When it comes to interior design trends worth keeping an eye on, the rise of modular sofas as the must have piece for a modern home is a striking example of a product which has risen to prominence in the past few decades. Standing out as a modern product in an industry dominated by heritage and tradition, modular sofas are composed of independent sofa sections than can be slotted together to form a wide variety of different styles. However some designers have questioned the longevity of the trend, arguing that modular sofas are simply a fad that will soon fade out of fashion, so is there any reason to question the long term appeal of the product?
Although created in the late 1950s, modular sofas only really became popular from the 1980s onwards as many people thought to update the chintzy décor of yesterday and looked for home furniture which both suited their hectic lifestyles and offered a dramatic departure from the formality and classical form of the past. During a time of immunity socio-political change, modular sofas were thus thrust into the spotlight as an item that seemed to match the aspirations of a new young urban professional class with significant disposable income to invest in their home décor.
To this day, modular sofas remain primarily a luxury item for discerning individuals rather than a mass-market product. Contrasting their style with that of the traditional sofa or corner unit, it's clear that the sectional sofa is both certainly modern in style but also remarkably versatile in functional form. For their detractors, this restrictions the appeal of the product to a small range of very specific settings similar to traditional designs which are timeless in style and are suitable for a range of interiors. For many years, msctional sofas were largely seen as a preserve of the design purist who would be prepared to invest significantly in interior design and remained a marginal product in most designers collections.
All this was to change however in the 1990s and 2000s as the driving forces toward informal living became ever more prevalent. With the developed world enjoying an uninterrupted economic boom and house prices rising year after year, suddenly sectional sofas become far more affordable to the average household or property developer looking to refresh their home décor with a splash of modernity and contemporary style. With their unique sectional design, modular sofas quickly became a talking point and began to feature more noticeably in the collections of leading designers operating in the marketplace. The advent of the mobile phone, smartphone and later of the tablet pc also had a role to play as manufacturers started to pair modular sofas with surround sound cinema systems or even added docking stations and electrical sockets to the sofa itself.
In short the appeal of the modular sofa can be reliably tracked against the progress of technology and the advent of the modern consumer lifestyle. By the time of the financial crisis of 2008, modular sofas had come to replace corner units as the statement piece of furniture for the modern home, capping a truly phenomenal rise to prominence in the past few decades. Only time will tell whether the remainder as popular in the coming years.