of Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray’s early
lacquered furniture had both Art Deco and Chinese influences. She progressed to
elegant functionalism later on her sofas and tables, in particular, are highly

Eileen Gray                     

Following WWII, two
distinct trends emerged in France: one promoting traditional historic styles
for mass consumption, and the other promoting hi-tech and Scandinavian fashion
for a niche market.

Furniture development
in England 

Art nouveau and art
deco, which emerged on the continent, was never fully embraced in England.
Designers like Mockintosh, Mackmurdo, Webb, Shaw, and Voysey were working on a
modern, simple style of domestic furniture in the spirit of the Art and Crafts
movement without fearing the machine by the turn of the century.

Furniture Scheme,1942

The destruction caused
by World War II necessitated the development of the utility furniture scheme in
1942, which imposed full design standardization. It was an attempt to provide
enough furniture for those whose belongings had been lost in the war or for
those who were constructing new homes.

The UFS, with its
straight lines and straightforward appearance, was a compromise between the
arts and crafts spirit and mass manufacturing techniques and materials.
Historians of the UFS are now regarded as a great improvement of popular taste,
a purge that removed many of the excesses of the 1930s, but it was a source of
resentment at the time. The UFS was particularly effective in breaking down
customer resistance to new designs.

                    The second wife of
designer Terence Conran, at their home, 21st August 1955.

Like other nations,
England accepts design influences from all over the world. “Fun furniture” had
a brief fashion trend in the 1960s thanks to rock and pop art. But it was
Terence Conron’s pleasant and practical knock-down furniture, sold in bundles
like other consumer products, had the most effect and spread. Parts built
in a variety of styles are now incorporated into traditional English interiors.

 Furniture development in Italy 

Italy, like other
European countries went through an Eclecticism era in the nineteenth century,
but it was not inspired by Floreale, the Italian word for art nouveau. And
until the end of World War II, Italy was essentially inactive.

Despite Mussolini’s
fascist restrictions, furniture design experienced a quick revival in Italy
after WWII, despite Mussolini’s capitalist restrictions. However, these restrictions
were not as severe as they were in Nazi Germany. The style idiom was a kind of
pulled back down classicism, just a step away from true functionalism, due to
Duce’s imperial aspiration.

Characteristics Italian

The war had improved the Italians’ technical strength. The end of the war
and the rise of Mussolini provided them with a sense of freedom, catalyzing
their awareness of style and the ambition of their creativity. With a sense of
line, color, and luxury inherited from ancient Rome, which was often missing
or not considered important enough among their colleagues, the Italians
approached all functional problems without discrimination.

Chair, designed by Gio Ponti, Milan and made by Cassina, Meda, 1951-1952, ash
with later white paint, seagrass seat.

Incredible Designers

The postwar Italian
architecture revival was heralded by Carl Mollino and Enrico Rava. Gio Ponti’s
delicate yet sturdy ash chair with woven cane seat became a modern classic in
1959. Pininafarina had previously led the way in couch design.

Italy has created
innovative furniture and decoration techniques and designs in the last twenty
years. In the last decade, no other country has created design giants like
Mario Bellini, Tobia Scarpa, Jo Colombo, Vico Magistretti, and Gale Aulenti.

Wicked Vintage Italian Modern Classic Tobia And Afra Scarpa
Leather and Chrome Soriana Sofa for Cassina (Italy, the 1970s)

From sophisticated
occasional chairs and deep, comfortable upholstered furniture to functional
storage units and lighting sculpture, their elegant designs cover a wide range
of topics.

Furniture development
in Scandinavia 

Scandinavia (Sweden,
Denmark, Norway, and Finland) has been pursuing other European countries and
making furniture in their limitations for centuries. However, in the nineteenth
century, it began creating its own basic designs in pale wood. In 1910, a
Werkbund’s chapter was established to promote functional furniture.

Pieces of furniture by Carl Malmsten in New York City,
New York, July 1939

Leading Scandinavian
designers of the 1930s, especially Carl Malmsten of Sweden and Kaare Klint of
Denmark is credited with introducing a new attitude toward traditional
joinery. Scandinavian furniture represented the country’s high level of local
craftsmanship as well as it’s consciously cooperative and uncomplicated
lifestyle. It was always realistic, uncluttered, simple to live with, and

Kaare Klint Faaborg Chair

Aalto and his

Alvar Aalto, a Finnish
architect, and Bruno Mathsson, a Swede, were two of the most creative
Scandinavian artists. Before WW 2, they were both playing with birch lamination
(thin layers).

