Modern furniture is defined by any piece of furniture that was produced within the 19th century up until the present day, which has a strong visual and technical modernist influence. Furniture produced prior to the 19th century had a very ornate and decorative with a very imposing and heavy feel. Most of the materials included solid woods, gilds, gold leaf and bone inlays with very opulent and intricate detailing. The modernist movement was a direct reaction to the excess of previous eras, and served to produce functional and practical pieces that convey a sense of lightness and minimalism.
Modern furniture is constantly evolving and using cutting edge materials, finishes, production processes and technical innovation. The 1920’s saw a paradigm shift in the way that modern furniture was produced and presented to the world. Within this decade a vast number of now iconic pieces of modern furniture were produced, including the Bauhaus Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, the Eileen Gray side table and the infamous Barcelona chair by Mies Van Der Rhoe. All of these designs where shocking in their minimalism and the perceived industrial materials at the time, but each of those pieces are still going strong and are considered modern classics which still adorn many modern homes.