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7 Postmodern Interior Design Ideas You Can Build Today!

white couch with blue pillows

Postmodern interior design is extremely rare, largely because it is also extremely new. As the name suggests, this design style developed after the modern design style, but it isn’t simply an offshoot. In fact, this design style is often seen as a reaction against the sterile colors and design associated with the modern era.

Most people have pretty strong reactions to postmodern design—you either love it or hate it. However, it is difficult to do it well thanks to all the somewhat wacky elements involved.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at some important design tips and ideas that will help you pull off a postmodern style in your home.

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What is Postmodern Interior Design?

Despite the name, postmodern design started in the 1970s and lasted through the 1990s. Generally, this design was an attempt to break free from what was then called the modern design. (Today, we would call this mid-century modern.)

Therefore, this design is extremely flashy and even a little bit controversial. Form is prioritized over function, which generally makes it the exact opposite of modern design.

To pull this design off, you’ll usually need to pair the furniture choices of the 1970s with the bright colors of the 1980s. It’s a blast from the past, though many modern rooms are a revival of the style—not a complete copy.

What are the Characteristics of Postmodern Design?

The easiest way to characterize this style is loud. It utilizes bright colors and loud patterns. In other words, it is basically the opposite of modern design. Therefore, take everything you need to know about modern design and completely flip it.

For instance, you’ll want things to stand out instead of blend in. Choose objects that are flashy and even controversial. This design isn’t necessarily supposed to last. It’s supposed to be faddish and surprising.

The 7 Postmodern Interior Design Ideas

1. Unique Furniture Pieces

Postmodern design doesn’t always make a lot of rational sense. That’s partially the point. Therefore, using unique and interesting pieces of furniture can make great conversation pieces. We don’t mean “unique” in terms of antique pieces. Instead, you’ll probably have to purchase postmodern furniture brand new, as they simply didn’t make this type of furniture until this decade.

When you’re shopping, stay on the lookout for wacky pieces of furniture that you can utilize in your design.

2. Embrace Bright Colors

The color palette used in most postmodern designs is rather different from what you’d find elsewhere. Often, this design uses colors you’d likely find in a comic book or pop art. Therefore, you’ll typically have to go shopping on postmodern-specific websites to find colors that fit within your palette.

Don’t forget that just because you’re aiming for bright and colorful doesn’t mean matching goes out the window. When choosing your bright colors, be sure that they all match reasonably well.

3. Chunky Furniture

Postmodern furniture is the opposite of sleek. Often, these chairs and sofas are quite chunky and take up a lot of space. In this regard, be sure that you have enough space for this furniture in your room, and keep in mind that these larger pieces of furniture will likely make the room look smaller.

Luckily, these pieces of furniture can also be a huge part of your design. Look for bright colors and interesting patterns.

4. Interesting Patterns

Blocky, interesting patterns are about as postmodern as it gets. You want your home to look like a piece of artwork, which typically means using strange and unusual patterns to do so. Often, these patterns don’t really look like patterns at all, since they don’t typically repeat. Either way, be sure that you utilize a pattern that really makes your home stand out.

In fact, much of this design relies on the interesting patterns used. If you want to pull this design off, choosing a wacky pattern is the easiest way to do so.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Tone It Down, Too

Often, those trying to pull off a postmodern style go a bit too far. Sure, you can have all the bright colors, chunky furniture, and wacky patterns that you can think of. However, sometimes, a toned-down design is more appropriate. If you’re doing your whole home in this design, we recommend having at least one room that is a bit toned down.

For instance, you can use pastels instead of bright colors in one room. Keep the main parts of the design (brass materials, chunky furniture, etc.), but know when to tone down the colors and patterns.

6. Unusual Accessories

It can be challenging to find accessories that fit a postmodern design. Many companies create items that are more in the modern vein. Therefore, we recommend staying on the lookout for strange accessories that may fit your home.

For instance, we love these tablecloths. They’re strangely shaped and brightly colored, making them fit this round, postmodern table perfectly.

7. Balls

If you go through the pictures included in this post, you’ll notice quite a lot of balls. For one reason or another, balls are a central part of this design. And, we’re talking about very large balls. While some postmodern rooms do utilize balls on a smaller scale, many of them use extremely large balls, as well.

For instance, you can use a disco ball-like in this picture. However, you can also find coffee tables with ball-shaped stands. Ball-shaped lights are relatively common, as well.

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The postmodern style is quite new and it can be difficult to find pieces to fit into your home. Often, you’ll have to do your shopping in places that cater to this style. However, with a few well-thought-out colors and patterns, you can pull off this design without too much effort.

Typically, the most important thing to do is use a light hand. It is very easy to overdo the postmodern style, which can cause the style to age poorly or become overwhelming. You don’t want to give everyone a headache with your bright designs and wacky patterns!

Instead, we generally recommend aiming to use only a few of these design elements in each room. For instance, you may choose to use a round lamp and bold pattern on your couch. Or, you could paint the wall in a weird pattern and let it be the star of the show.

Either way, there is no need to utilize every design element in every room.

Featured Image Credit: Kenny Eliason, Unsplash

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