Monday, April 26, 2010

Modern Country

I was at the gym the other day and while reading a past issue of DWELL magazine, I came across a couple of interesting articles on people who have moved from the city to greener pastures and have built farmhouses and cabins but in a modern design. The article discussed how many urbanites are finding a marriage between living among an urban-like environment and living out in the country by designing "modern farmhouses."

(image via DWELL magazine)

Now at first, you may feel there is some dissonance when you put together "modern" and farmhouse." However, the more I thought about it, I believe there are more similarities between those two terms than differences. Follow me here for a moment....

Modern design supports simple form, intelligent function, use of space and negative space, and often minimal furnishings. Now if you think about the styles of furniture historically found in rural settings such as farm houses, you'll notice the furniture styles are often Shaker, Mission and Prairie. All these styles share the same elements of "modern" design in that they are simple in form, and innovative in both construction and function. Also, the designs of the Mission and Prairie styles, largely supported by Frank Lloyd Wright, are purposely designed to be integrated into the landscape around the home.

Shaker dresser

Shaker chair, table and tray

Mission table

Even though when most people think of modern interiors, images of urban lofts, high-end hotels or sky-scraper offices may come to mind. However, I think the modern farmhouse may have been the original modern interior! Just a thought.

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