How to Design a Home with Modern Interior Design
Form serving function, a key element of modern design, continues to be the hallmark of modern design. Modern interior design is often confused with contemporary design trends. Modern refers to a specific style birthed around the turn of the 20th century. Today, modern interior design revolves around a neutral color palette and the use of natural materials to bring warmth to a style that can appear stark if not done well.
Modern and contemporary design are often confused and used interchangeably. They are two distinct styles reflecting two different periods. As minimalism has become more popular, the contemporary design borrows certain aspects of modern design. Contemporary design, however, is reactionary and changes with the popularity of emerging trends. The draw to modern design is gaining a new level of popularity as people strive to live and work in simple, functional spaces.
If the modern interior design appeals to you, then start with the most basic premise that less is more. Furniture will have clean lines and natural colors. When forming your interior design plan, if something does not have a function, it should not have a place in your interior design. If you want to give your space a modern feel, consider these common elements:
- Structural elements, such as beams, are often left exposed.
- Tons of natural light and unadorned windows are key features. The light itself becomes part of the décor of a modern space.
- A neutral color palette. While this can include warm color tones, white is often the preferred color in modern interior design. A few artfully arranged accent colors save the space from being cold, stark of sterile in appearance.
- Horizontal and vertical lines will be reflected in everything from the architectural design to the furniture.
- Modern design uses natural materials throughout the space, including wood, leather, metals and natural fibers.
- A complete lack of clutter or busyness will complete the authentic modern design of any space.
For a modern design to work well, you need as much open space as possible. The strategic use of mirrors can make smaller rooms feel larger, creating an illusion of space. The clean lines also create a natural open feel, even in smaller spaces. Making better use of space, by making sure that every object has a function, also maximizes space. Modern design can work well from small city apartments to large estates.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Henry Morris, a 19th-century designer, and poet.
The above quote aptly and beautifully summarizes the heart of modern interior design. In each space, decide what it’s most important function will be. Then design the furnishings to achieve that function best. Another advantage of the functionality and minimalism of modernism is the flexible use of space. For instance, an empty corner can easily do double duty as a home office. Unused breakfast nooks can become art studios or reading corners. The simplicity of modern design makes it easy to have spaces that fulfill multiple functions.
Quality and durability is another critical element of modern design. Spending more to have a piece of furniture that will last four times as long makes a good financial sense. Modern design strips away the cost of the traditional need to fill your space with stuff. In essence, you buy much less, but what you do buy is of a higher quality. Spending wisely on quality furniture and material is also good for the planet. Modern design focuses on a lack of waste in all aspects of the design. You do not waste space, money, and resources on things without a function. You do not waste resources by purchasing inferior products that will need to be replaced.
The most critical aspect of any space is that it serves it’s purpose well. Nowhere is this more true than in your home. Before starting any interior design, identify your lifestyle and the lifestyle of your family. Every part of the interior design should enhance your lifestyle. If you are a busy family always on the go, you want a home that makes the transition in and out manageable. If you are homebodies who love intimate dinners with close friends, you need an interior that makes those easy to host and enjoy. Take an honest look at how you live your life, then design a modern interior that complements and simplifies that lifestyle.