Modern Decor 101: Characteristics and Decorating Ideas

Modern decor is all about simplicity and functionality and can create a stylish and inviting atmosphere in any home from the moment you walk across the threshold.

With its use of geometric shapes and clean lines, modern decor is a look that never goes out of style. Read on to learn about modern decor decorating ideas and the history behind modern design, and discover the characteristics that make up this fabulous home design style.

What Is Modern Design?

Modern design is from a designated time period, known for crisp lines and a simple, neutral color palette. Modern decor from certain manufacturers also features dramatic elements and heavy textures.

Some examples of modern decor and furniture might include:

  • Nelson Bubble Lamps and other fine art lamps
  • A molded plastic chair
  • Vintage club chairs
  • The Egg Chair
  • Velvet couches

Most design enthusiasts can spot these timeless, modern pieces from miles away. Whichever items you choose, they will look good in virtually any space—so you can use them throughout your entire home.

Functionality is key when it comes to modern design. This is why in most modern homes, using invisible storage or hidden electronics is quite common to maintain the sleek look while still making the best use of their space. Most homes with modern decor and design appear to be clean and uncluttered, without many unnecessary items lying about.

The History of Modern Decor and Design

The history of modern decor and design dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when modernism began as a philosophical movement. Modernism design was rooted in functionality, elegance, and everyday living. It has roots in German and Scandinavian architecture and design.

Modernism was popular from the 1940s to the 1980s, reaching a peak in the 1950s and 60s. During this era, many modern-style homes were designed with clean, straight lines, open floor plans, man-made materials, large windows, and colorful geometric shapes and patterns. Sliding glass doors were popular, and the use of metal, glass, and vinyl was common in modern-style homes. 

The style would later develop into mid century modern, a slightly updated version of the original theme.

Over the years, modern interior design has continued to develop and is one of the most popular design styles today.

What Are the Characteristics of Modern Decor and Design?

Some of the most popular characteristics of modern homes include:

  • Low-profile, horizontal furniture with clean lines
  • Natural light and large glass windows
  • Exposed beams
  • Steel, chrome, or glass surfaces
  • Stark white walls or a largely white color palette, with other neutral, earthy colors
  • Minimal decor
  • An open floor plan
  • Natural materials such as unpainted wood, metal, and leather

Modern forms are clean and uncluttered, which will allow you to be free from stress and able to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of your home or apartment. The modern vibes are fresh, sleek, and elegant. 

Popular designers from the period include Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. Today, popular modern and modern-inspired brands include Copeland Furniture, Knoll, and Alder & Ore. 

How Does Modern Design Differ From Contemporary Style?

How does modern design differ from contemporary style? While these two design styles may look similar, they are quite different. For example, contemporary style is not born from a certain era, like modern design, and is constantly evolving.

Contemporary design is meant to reflect the style of the current times, meaning what is considered contemporary design now will eventually change into something else. 

Contemporary furnishings tend to have more curves, and some pieces may be used simply for decoration, whereas modern pieces must provide a certain function.  

Whether you love modern or contemporary design, a beautiful arrangement of colorful roses from our Maison Collection in your entryway will give your visitors a grand welcome and complement your new interior design style.

Ideas for Adding Modern Decor to Your Home

While modern homes are clean and simple, they can also be comfortable and cozy. This can be accomplished by adding a personal touch to your modern decor. 

Here are some fun modern decor items that you can add to your home:

  • Abstract lighting
  • Patterned tiles
  • Open shelving
  • Kitchen chrome
  • Bold colors
  • Invisible storage
  • Potted plants
  • Geometric patterns

Now let’s explore some popular ideas for adding modern decor to your home and how you can create a modern masterpiece.

Modern Art

Modernist artwork, such as work in the styles of cubism and Fauvism, captures the beauty of the early modernist perspective. They are wonderful modern elements to include in your home design. 

Expressive wall art with vibrant colors and unlikely forms will be sure to captivate your guests’ attention as they enter your sleek, modern home. 

Use a large piece of artwork on a canvas or with a minimal frame as a statement piece in your home. Smaller artwork can also be used to create a series on your home’s expansive walls for a modern, eye-catching display. You could even give painting a try yourself to ensure you have a one-of-a-kind piece to hang. 

However, be careful not to clutter your walls too much, as this could clash with the clean, modern design style, and make sure that you’re using sleek, simple picture frames.

Industrial Elements

Industrial elements are also often used in the modern design style. Choosing iron or steel finishes for your home will help add to the modern aesthetic you are creating. 

Try leaving exposed concrete or natural wood beams in your home to create a dramatic, industrial look.

Adding Color and Character to Your Space

Adding color and character to your space will truly define your home and make your modern design feel unique.

With everything from abstract paint splatter to bright patterns, occasionally mixing in bold hues will be sure to brighten up a neutral space. For example, if you have a neutral kitchen with a white table, add some dull orange chairs or bright throw pillows and throw blankets to create a bold focal point. You can also place matching orange roses on your coffee table to tie in your accent color to your modern living room. 

Bright yellow and royal blue are also common choices when it comes to modern interior design. Whichever color you choose, it will be sure to add character to your space.

Final Remarks

In conclusion, modern home decor is all about clean lines and simple designs. Functionality is key, and remember to use a neutral color palette and a bold accent color throughout your home to create a striking modern look. 



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