Rising out of the Dutch ‘De Stijl’ artistic movement, which ran from 1917 through to 1931, so-called ‘Mondrian’ design is all about a contrasting combo of primary colours – red, blue and yellow – with non-colours (black and white). Lines are vertical and horizontal, squares rule, circles are out and asymmetry is everything.
Credited with influencing later Bauhaus style, cubism and modern art and architecture, the ‘De Stijl’ movement was known for seeking balance not through the usual symmetry, but by using opposition and the abstract instead, and Piet Mondrian was one of the most iconic artists of the era.
For decades now, fashion and interior designers have been inspired by the way Mondrian and his peers used colour blocking and a ‘less is more’ approach to create striking style – and now it’s your turn.
And if you’re thinking your home is too traditional for the Mondrian treatment, think again. Even classic interiors can benefit from the Mondrian magic…just add a statement artwork, chair, rug or a few accessories if you don’t want to go all the way and paint full-sized feature walls and fill your room with new furniture. Why not arrange your bookshelf Mondrian-style (you may have to hit the local second-hand bookstore to stock up on reads with red, yellow and blue spines first) with adjacent shelves filled with books with a single spin colour – red, yellow, blue, black and white – and paint the shelves themselves in crisp white or bold black.
Another easy option is adding mis-matched primary-coloured chairs to a black or white dining table, or styling a black sofa with red, yellow and blue cushions – a super simple makeover that can be done in minutes.
Isn’t it time you made a splash with plush seating, dishy dining chairs and fresh and fun accessories in a pop of primary colour?
First, add a dash of ravishing red…the colour of action, fire, passion and energy to add that instant wow-factor to any swish space. Choose red as your feature piece in a sofa or statement armchair, or use it as your secondary shade through cushions, rugs, stools and art.
Step two is to go bold with blue…everybody’s favourite hue and one which never goes out of style. From dining chairs and armchairs to a sumptuous sofa or seasonal stool, blue cools down the warm tones of red and yellow beautifully.
Anything but mellow, primary yellow is a sunny, happy bright which brings which will lighten up the mood in any room. Summer is the perfect season to choose a feature yellow piece – such as a sofa or easy chair – while in winter yellow pairs well with the oranges, rusts and olive greens of autumn.
Break it up with Black and White
And finally, Mondrian just doesn’t work without the contrast of bold black – and a touch of white. Keep the lines horizontal or vertical where possible and enjoy the ultimate combo of retro and urban at home – thanks monochrome.
Pulling it all together
Finally, here’s a taste of how it all looks tied together – it’s a bold, bright stylist’s delight.