The Virtual House

Furniture for the 21st Century

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Modern garden furniture (2004)
Modern garden furniture - click to enlarge

Many of the different trends from the 1980s and 1990s continue – especially the wide choice of styles and the self-assembly philosophy.

From the 1930s to the early or mid-1960s, most homes were decorated in a uniform fashion. These were either traditional designs favoured by the middle and upper classes, or dull, what-you-could-afford furniture of the working people. These days, economic freedom and wide tastes mean that anything goes.

Modern sofa and furnishings (2004)
Modern sofa design

Television programmes mean we’re all designers of our own homes. Modern designs are often simple and uncluttered as people learn to get the best value out of their space. Light-coloured walls, laminate or wood floors, and mirrors all help to create space.

Curtains have serious competition from blinds, and traditional white net curtains have been replaced by colourful alternatives which co-ordinate with the decor of the room. Big, heavy furniture full of ornaments, photo frames and plates is also becoming a thing of the past. There are less and less carpets in British homes, too.

Objects that were once barely noticed, such as toilet brushes, bins, corkscrews, and lemon squeezers are now designed for display. Plastic, one of the cheapest, most versatile materials around, is more popular than ever, although many people are choosing to return to more natural products such as wood.

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