"Perfect for sleek city living, this look is uncluttered, functional and streamlined."
A look of stark contrasts, City Modern is based on monochromatic (single-colour) schemes. It is best suited to urban living. A combination of streamlined styles from both past and present, the furniture and accessories for the City Modern look are primarily angular in shape. At the window, venetian blinds or tailored roman blinds are the most suitable. They still let light enter while maintaining privacy and allowing the window area to remain as plain as possible. Colour too are functional, being predominantly black or grey, with chrome trimmings on the furniture.
Accent colour is kept to a minimum, often seen in simply-shaped vases that are carefully placed, or large abstract prints hung on the wall. Furniture has clearly defined edges with minimal detailing. Cabinets are either glass-fronted to show of the contents a few pieces of ceramic or chrome objects or plain fronted to hide away any clutter. Dining tables are clean looking, stained, often with metal legs. Tablecloths are abandoned in favour of showing the stained often black wood and clear lines of table it self. Upholstered furniture should be confined to sofas which are long, low backed and covered in neutral colours such as grey or black. There are few armchairs: two or more sofas are preferred, with the occasional tubular chrome and leather chair.
Lighting is an important aspect of this look as it must be both decorative and functional. Floor and table lamps have a 1930s feel, as do simple chrome standard lamps. Wall lights are used to create a softer atmosphere which essential when furniture and accessories are often to stark in outline. Accessories are kept to minimum: a ceramic vase holding tall flowers such as tulips or arum lilies, or a dramatic leafy plant. Chrome kitchenware ties in with tubular steel furniture. Smart and sophisticated, this style is strongly defined and uncompromising. Its uncluttered lines are ideal for city flats. Where space is so often at a premium.
Living room – city slick
Classic chrome and leather chairs feature strongly. Tying in with the tubular trolley. Lilies in a speckled vase fill the period fireplace, giving it a distinctly up dated look.
Bedroom – cool and fresh
The gentle curve of the grey bed frame, highly reminiscent of the 1930s, is echoed by the desk light. The plain white of storage units that hide all the clutter is relieved by simple grey handles. The lightly geometric patterned wallpaper makes a suitable background for the contemporary prints that from a focal point in the room. Simple grey edged yellow bedlinen adds a touch of freshness.
Living area – comfortably functional
Pale grey is a slightly softer option for walls if white looks too clinical. Here the venetian blinds help to block out a dull view. Accent colour is provided by turquoise box files on the shelving unit, while shiny black vases in our out of use add an extra dimension. Tall flowers in a pale floor vase and a large leafy house plant help to soften this living area’s otherwise strict functionalism.
Kitchen – sophisticated
Plain dove grey kitchen units are given added interest by the ridged door surfaces in this very stylish, compact kitchen. The stainless steel cooker hood, oven front, saucepans and swivel chair at the breakfast bar provide shiny accents. Marble look floor tiles carry smooth city sophistication through the entire room.
Hallway – stunning entry
This interesting interpretation of a period hallway has combined original features with the city Modern look. The 19th century fireplace and mouldings have been retained and the area below the dado has been ragged. Rather than laying the standard chequerboard pattern, tiles have been used to form stripes. Thirties inspired wall lights replace overhead pendants and a gallery of black and white photographs hangs along the wall, making a striking and thoroughly modem feature.
This is a look that is surprisingly easy to create, featuring clear, simple lines in both furniture and accessories. Window treatments are also unfussy, with blinds or tailored curtains that can be used to block out an uninspiring view.
Furniture is a black or grey. Stained ash tables, shelving and cupboards; simple but strong lines. Leather is the ideal upholstery material, not only for sofas but also for occasional and dining chairs. Combined with gleaming chrome, it typifies the City Modern look.
Fabric designs are monochromatic and angular to tie I with the look.
Vinyl tiles that can be laid in chequerboard or other patterns and linoleum in speckled patterns cover areas where bare floorboards are unsuitable. Cream and grey can be used as alternative flooring colours to black and white. Plain walls suit this look and wallpaper should be used sparingly.
Small Accessories are few in the City Modern flat as the look is essentially sleek, smart and uncluttered. Choose 30s-inspired objects: black lacquer picture frames, shiny chrome kitchenware and stainless steel utensils. Ceramics should be highly glazed and smooth, in simple shapes and either black or white, or softly coloured for accent.
Large floor vases in dramatic black, or vivid Mediterranean hues for bright accent colour, are essential accessories for any room. Speckled bowls and vases tie in with flooring and cushions. Floor standing lamps also act as decorative objects, reflecting the influence of the 30s on this look. Venetian blinds, is used, should be fine and can provide another opportunity for colour. But keep principally to black and white for a successful City Modern look.