A beginner's guide to modern interior design

by Barb Perruccio & Britt Glassburn 05/15/2022

While the term “modern” is frequently used to describe anything "new," modern interior design is a specific style that originated in the early twentieth century. Modern interior design is a versatile starting point for anybody wanting to redecorate part or all of their home. Here are some of the basic elements of modern interior design:

Common characteristics

If you like simple and uncluttered spaces, a modern design might be perfect for you. You can use modern interior design in any size or shape of floor plan. If you want to incorporate it into your home, here is a checklist of some key characteristics:

  • Lack of “fussiness” or embellishments
  • Low-sitting horizontal furnishings like sofas and benches
  • Minimal window treatments to allow maximum natural light
  • An emphasis on natural materials such as wood, metal, leather and natural fibers
  • Reflective surfaces made of chrome, glass or stainless steel
  • Neutral color palettes
  • Exposed structural elements like concrete or wooden beams
  • Straight lines rather than curved lines

Modern vs contemporary

Modern design and contemporary design are frequently mistaken for one another. While they share a great deal of features, it's important to know the differences that set them apart. Modern design is a more specific term referring to a design movement in the early twentieth century. Contemporary design is much more fluid and contains many trends combined with modern elements.

For example, contemporary design includes more ornamentation and embellishments on furnishings. Contemporary furniture pieces have curves rather than hard edges, and the color palette favors dramatic contrast rather than neutrals.

These are just the basics of understanding modern interior design. If you're inspired to try modern interior design in your home, remember these essentials to use as a starting point.

About the Author
Author

Barb Perruccio & Britt Glassburn

Great Place Real Estate 

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