Modern Interior Design

Modern design is all about minimalism.  It offers an open and airy living space. Décor is minimal and offers a clean and clutter free living space.



Clean Straight Lines

Modern design is the contrary to previous design styles which used heavy textures, carvings and wood tones throughout the home. Therefore, most components of modern design, from the furniture to the shape of the rooms, includes clean, straight lines with no additional detail. This differs slightly from contemporary design, which uses curves and sweeping lines; modern design has clean cut line; they are sharper and very spare.

Use of Metal

Chrome and stainless steel make up a big part of modern design. Doing away with traditional metal details (like wrought iron) opens up the door for clean, polished metals to be used in their place.

It’s not uncommon to see chrome or stainless steel as part of the furniture, such as table legs or exposed portions of a chair’s frame. Chrome is used extensively throughout the home seen in faucets, doorknobs, cabinet handles, lamps and railings. Polished chrome has a very high shine and a slightly blue undertone that makes it appear very cold, which helped it fit in well with modern design’s mission for moving away with older, more “lived in” styles.


Minimalism plays an integral part in modern design and contemporary design. The basics of minimalism include a “less is more” approach to designing a space. This means there are no excessive details such as columns, moldings, cabinet trim, excessive use of color or excessive use of textiles.

Minimalist design can be thought of as spare, but in reality it takes a lot of planning to ensure that what’s included in the home is absolutely necessary. Minimalist homes are often far more comfortable than they appear, due to the way they are streamlined for efficiency.

Lack of Clutter

A lack of clutter ties into the minimalist approach to modern design. While clutter can mean many things to different people, in regards to modern design it refers primarily to accessories. This means no knick-knacks, vases, pottery, collections or excessive use of throw pillows, rugs or blankets. Any necessary items, including books, electronics and keepsakes are kept either out of sight inside a cabinet or closet, or are built into the home with built in shelves or hidden storage beneath benches or window seats.


Bold Accent Colors

The majority of homes decorated in modern styles use neutral colors and shades of black and white exclusively throughout the home. Bold, often primary colors are used as accents to help break up the neutrals and provide focal points. These colors are often introduced sparingly, and rarely used as an all-over wall color. Examples of how to use bold colors in modern design may include:

Abstract wall art

  • A single piece of furniture in a bold color like a red leather sofa or an orange plastic chair
  • A few bold-colored throw pillows
  • A single bold-colored throw rug
  • An accent wall

Examples of Modern Design

Modern design encompasses both the bright and bold designs of a store like Ikea and ultra-minimalist furniture at the same time. On one end of the spectrum, the spirit behind modern design is to reject the notion of designing for mass appeal in favor of starker and more minimalist designs, while on the other end of the spectrum you will find designs inspired by the bold colors used in abstract art.

  • An open floor plan often joins the kitchen and living room in one space. A counter provides a visual definition between the two areas, while providing seating and conversation. The design also boasts clean lines, chrome accents and using a single colour to accent the room.
  • Modern kitchen design incorporates many of the same themes and ideas found in modern interior design. This kitchen features clean lines in the cabinets and counters with no decorative edges or raised panels. The sharp lines are repeated throughout the backsplash, while a single, monochromatic color is shown throughout the kitchen.
  • Primary Color Use. Modern living room. The clean lines in the furniture are repeated throughout the space, while a single bold color is used to draw the eye and make a statement in the area.
  • Minimal Design. Modern living room uses furnishings very sparingly, keeping the color scheme very simple and a single repeating shape – such as circles – as the only design element. A small pop of red on the floor breaks up the black and white.
  • Built-In Shelves illustrates how it’s possible to showcase personal items like pottery or collectibles, without cluttering up the room. These built-in shelves are spot lit from within to show off their contents, while the lines of the shelves mimic the lines seen elsewhere in the room.

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