LivingModernThis Book Demonstrates that Modern Can Mean Many Different Things


By Phyllis Richardson, Illustrated by Richard Powers
Thames & Hudson, $29.95, 376 pages

Living Modern introduces the reader to a wealth of examples of what modern style is with chapters on style, materials, function, elements and outdoors. Also included is architecture, surface, ambiance, furniture and place. Modern style focuses on harmony of proportion and there are many examples of the fluid arrangement of spaces in this book. In the Place chapter, modern means a range of locales such as city, desert and forest.  Large photographs show homes in the various destinations and share a paragraph or two of information about the modern architecture. The style chapter ranges from high rustic to new ethnic. Architecture can be partitions, overhangs, levels and so much more. The materials chapter was this reviewer’s favorite because the various elements can all be in one home such as concrete, wood, glass, metal and marble. Materials can also include the building materials and the furniture inside.

“What does it mean to be modern?  It is not strictly a style, but rather an attitude to style, one that is less purist and more creative than you might imagine.”

With 750+ photographs, what is clearly evident at the end of this book, is that modern can mean many different things and this variety is what is most thrilling about “living modern”. This book can be used as design inspiration or just to ooh and ahh at the amazing range of examples. At the very least, the reader will walk away with a new appreciation of the many elements that define “modern.”

Reviewed by Seniye Groff

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