Postmodernism is a style or art and architecture from the mid-60’s, 70’s, 80’s and into the 90’s that was a rebellion against the minimalism and rigid structure of modern design. The Guggenheim Bilbao museum in Spain by Frank Gehry is a noted example of postmodernism architecture and is considered one of the most important works built since 1980. Nicknamed The Flower by Gehry because of its shape, the building is filled with light and is unusual for its use of reflective titanium to cover the exterior, and has inspired design around the globe.
Postmodern art was designed to appeal to the masses and pop culture. Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons demonstrate the beginnings and ending of the period. The Balloon Dog sculpture series by Koons is noted for its bright colors, mirror-polished reflective stainless steel surface and simplicity.
Architect Robert Graves crossed over to postmodern design with a furniture collection, and requested that it include affordable pieces and not strictly limited quantities, ”I’m sure it can be made reasonably, perhaps by traditional furniture manufacturers who are used to producing in wood for a mass domestic market.” Graves’ most popular designs include his pieces for the kitchen, particularly a still-popular collaboration with Italian housewares manufacturer Alessi.
Postmodern Interior Design with Kevin Gray
What colors are most common in postmodern design?
A softer pallet of creme beige plaster or grey, silver and taupes have replaced the pink and turquoise blues that were the rage 20 years ago. Frosted glass shower walls also give a nice light and color to bathrooms.
What textures and materials are exemplary of the style?
Today we use accents of polished concrete in flooring or on walls. Often I do an accent wall of silk or hemp wallpaper behind the headboard to give depth to a room. Phillip Jeffries wallpaper is the rage today.
How can one add touches of this style to the home through design features like fixtures, lighting and architecture?
I recommend all white glass Miele appliances in kitchens as stainless steel is out of fashion.
You can never go wrong with timeless Italian lighting, especially if you mix iconic pieces from the 70’s and 80’s as it will make the rooms more unique and enhance the architecture of a home. I often add an accent wall in either stone or tile.
Portfolio Spotlight on Postmodern Design:
Art Collectors in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
For one of Latin America’s prominent art collections, this home/gallery space was built to house their extensive collection. All rooms were designed by Kevin Gray (KGD), with custom Lite Lab lighting and an art hanging channel so that art can be rotated when lent to various Museums.
See more photos: Art Collectors: Miami, FL