People are often confused about what really makes Modern Interior Design unique. This is because many aspects of design change over time. Additionally, while there are a lot of different designs that merge from one style to another, very few truly refer to traditional modern interior design.
The style doesn’t change; and nor do the fashions. It’s clearly defined as the period between the 1920’s and 1950’s, which is when modern interior design really began.
Compared to other “contemporary” styles, modern interior design ideas are relatively static, depending on what your modern interior design budget might be. This is because modern interior design also embraces simplicity, sleek designs, and basic, clean geometry focusing on functionality, architecture, and sculpture.
Sometimes, modernism and interior design were seen as a rejection of older Gothic, Victorian, or Renaissance styles of architecture. This is why modern interior design isn’t gaudy, supersized, or superfluous. Everything has a place, and everything has a purpose.
What Does Modern Interior Design Really Mean?
The term “modern” doesn’t actually mean “in the future.” It refers to a period in time called “Mid-century Modern.” This particular style is classified by having ultra clean interiors, unadorned, flat themes (such as wood, leather, linen or teak) and plenty of spaces to hide your stuff.
Furniture is typically open and often molded, adorned with highly polished metals. Colors are typically added in black, white, and neutral, but too many different colors overpower your room design (unless vibrant colors are used as an accent to contrast or emphasize lines on appliances or furniture.
Some would call “Modern Interior Design” retrofitting your home. In reality, there are a lot of great examples of what really defines modern interior design:
- Walls are painted white or other neutral colors to add extra “space” and to give rooms a “roomier feeling.”
- Hints of color are added to enhance the natural beauty of wood (usually with the addition of a shag carpet or rug) but too much color can detract away from the modern interior design style you’re going for.
- Many sharp edges, clutter intolerance, and breakable glass designs have to be modified around children.
- Rooms must have clean lines that accent your furniture and living arrangements with basic shapes; as well as functional lines (with cabinets and drawers) and decorative pieces that help tie everything together.
Who is Modern Interior Design Perfect For?
Modern interior design and furniture were made to make materials like chrome, glass, concrete and wood have a different appeal. It uses texture and design to focus on functionality, minimizing your belongings, and only using objects that have purpose.
Modern interior design really appeals to people who want to make more out of less or live in a tiny, cramped apartment and are trying to make the most out of their space (like a young professional who doesn’t spend much time at home). Sometimes people with children have a hard time implementing these styles of home design because there are so many things to break and to get hurt on, so it’s important to have an eye for safety.
Common Modern Interior Design Trends, Ideas, and Styles
Because modern interior design was a product of the 20’s an 50’s, it rejected most previous designs in that they used heavy textures, expensive carvings, wood tones, and flamboyant furniture choices. In contrast, modern design takes the shape of the room into account.
Then, the focus is on adding straight lines and curves, avoiding unnecessary detail. This is the biggest difference from contemporary design (except the lack of overwhelming color tones). Contemporary interior home designs focus on utilizing curves and sweeping lines to fill space, creating a stark difference from modern approaches (with crispness, sharpness, and scarcity).
Usually, the exterior design of modern homes exemplify old mission style artwork, Art Deco pieces, or other Shaker styles of modern interior design furniture. They also usually featured huge tiles with large, crisp edges and floors with the grain minimized to a point where it’s non-existent. All bookshelves are supposed to be incorporated into the wall, and everything is left to the imagination.
Modern interior design relies on bringing unity to your wall design to provide substance to empty space. It also does away with tacking trimming on the windows, doors and walls. In the end, you end up incorporating clean and spacious seeming modern design interiors with functional-yet-sizable windows.
Incorporating Cleaner, Straighter Lines with Modern Interior Design
Perhaps the most important aspect of modern interior design is actually achieving the most with the least. Your design has to place the focus on the details (whether its in the furniture, art, or building design), helping establish starting and ending points.
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These lines create unity and purpose, defining the placement of furniture, bookshelves, lighting, and modern interior design art. When correctly placed, formed furniture and other mid-century elements make your home feel modern and space-age, even if they are a little retro.
Tying it Modern Interior Design Together With Metal and Plastic
Plastic and metal furniture were relatively new and lightweight when modern interior design was popular, and as such, they make up a huge portion of what we consider “modern interior design.” They do away with wrought iron and other over-sized, intricate pieces to provide roomy and spacious interiors.
This look can be achieved with stainless steel table legs exposed, or used for faucets, cabinet handles, doorknobs, lamps, railings, and lights. They shiny texture and undertone gives your home a colder, newer feel rather than an older sleepy, homey feel.
When looking for important pieces from the mid-century, remember these names:
- Milo Baughman designed hollywood-style furniture that combined glass, wood, chrome, and other traditional modern interior colors
- T.H. Robsjohn- Gibbings is most famous for architecture, but he was also an accomplished furniture designer, most well known for his table designs.
- Karl Springer was from New York, and his coffee tables and lucite lamp designs garnered him a lot of respect in his area.
- Stilnovo designed the best lighting and chandelier sets in the world, also developing side chairs and other accents for the kitchen and sitting rooms.
- Finn Juhl was Danish, and responsible for designing graceful, sensually curved furniture from textile fabrics and molded plastics.
- Edward Wormley was an American designer, famous for his personal flair with modern trends. He created open ended sofas, chairs, Drexel storage areas, uniquely shaped coffee tables, desks and more.
- Harvey Probber is most famous for his sofa designs, with integrated tables, lamps and armrests. He built many stylish and useful sectionals for huge portions of the population.
Other Notable Modern Interior Designers Include:
- Paul McCobb
- Hans Wegner
- Jean Prouve
- Paul Evans
The Role of Minimalism in Modern Interior Design
It takes a lot more planning than you might assume to bring modern interior design together with today’s furniture and excess, because modern interior design means eliminating clutter, and making things more functional rather than just adding more pillows, rugs, blankets, books, or electronics.
Everything that’s important should be hidden away from view with secret panels or placed carefully within built in shelves or window seats. These approaches are abundantly clear in a modern interior kitchen design, implementing a clean, sharp feel with expressive lines, no decorative edges, and hidden panels. Monochromatic colors and materials help these areas look cleaner and more spacious.
The Role of Furniture in Modern Interior Design Colors and Color Schemes
Most homes using modern interior design use bland, neutral colors to make things pop. This is often expressed with vivid, monochromatic shaped plastic furniture, vibrant wall art with abstract objects, or a single bold accent wall or rug. Other than that, the things people owned are brought down to an absolute minimum.
What About Modern Interior Design Accessories?
Art is given more weight than accessories in modern interior design. Most of the time, trinkets and blankets would never be put over furniture, because they aren’t strategically placed. Art pieces in modern design have to be put in a focal location, chosen for their unique appeal, and specifically designed to provide flamboyant color appeal. Good examples of this include brightly colored patterned or plain area rugs to provide accent into neutral colored rooms. Often, artwork is abstract, consisting of bright colors and geometric shapes.
Modern interior design ideas and modern interior styles are set in stone. Perhaps the biggest misconception between contemporary interior design ideas and more modern interior design ideas is the fact that the modern interior design phase was established between the 20’s and the 50’s. This means that while contemporary styles continue to grow and develop, modern interior design is a set standard, with an established style and functionality.
To truly embody modern interior design and Bauhaus style living, emphasis has to be placed on simple, functional, industrial designs. Open-floor plans provide plenty of room for important activities (like cocktail parties) while post and beam styles of architecture eliminated a lot of bulk associated with walls, bringing in an area of large walls and windows featuring glass (with defined lines and angles). Because of this, modern interior design has a very timeless, iconic feeling that you’ll absolutely love.
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