With interior design, a careful consideration of color palette has historically been one of the first steps in the design process. This constricts possibilities in such a way that is helpful to the designer’s decision making and maintains focus and theme within the design. It ensures that the final product will have at least one type of binding mechanism that keeps it composed.
Color palette based interior, Victorian era
From the modern period on, there has been a gradual shift in this paradigm from color palette toward material palette. There is a growing aesthetic sentiment that materials should be celebrated and left exposed, rather than coated, painted and hidden away, and that materials often have a natural beauty built into their physical make up. A kind of “material transparency” has become more stylish in the worlds of furniture design, interior design and architectural design.
Contemporary material palette based interior
When considering a material rich theme for an interior or furniture motif, it is helpful to approach it like one would a color palette concept- by limiting the options based on visual compatibility and composition. However, with exposed material compositions it is important to consider more than just the visual. How exposed materials are cut, combined, expand and contract with heat and cool, react chemically with one another, and their structural and aging capabilities must also be considered in order to achieve a successful design. In other words, it’s not just about what the materials look like together, it’s also about how they function together. Joining two different metals with no mediating material, for example, can result in galvanic deterioration – a type of electrochemical corrosion caused by dissimilar electrode potentials in metal types. So choosing this path means choosing the need for a more thoughtful approach, but it also means choosing the potential for greater success.
Luckily for the consumer, it is up to the designer to make these considerations, and up to the consumer to decide how successful their work is. Examining furniture through the lens of material aesthetics is just another way to think about products as you consider what you like and dislike.
Considering a material rich palette for your interior? Here are just a few of the hundreds of contemporary furniture options on Eurway.com that celebrate the materials they are created from. In my next blogs, I will be examining specific material palettes and discussing their properties and connotations.
The Chiavari Clear Kids Chair is made from clear, UV treated K-Resin, an engineered styrene-butadiene compund that can be molded to any shape, has very high strength, and holds up over time. This material is used in applications ranging from toys to medical equipment.
The Metro Gun Metal Backless Bar Stool is powder-coated and finished in such a way that mimics a natural metal patina that occurs on red brass- a metal used in the early 20th century to make guns due its workability.
The Madera Walnut Wall Clock is a great option for an exposed wood design scheme and goes to show that a clock can be another opportunity to celebrate the inherent beauty of natural materials.
The Petri Bedroom Set is all about the natural allure of exposed wood grain. It is made of exposed solid mahogany.
The Gretta Pedestals are made of buffed aluminum and seem to extol it.
The Gibson Glass Desk celebrates the intersection of glass and steel in a way that is reminiscent of urban corporate Architecture.