Modern design, though often confused with contemporary style, is a distinct style within itself. Modern style design is inspired by the early 20th century, while contemporary is always evolving. Modern style design stems from Scandanavian roots and boasts a clean-lined look with a hint of industrialism due to the time period this design style was born. The decor is minimal and colors are neutral, but this doesn't mean that modern style lacks any bit of warmth and personality. Modern style is made up of elements that celebrate natural materials, neutral tones, and the absence of ornate detailing. It is simple, but it is impactful in its stature. If you’ve ever heard “form follows function”, this notion was born in the modern movement. This notion means that all of the furnishings and decor of a space should be reflective of their intended use, and not purely decorative or for aesthetic purposes. If it is just a decoration to enhance the space, in a modern style home, it would be eliminated. Of course, this is the roots of this style, but as we see in the 21st-century use of Modern style design, while still simple, there is the additional use of decor and aesthetics. So what does Modern design actually look like? You may see things like low horizontal furniture, especially in the living room and bedroom settings. Structural elements like beams are left exposed and there is a lack of extra fluff in the space. Unlike transitional or contemporary styles where horizontal lines are heavily balanced with curves, in Modern design, the emphasis is on horizontal and vertical lines and their juxtaposition rather than curves. Natural light is a large player in modern style, which leads to unadorned or even the lack of window treatments. Wood, concrete, leather, and other natural fibers in a more refined and simplistic state are used as materials in this style as well. When many think of Modern style, they may picture a stark or cold space. True modern style isn’t either of those things, however! With the use of neutrals, natural light, and natural materials, this style can be very warm and welcoming. For example, a living room may consist of a low profile linen sofa, a warm teak wood coffee table, a taupe wool rug, and a space flooded in sunshine! The use of neutrals can range from black and white to an array of browns, off whites, and honey-colored wood tones - all depending on the dwellers’ preferences. This can create a very calm and inviting atmosphere, not too dissimilar to a minimalist style. Modern style is often found in modern style homes, due to the architecture and structural elements of a room being so important for Modern design. From high ceilings to wall clad in modern wood paneling and large floor to ceiling windows, modern designs excel in modern architecture. This doesn’t mean if you have a home that isn’t modern that you can not implement this style! By using a neutral palette, furnishings, maximizing natural light, and leaning into the practice of form follows function, then you can create a beautiful modern style space in any home. We hope you enjoy our ever-growing collection of Modern style design ideas!
This living room features a neutral color palette — whites, blacks, browns. But a variety of natural materials adds texture and visual interest to this space — from the patterned jute rug to the variety of woven baskets and pendants, the solid wood coffee table, and the leather pouf. And no space with natural materials is complete without a pop of greenery!
A light tan-leather sofa is a statement piece, no matter the style of your living room. Give it a colorful and modern eclectic edge by combining it with an industrial metal coffee table and a blue geometric rug. Then mix it up by layering in lots of pillows, graphic art, a woven pouf, and some cool lighting. It'll all add up to a look that's cheery and bold but still warmly inviting.
In this modern living room, the furniture almost feels like it is floating. This is done by having very small legs on every piece. With the smaller legs, it allows you to see to the other side of the room with very little interruptions giving you the feeling of everything floating.
The Stairway Bookcase from CB2 packs storage into a small living room without compromising much floor or wall space. Modern linear shelves can house books, or if you're short on closed storage space, try adding baskets or totes to hide smaller items. A few vases or a piece of art can add a pop of color!
The light touch of blush, green, and blue in the artwork above this MCM bed from Joybird create an overall light and airy vibe in this modern bedroom design. The blush ceramic table lamps also add to that vibe. Need creative ways to incorporate storage into a modern bedroom? Floating wall shelves are the way to go!
We love the way a black and white color palette makes an impact in a neutral living room. A conversational seating arrangement is created with a modern sofa in a light upholstery fabric paired with black leather chairs for contrast. A shag rug adds a boho touch to the space!
Beautiful accented upholstery and leather chairs with an oval glass tabletop are perfect to celebrate with your family. A modern chandelier and leafy branches are beautiful for your decorative accents. Neutral tones create a warming sensation to enjoy your meals.
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