern Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver
Smart sterling silver desk box. Made by Tiffany & Co. in New York. Rectangular with straight sides and sharp corners. Cover flat and hinged with molded rim. Box and cover interior cedar...
Architecture of Song, The Intern Candleholder by T...
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Candle Holders
Aluminum
If architecture is frozen music, as Goethe once said, what would a song by Angel Olsen look like? Musician Angel Olsen and architect Drew Seskunas have collaborated on a machine that ca...
Phase Pendant in Contemporary Blackened Steel with...
Kin & Company
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Resin, Steel
The Phase Pendant began with a collaborative investigation between Kin and Kim Markel — fellow Sight Unseen favorite — in which their native materials informed the iterative design proc...
Midcentury Iron Rectangular Mirror

Midcentury Iron Rectangular Mirror
Mid-20th Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Midcentury iron rectangular mirror. Cut corners at top, circa 1960-1970.  
Pair of  Vintage French Sculptural Embedded Lucite and Stainless Steel Boxes
Pair of Vintage French Sculptural Embedded Lucite...
Pierre Giraudon
Vintage 1970s French Modern Boxes
Stainless Steel, Lucite
These amazing sculptural french vintage pair of boxes are composed of an encasing of fractured embedded lucite as the tops that sit on brushed stainless steel bottoms with a small lucit...
Three Quilt Collection Leather and Wool by Rafael De Cardenas & Mel Ottenberg

By Rafael De Cardenas, Maharam
Three Quilt Collection Leather and Wool by Rafael ...
Rafael De Cardenas, Maharam
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Textiles
Leather, Wool
Designer Rafael de Cárdenas and fashion stylist Mel Ottenberg have joined together on a collection of three quilts with support from Maharam. Simultaneously intimate yet formal, decorat...
Geometric Coffee Table in Brass, Brazilian Contemporary Style, Trama Series
Geometric Coffee Table in Brass, Brazilian Contemp...
Bianca Barbato
21st Century and Contemporary Brazilian Modern Center Tables
Brass
This brass coffee table is from the Tramas series, made in the Brazilian contemporary style. Topped with metal geometric tiles (laser cut process), alternating polished and brushed part...
21st Century Custom Handmade Contemporary Velvet a...
Troy Smith
2010s Italian Modern Sofas
Brass, Velvet
21st century custom handmade contemporary velvet and solid brass leg sofa. Flute sofa Contemporary and timeless this classically modern designed flute sofa is custom-made by hand an...
Brass Contemporary Vertical Geometric Modern Sconc...
Studio Endo
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Wall Lights and Sconces
Steel
Chime 35 sconce is inspired by the harmonious sound of resonating bells. Chime 35 features two parallel bars of soft warm light floating over a disc backplate. Available in two sizes, p...
Guillermo Meza, Eva y la Serpiente, Haiti Chérie, 1968

By Guillermo Meza
Guillermo Meza, Eva y la Serpiente, Haiti Chérie, ...
Guillermo Meza
Vintage 1960s Mexican Modern Paintings
Canvas, Paint
A painting of prominent Mexican Artis Guillermo Meza, (1917-1997), titled Eva y la Serpiente (Haiti Chérie ), representing a woman figure in Meza's almost surrealist typical style. Oil...
Handmade Porcelain Modular Vase, Ring with 24-Karat Gold, Contemporary
Handmade Porcelain Modular Vase, Ring with 24-Kara...
Isabell Gatzen
21st Century and Contemporary Indonesian Modern Vases and Vessels
Porcelain
This hand-thrown porcelain vase is a contemporary and functional stand out piece. Modular vase with one ring. The base is glossy white porcelain, one ring with 24-karat gold on half o...
Wide Pacific Dresser by Volk

By VOLK
Wide Pacific Dresser by Volk
VOLK
2010s American Modern Dressers
Copper, Ash
As shown: Solid blackened ash with turned copper legs and drawer pulls and solid walnut with turned brass legs and pulls. Fabric lined drawers by request at an additional fee. Waterb...
Lara Bohinc, Fortress Column Vase, Red Ceramic

By Lara Bohinc
Lara Bohinc, Fortress Column Vase, Red Ceramic
Lara Bohinc
2010s British Modern Vases and Vessels
Ceramic
Designer Lara Bohinc explores the marriage of ancient and futuristic form in the new Fortress vase range, which has created a more complex geometric and modern structure from the origin...