What is Memphis Design?

Interior designers across the country are all saying it: Memphis design is making a comeback! Out with all white interiors and clean lines, and in with color blocking and adding some wild personality to your home. We’ve hit the peak of mid-century modern (a design trend we’ll cover in a different post) and started to embrace some Memphis design creativity. 

This is not to say that the classic sleek, tasteful furniture is out — the clean lines of an accent chair balanced on thin, wooden legs will always be in. We’re just suggesting that a full mid-century look is best left to that chic coffee shop down the street rather than your home. It’s time to add some color, comfort, and, dare we say, squiggles to your space.

In today’s blog, our Northwest D.C. interior decorators are here to explain the history of Memphis design, why it’s making a comeback, and how you can incorporate the best elements of this trend into your home or office space. And if you feel inspired after reading this post, we’re happy to sit down with you in a free consultation! Contact Couvrant Interior Window Fashions today to learn more.

A Brief History of Memphis Design

We all know that design, like fashion, comes back again every couple of decades. You can think of how shows like “Stranger Things” or “Madmen” make us nostalgic for the ‘80s or ‘50s. The same is true for us interior decorators. Right now, the contemporary move toward clean lines echoes the minimalist designs of the 1970s, where order and right angles were king. 

Memphis design was a reaction to that order, and it celebrated playful, eccentric furniture and that ‘80s aesthetic we all know. We’re not saying you should bring back big hair or neon parachute pants, but having an interior decorator incorporate bold, geometric patterns into your home (like an accent wall, floor laminate, or lampshade) can really make a statement in your unique home.

Today, interior decorators and designers are bringing back Memphis in a way that fits our modern design trends. Heard of millennial pink? It’s inspired by the Memphis Group, the Italian design and architecture group founded in 1980s.

Incorporate Memphis Design Into Your Home

While Memphis is all about being extra, our interior designers suggest incorporating it in smaller accent pieces throughout your home. Bold colors and geometric prints give off a feeling of high energy, and most of the people we work with are looking to make their home a calm sanctuary. And also know that this quirky trend isn’t for everyone!

If you’re ready to break the rules and add some pizzazz to your home, here are a few great ways to start:

Accent Chairs

Look for that bright red or yellow bucket chair. Or, even better, find a blocky, neon multi-color chair. An accent chair is just that — an accent — and we don’t suggest diving in on a neon sofa as it could overwhelm the room.

Accent Table

Accents are a great way to experiment with design, and like the accent chair a small table can be your pop of wild ‘80s color. Look for laminate or terrazzo table tops speckled with a variety of blue, mustard, black, and light pink.

Framed Prints

Art is another great way to experiment. It’s less of an investment than a piece of furniture, and better yet you can move it around as you see fit! The classic Memphis design print is black squiggles on a white background, but our interior decorators love bright, geometric prints. Think yellow lemons screen printed over blocks of robin’s egg blue. We suggest using them in a kitchen, where that energetic feeling can be celebrated.

Wacky, Geometric Flooring

Are you re-flooring a mudroom or a child’s bathroom? Try incorporating unique shapes, like circles and triangles. It doesn’t have to be bright (though we love a good orange or blue on flooring), but replacing rectangles with a different shape can give your Northwest D.C. home something extra.

Couvrant Interior Window Fashions

Couvrant Interior Window Fashions believes that thinking of your furniture and home as functional just isn’t enough! Our job as interior decorators is to help you discover something exciting — otherwise you could just head into your local furniture store and pick out an everyday Easyboy recliner. We believe your home is a reflection of you, and if you’re ready to take the leap into exciting color, we’re here to help!

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