Alvar Aalto Stacking Stools

Contribution of Aalto

Aalto adapted concepts
that was originally pioneered by 19th-century Austrian designer Micheal Thonet
inline with existing principles of modern design. His furniture was well-liked
because it was light, functional, and affordable. His stacking chairs and
stools, built around 1930, became what has been termed “invisible
modernism,” as they made their way into spaces that would not have
welcomed any kind of modern art otherwise, such as the bathroom, nursery, and

Aalto cantilever

Aalto designed a
cantilever armchair in 1935 that, although inspired by Mies and Breuer’s work,
relied on the strength and durability of laminated bentwood rather than steel.

The social tendencies
that had given rise to Scandinavian designs in the 1930s grew stronger, as did
furniture design. Leading Scandinavian designers were well aware of the
technological change. Arne Jacobsen’s Swan chair, constructed in 1958, is not
only as advanced as anything developed in the United States, but it also has a
sense of continuity in its design with that of Alvar Aalto in the 1930s. By the 1960s, Sweden had established itself as the best and most dependable source of
modern furniture, helping to lift overall design standards.

Arne Jacobsen’s Swan chair

PK 22 lounge chair by Danish designer Poul Kjaerholm
(manufactured by E Kold Christensen), 1955

Despite the fact that
Italy has replaced Scandinavia as the design king, Scandinavian design remains
simple and well-made. The industrial furniture designed by the Danes Hans
Wegner and Poul Kjaerhalm, as well as Sweden’s Borge Lindau and Bosse
Linderkrantz, demonstrates this straightforward approach.

 The Round (PP501)
Armchair by Danish designer Hans J Wegner (manufactured by PP Mobler), 1949.

development in the USA   

The US has welcomed
people from all countries of Europe, especially England, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Later when two great world wars destroyed Europe, the US was
unharmed and actually prospered. It had been of time excepting a few indigenous
efforts here and there, like shaker furniture.

Modern Movement

The function-based
design advocated in Europe made its way to the United States during the first
half of the century, and simple furniture was being made, as proven by pieces
from Elbert Hubbard’s workshops. In architects Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd
Wright, the United States had two early practitioners of the new movement. Wright
called for built-in furniture in interiors, and he designed the metal swivel
chairs, which are now a standard of office furniture worldwide, as early as

Bauhaus in the US

In 1933, Hitler’s rules
made the Bauhaus designers flee from Germany and Gropius. Mies and Breuer came
to the US, making the Bauhaus influence American designers more direct. Mies
founded Knoll associates with Hans and Florence Knoll to mass-produce Mies’ and
other designer’s work.

Background of America

 It was only in the 1940s that America’s role in the development of modern design was really being felt. what the Bauhaus had achieved
in the 1920s was now being developed by American designers, notably Charles Eames,
and with the help of the formidable resources of American technology.

Hitler’s laws forced
the Bauhaus artists, like Gropius, to leave Germany in 1933. With the arrival
of Mies and Breuer in the United States, the Bauhaus influence on American
designers became more direct. With Hans and Florence Knoll, Mies formed Knoll
Associates to mass-produce Mies’ and other designers’ work.

What the Bauhaus had
accomplished in the 1920s was now being produced by American artists,
especially Charles Eames, and with the assistance of American technology’s
formidable resources.

Eames DAR chair 1948

Its importance can be
seen in Charles Eames’ DAR chair from 1948 and Eero Saarinen’s Womb Chair 70MC
from 1945 to 1948. Both chairs use plastic to produce multi curved baroque forms
that follow their own set of ergonomic and technical rules.

 Saarinen’s  Womb Chair

Throughout the 1950s
and 1960s, this fusion between design and industry continued, resulting in
prices such as the Tulip chairs crafted by Saarinen for Knoll and constructed
of molded fiberglass on a slender aluminum pedestal.

 Tulip chairs

However, America’s
brilliance can be seen in upholstered and occasional furniture. Parson’s plain
form tables, stylish glass, and Plexiglass tables and desk, neat armchairs,
sofas and day beds are tasteful and well-made, and they are the product of
minimalism and high-tech.

The “American
Style” is the adaptation of institutional hardware such as steel lamps,
trolleys, laboratory glass, and other inexpensive items that have become widely
accepted around the world. People are tired of its Spartan look and harsh feel,
and there is a trend to return to more decorative styles like Art Deco 2, also
known as retro, and what is known as post-Modern, which manifests itself in
trends like Hot House, Memphis, and others.

I hope you have understood the pre-historic styles and gained some information through this blog, We had taken the reference from Ahmed Kasu’s book of interior design.

 If you want to know about Contemporary Style in interior design, the link is below.


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