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5 Cities Influencing Furniture Design

Have you ever wondered how a particular style of furniture or other piece of home décor ended up in your house? Perhaps not, maybe because the most relevant part of the journey for you was the last step in the chain – whether you bought it, received it as a gift or found it and refurbished it. But, just beyond that last transaction is an entire world of constantly shifting ideas, schools and cultures of thought. Most of those ideas end up on a cutting-room floor, but the few that get out usually end up shaping everything else around them. If you’ve ever seen the movie <em>The Devil Wears Prada</em>, you may recall Meryl Streep’s biting portrayal of fashion guru Miranda Priestly, who gives her struggling protégé a clipped speech about how something as simple as the color of her sweater (cerulean blue) was the culmination of a year’s worth of jobs, design decisions and millions of dollars. Well, that’s not entirely true in the world of fashion, as many trends start at the individual level and work their way up thanks to influencers like athletes, celebrities and overnight TV design stars. But, things can still work in a top-down fashion in the realm of architectural and interior design and some cities are known for setting trends that eventually end up in our living rooms. Here’s a look at 5 cities influencing the very things we use every day to make our lives more comfortable. <strong>San Francisco, California</strong> California is thought to be an incubator for innovative design in all areas that then moves east across the rest of the country, and the Bay Area is a hub for all things new and cool. Of course, the design hippies up the road in Seattle are also doing their best to influence your home décor, and their all-natural and organic styles have been known to set global trends. <strong>Stockholm, Sweden</strong> Do you own a piece of home décor from IKEA? If not, you know someone who does and that means they and you have complemented your lives with Swedish (and Dutch) design influence. The now-ubiquitous style synonymous with efficiency and clean lines is everywhere, which makes it less surprising that IKEA is the third-largest consumer of wood in the world – behind Lowe’s and Home Depot. <strong>Dubai, United Arab Emirates</strong> For better or worse, it’s very often the case that trends are set according to what people are buying and Dubai’s conspicuous consumption of luxury décor has been known to drive design in everything from architecture and furniture to services and entertainment. More interesting, though, is how Dubai acts as a jumping-off point for many Middle Eastern styles as wealthy visitors carry items abroad. <strong>Weimer, Germany</strong> Weimer is the original location of the highly influential Bauhaus school of design, which also opened a facility in Dessau and then Berlin, although the latter was closed by the Nazis in the 1930s. Even so, Hitler could not stop the incredible modern influences of founder Walter Gropius and, later, legendary architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose designs are still used today. <strong>Soap Hollow, Pennsylvania</strong> If you like Amish furniture, then perhaps you’re familiar with Soap Hollow. The Soap Hollow School has been very influential in cementing the Amish furniture style that started gaining in popularity in the 1920s. The Jonestown School, just down the road from the hollow, started around the same time and has also helped shape influence in Mission and Shaker furniture designs. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you’ve enjoyed this tour of these 5 influential places in the furniture world and invites you to comment on where you’ve found the furniture styles you love the best.
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