Understanding Modernism

Modern is a word that we hear a lot in the real estate industry and it’s often used as an umbrella to denote anything that falls under a contemporary realm of design. While we might search for a “modern living room” or “modern home” simply with the intention of finding something “new,” modernism as a design concept is much more complex. As Sotheby’s International Realty outlined in a recent blog post, “it isn’t what’s happening in the now, but rather, modernism serves as a snapshot of a particular time period and style of design that is still relevant today.”

Modernism originated in Europe and was a direct rejection of the ornate detailing and excessive ornamentation found in classic 19th century architecture. Modern spaces were open and light-filled, only utilizing materials that served a core purpose within the room. It is no surprise that the natural materials, open concept plans and clean lines that define modernism have remained popular in today’s designs.

It’s All in the Details

Perhaps the most recognized subset of modernism is the mid-century modern style, which derives from tapered furniture profiles and bold colors typical of the 1930s to 1960s.

Bringing Nature Indoors

In line with the rejection of ornamentation, modern design both incorporates natural materials and evokes spaces that fuse in-and-outdoor living together.

Open Concept

Most modern designs afford open concept plans that seamlessly integrate living/dining/kitchen spaces and are framed to let the light in through ample windows.

Find your next modern masterpiece—or inspiration for a home refresh—with these well-designed listings from Sotheby’s International Realty.