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July 31 , 2010

The Modern Interior


Today’s home is filled with pieces from Pottery Barn, IKEA, and Crate & Barrel, and we pore over glossy catalogs in hopes of achieving the “modern interior.” This idealized aesthetic is the subject of Penny Sparke’s study, as she explores the style in both its absolute form and the diverse decorating approaches seen in the contemporary home.

The shift from Victorian to modern style, The Modern Interior reveals, was not as simple and smooth as it is often perceived and the book probes the complicated history behind that transition. Sparke examines the work of such designers as Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and Mies van der Rohe, and draws upon design examples from the United States and Europe to reveal that, unlike the designed exteriors of buildings and institutions, the idea of the “interior” has been a largely abstract conception promoted through exhibitions, retail stores, and mass media.

A comprehensive and in-depth investigation of the design environments we live and play in, The Modern Interior will be essential reading for all scholars and interested observers of architecture and modern design culture.
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