In the world of interior design, everyone is talking about modular sofas as a new megatrend in the history of home décor. With many more people now living in modern, urban apartments there is an increasing demand for sofa designs which suit light and spacious interior settings.
Because modern home living rooms are more informal then traditional period properties, the conventional three piece suite has become less popular as it conveys a commitment to formality and rigidity that simply doesn’t feature within the surrounding environment.
By way of contrast, modular sofas are both informal, flexible and casual. Inherently versatile, they are composed of independent sectional parts which can be slotted together to form a wide variety of arrangements. With their low rise backs and contemporary design, they embody a striking modern aesthetic and convey a feeling of casual, comfortable living that is vacant from more traditional designs. This is perhaps the most essential, distinguishing feature of a modular sofa.
To supplement and further accentuate this aesthetic, modular sofas are often upholstered using striking fabrics or leathers in intense, bright colours. Ligne Roset’s Togo, an iconic modular range, is a good example with its bold red colour scheme and crimped top cover immediately recognisable.
This departs decisively with the traditional materials and colours associated with upholstered furniture which have been steadily developed and slowly formalised over a number of years. Indeed it is very rare to see a modular sofa featuring the deep buttoning associated with traditional sofas such as the English Chesterfield. Such a combination would almost be counter-intuitive, so diffuse are the two distinctive styles.
A further identifying feature of modular sofas is their accommodation not just with the modern interior setting but also with the modern lifestyle more generally. For example, a number of leading designers have begun to accessorise modular sofas with additional fixtures and fittings such as iPod docks, electrical sockets or even LCD television monitors.
Such features would be unimaginable with traditional designs where a clear division between home furniture items is essential to maintain the desired aesthetic. With a modular sofa, this simply doesn’t feel out of place as the furniture itself already achieves its appeal by dovetailing with and facilitating the modern human lifestyle.
All in all, the modular sofa is perhaps the finest example within the interior design industry of an original ergonomic design. Unlike the trend for corner sofas, which itself marks a departure from the long established loveseat style, the modular sofa can be treated as a megatrend in its own right because it redefines the nature of the sofa rather than simply providing a sub-genre of type.
Its difficult to overestimate just how significant this paradigm shift in home furniture is likely to be. Indeed, this begs the question as to whether home furniture more generally is likely to become more concerned with flexibility and modularity. With Scandinavian functional designs now becoming more influential within the mass and luxury furniture markets, there appears to be no stopping the trends towards modular living as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century.