Modernism burst on to the architecture and design scene in the early 20th century and, arguably, has never really left. It's true we now have a plethora of different styles to choose from when decorating our spaces that post-date Modernism's heyday, but no contemporary design object can escape a Modernist comparison or assessment. That's because Modernism is more than just a certain kind of look—it's also a design philosophy. If an object's design clearly communicates its function, demonstrates an embrace of contemporary materials, is innovative in its form, and minimal in ornament that's Modern design.
Many designers working in interiors or products today take these four qualifications as core tenets, leading to a huge array of aesthetics falling under the Modern design umbrella. A search on social media like Instagram or Pinterest for Modern design reveals an entire spectrum of inventive and progressive examples that range from starkly simple to exuberantly expressive. Kohler, the historic American giant in the plumbing and bathroom fixtures market, has embraced the new diversity of Modern expression with the release of five new hero products that are simultaneously timeless and of the moment.
"There is a wonderful challenge in designing with a modern mindset," says Erin Lilly, studio manager of decorative products and CMF (color, material, and finish) at Kohler. "At Kohler we pride ourselves on creating pieces that will enrich and enable an architect or interior designer’s vision through silhouette, color, material, finish, pattern, and function."
Kohler's Spectrum of Modernism runs the full gamut, from Minimalism to Maximalism. The Components faucet collection is the most stark, with a reductive form and dark palette that allows someone to build their individual design statement. The other end of the spectrum is represented by the Dutchmaster Floral basin, which draws inspiration from the chiaroscuro effect in Renaissance and Dutch Master paintings. In between, Veil Lighted, Eir, and Ombré each demonstrate a Modernist embrace of innovative technology and minimal but elegant ornamentation.
"Kohler is a design led organization – we strive to have a portfolio that enables architects, designers and end users to craft a bathroom and kitchen space that truly reflects their personality," says Lilly.