Whether you’re moving into a new house, building a new home, or renovating your current living space, there’s something highly appealing about modern interior design. It’s clean, fresh, and visually pleasing. But to actually achieve a look that you’re proud of, you’ll need the right plan and inspiration.
What is Modern Design?
Modern design refers to a designated time period from the early to mid-1900s. It was preceded by Gothic, Renaissance, and Victorian styles, which were focused on ornamentation, dramatic elements, bulky textures, and very melodramatic designs. Modern design represented a rejection of these ideas – and still does today.
Modern design is all about clean, straight lines and functionality. It’s also very neutral, with whites, beiges, and other soft colors. (Though black is also an option.) Modernism shares many of the same principles as minimalism.
It’s important to note that modern design is not contemporary design, despite the fact that they’re often used interchangeably. Contemporary design refers to today’s current style. This means it’s constantly evolving. Whatever contemporary design was 10 years ago is different than what it is today and will be far different than what it is 25 years from now.
5 Tips for Compelling Modern Design
If modern design is what you’re seeking, you essentially have a blank slate to work with. Here are some tips that you might find helpful:
1. Let There Be Light
Modern design is very much open and airy. It feels breathable and fresh. And in addition to minimizing walls and opening up the floor plan, the best way to accomplish this is to let in lots of natural light.
Large frameless windows are a quintessential element of modern design. So are skylights, lofted ceilings, and mirrors (which reflect the existing light). Anything that allows more natural light to pour in without compromising the underlying look will be highly appealing.
2. Find a Focal Point
Modern design requires a focal point in every room. This piece can be furniture, an accessory, or a part of the space’s architecture.
In living areas, a fireplace can be a pretty neat focal point. New modern fireplace options put a fresh spin on the traditional look. They can feature things like marble tile, electric inserts, and fire glass rocks, as well as interesting shapes and profiles.
3. Use Modern Art
If there’s one element that’s highly indicative of the modern interior design movement, it’s modern art.
Modern art is all about rejecting the traditional artistic view of realism. It’s a direct expression of internal creativity. Modern art commonly uses vibrant colors, large sweeping lines, and unique shapes that can be interpreted differently by different people.
While original modern art from the early to mid-20th century will cost you a pretty penny, you can find plenty of contemporary artists still practicing this style. Find artists you like and support them by buying original works.
4. Use Natural Materials
Modern design has a love affair with texture – natural texture to be specific. Wood, stone, and leather are all commonly used. And when combined with various metals, it creates a simple yet crisp look that’s unmistakably modern.
5. Add Some Drama, But Don’t Overdo It
Modern design is often called simple and sleek, but it also loves drama. The key is to use it strategically so that it elevates the space and doesn’t distract from the larger look.
“You can add splashes of color to a room with modern furniture pieces, or even curtains or shades,” Noble.Life explains. “It is important to restrain from overwhelming the space with accent pieces, which cannot complement each other if they are competing for attention.”
If you’re using a colorful piece of modern art, this is usually enough drama for one room. It’s better to be understated than to overdo it.
Get Creative With Your Design
In the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to become so inundated with other ideas and designs that you fail to leave room for creativity. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s certainly fine to pull inspiration from other places, but hold out for a little originality. Not only will your space look more unique, but you’ll also feel prouder knowing that you played a key role in bringing your home to life.