How Nature Makes Everything Better-Including New-Century Modern Furniture Design

When the world around us seems to spin a bit out of control, many of us feel a natural tug to get outdoors. Once outside, the world can look quite different. Nature holds the power to shift our perspectives; to calm our nerves, to balance and refresh. It soothes our souls. For real. Science has actually proventhe positive effects of nature on both our emotional and physical well-being.

No question, nature enhances our lives. You know how much bigger it is than you are if you’ve ever stood quietly in a forest of towering old growths consumed by their wisdom and strength. Or paused atop a mountain in awe of the majestic beauty of surrounding glacier peaks. Simply standing on a beach, staring upward into a blue sky, gazing across a golden field, or looking at a beautiful garden can have a profound effect on your emotional being.


Photo by: Jeff Hopper 17304 Photo by: Ron Manke 20667

But can these same emotions show up around furniture design and architecture? We certainly think so. After all, the original mid-century modern movement was, in large part, about the integration of the outdoors with the indoors. There’s a lot to be learned from the mid-century modern movementin today’s design world. The idea of the symbiotic relationship between nature and design is one that should not be forgotten.

Photo in: “Trousdale Estates” by Steven M. Price – Trousdale Model 5
Photo in: “Trousdale Estates” by Steven M. Price – Kert and Kranzler residence

When design is somehow grounded in nature, the emotion and experience of it becomes far, far more. Design objects inspired by nature have an added beauty. It’s not just about what you see, but also the magic of what you don’t see. There’s a special connection that draws you to nature’s charisma.

This intrinsic relationship between nature and design is what inspired Jeff Vioski, founder and designer of VIOSKI Furniture, to first become an architect, and then a modern furniture designer.

Star home in the Hollywood Hills by Kenneth Brown Designs. Chicago I sofa and Lounge

When a designer loves the outdoors, it shows. As a self-described “day person”, Jeff spends his free time going to arboretums, beaches, rivers, and mountains to hike. It’s where he gathers his inspiration, and why he’s so drawn to mid-century modern style that doesn’t try to copy nature, but rather, simply appreciates nature.

As an architect, Jeff always creates outdoor spaces to bleed with the indoors. “I don’t design large homes with rooms that never get used. I prefer to save room for outside spaces to blend with the interior space. I like to organize a room so when the doors are open, it feels like one room.”

This same notion is apparent in his furniture designs. The VIOSKI Chicago I Sofa was designed to be long in form and in tune with nature. Its simple shape looks real among nature. Its timeless beauty sits in harmony with nature, even though the sofa has been handcrafted by man.

Artistic expressions in furniture design are also directly influenced by nature.  Curves come from the natural world. The arch of a tree branch, the form of a leaf, or river worn rocks guide modern interpretations of the harmonious forms of nature.

Water rolled boulders inspired the design of the VIOSKI Douglas Sectional. Gentle, river worn curves were nature’s perfect correlate. It took the river’s current many years to soften those boulders, and likewise, it took Jeff many design revisions t get the curves just right on this uniquely shaped sectional.

Photos by: Jeff Vioski and Luca Zanon 1953

The Milo Chair also reflects the seductive curves of nature. The arms take their shape from the form of undulating sand dunes, blown into soft curves by the wind. As do the smooth constructed contours.

Nature is always in motion, creating ever-evolving beauty and fluidity. This infinite pool of inspiration flows constantly into modern furniture designs.

The use of natural materials also adds to the emotional connection with unique furniture designs.

Photo By: Shane Liem

Organic surfaces and harmonious form add an element of surprise to functional furniture design.

Using natural woods is the standard for high-end furniture. Solid wood is used wherever possible, but sometimes a design will demand the use of rich natural wood veneers. Wood can also be sourced from  sustainable renewable resources, keeping things in balance with nature. Expansive horizontal and vertical surfaces like the VIOSKI Aiden II Console beautifully showcase natural wood.

Wood should feel natural. Seeing the real character of the wood is not only beautiful but also grounds us in nature. That’s why a flat finish over a gloss is preferred. There are some pieces where the wood looks gorgeous with a high gloss, but a natural matte finish is our preference. Stain is not used, as we like to keep things natural.

Nature is an intrinsic partner in our lives.  It not only influences who we are and what we feel, but also what we design. We encourage you to get outside, and we’d also like to hear how nature influences your life or designs. Let us know at Vioski Blog

VIOSKI is an experience of artistic expression brought to life in timeless furniture design.  Unique in style, charismatic and sensual. Each piece is masterfully created to be simple yet complex. Proportional yet fluid. Handcrafted in California by master artisans who devote themselves to extraordinary quality. VIOSKI IS NEW-CENTURY MODERN