May 13, 2013
This is Happening: Neo Modern
There are trends that announce themselves with all the fanfare of a diplomat walking into a state dinner--your Shabby Chics and your Hollywood Regencies--and then there are the ones that sneak up on you, emerging from myriad influences like a mutant, evolving design strain. Neo Modern is just such a trend: mixing everything from midcentury elements to culty mysticism for a visual crescendo. Here, a field guide to this elusive new breed of interior.
Coin an air of mystery with things that feel like they were sourced from a Masonic Lodge. Jeremy Gesualdo's graphic image, Untitled #7, does this in spades. Fornasetti's appetizer set greets you with an all-seeing eye, and Lindsey Adelman's machined metal Agnes Candelabra feels like something the villagers would take on a witch hunt--in the future.
(L to R: $50, Eye Buy Art,$240, Barneys New York; $3000, Matter)
Why opt for either organic or industrial? Do them both at the same time for a warm effect with modernity built in. Rich Brilliant Willing mixes wood with metal in its solid Radient Plate Oak Lamp; Future Perfect's oak vessel set plays with opacity via glass silhouettes with cork and hardwood tops; and Konstantin Grcic offsets beech wood with slick matte lacquer in his adjustable Tom Tom + Tam Tam Tables.
(L to R: $810, Rich Brilliant Willing; $228, Future Perfect; $433, Future Perfect)
The key to mastering this look is in embracing an extreme color palette. Benjamin Moore's rich Blue Danube paint offers instant sophistication, Ralph Lauren's oxblood-stained Kilim Red shade has a bit of stylish bordello about it, and Glidden's polished Onyx Black hue proves you're willing to go all the way.
(L to R: $51, Benjamin Moore; $40, Ralph Lauren; $27, Glidden)
We're not talking about vintage reproductions; we're talking about vintage evolutions. IKEA's Arvika Swivel feels like it was swiped from the set of the new Star Trek, Brave Space Design's Bamboo Stagger is an updated take on modular shelving, and Foscarini's Perf Floor Lamp, complete with a beak-like shade, picks up where Serge Mouille left off.
(L to R: $500, IKEA; $2975, Design Public; $1103, Olighting)
Abandon naturalistic forms in favor of a geometric revolution. Bend's multipurpose Drum is a buoyant, string-art-with-wire furniture breakthrough; CB2's brass-plated Sphere Hanging Mobile adds kinetic energy to the room; and Trina Turk's linen Hexagon Pillow capitalizes on its faceted design with subtle sheen.
(L to R: $425, Bend; $35, CB2; $135, Wayfair)
Photographs: 1. Courtesy Valcucine 2. Courtesy Paperblog 3. Courtesy CPH Square 4.Ica Carlsson 5. Courtesy Matter Matters 6. Courtesy Sage and Ivy 7. Courtesy Elle Décor UK 8. Courtesy Tom Dixon 9. Courtesy 20 Eight 10. Courtesy E 15 11. Courtesy Matter Matters 12. Beatriz da Costa 13. Courtesy Tom Dixon 14. Siren Lauvdal 15.Courtesy Matter Matters 16. Courtesy Think Studio 17. Courtesy Design Bloom 18. Courtesy Alexander Burr 19-21. Andreas Toelke 22. Courtesy Christian Wassmann 23.Courtesy Zachary A. Design 24. Courtesy Laura Day Living 25.Courtesy Topshop