The Modern Interior Design Style focuses on functionality. This means that each decorative piece which is placed in a space must portray its purpose. So, there is a restraint on which decorative pieces go into a space; if it doesn’t serve a specific purpose, it definitely should not make it into the design.
So, the belief that ‘less is more,’ has a great influence on modern interior design. To help you better understand what this design entails, I have made a compilation of it’s main characteristics. These will help you in your designing process.
An infamous aspect of the modern design is the open plan (open concept) where the kitchen, dinning, and living spaces are in one open area. This layout is most favorable for small spaces. The omission of walls creates more space, creates airiness, lets in more natural light and, decreases the number of light fixtures used. The open concept is popular among stay at home parents because it enables them to see where their little ones are.
Modern design and minimalism generally go hand in hand. Some minimalist principles are adhered to in this design: a nod to functionality; few to no moldings, trimmings, or columns; large bare windows; clutter-free spaces; the use of neutral colors; and non-ornamental cabinetry.
Clutter represents different things for different persons. However, in this case it refers to unnecessary decor, or items that do not serve a perceivable purpose. Basically, there is usually few to no collections and ornaments on display. To achieve this clutter-free environment, the modern design may incorporate wall niches or recesses to house bookcases, shelves, televisions, and decorative pieces. This limits protrusions. Another way to celebrate that clean feel is by using hidden storage: closets, draws and cabinets.
Form, Lines, Patterns
Form in Modern design relates to the shape of both the space, and the objects which it contains. Single geometric shapes, such as the triangle and the square, may be employed as design features.
The use of lines in the furnishings of a room creates uniformity and contrast. For small spaces, the use of vertical, horizontal, and dynamic lines is encouraged, because they create a feeling of expanse. Vertical lines give the illusion of great height; horizontal lines make a space appear wider; and dynamic lines (ex. zigzags) evoke a feeling of movement.
Geometric shapes and patterns serve to add appeal to a room. At most, three different patterns, all from the same color scheme can be used. You can add patterns to your design through the use of wallpaper, tiles, fabrics (ex. pillows) and, soft furniture. Remember: do not use too many patterns because this can make a room feel overwhelming and confusing.
Material and Texture
There is an extensive use of natural materials in the modern design style: polished natural wood and wood veneers, stone, leather, natural fibers, metals, and glass. Bare floors are celebrated in this design, and furniture (which may be of leather, wood, or even plastic) are raised above floors, providing more space and airiness to the a room.
Texture is an essential element of the modern design style. The proper use of balanced textures in a space creates contrast and harmony. Texture refers to the way something feels. But, in interior design, it equally refers to the perceived feel of something, and this is determined through sight. When you enter a decorated space, or view one in a photo, you can perceive (or guess) how the items feel without having actually touched them. Now, if you touch these items, you will conclude that they are either smooth (ex. silky, soft) or rough (ex. hard, bumpy).
When incorporating a modern design into your space, it is essential that you choose textures that heavily contrast with the overall color palette used. Texture can be added to your space by incorporating items such as throw pillows, a wooden bench, exposed ceiling beams, and a patterned accent wall.
The colors used within a space can generate several effects on a person’s psyche. It can induce a change in moods (happy, sad, excited, afraid…). It can create a perception of the size of the space; making someone feel either confined, or unconfined.
The Modern Design style uses a neutral color palette; basically: white, beige, black, grey, brown. Cool earth and monochromatic tones are generally used on walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets and doors. Bold colors can also be used, sparingly, as accents. These colors may appear in the form of throw rugs, throw pillows, accent walls, bold-colored chairs, backsplash, wall art, et cetera.
Light plays such an important role in every interior design style. The modern design style greatly exploits natural light through strategically placed windows, skylights, glass doors and glass walls. Exploiting natural light can also reduce energy costs.
Then there is man-made lighting: General Lighting provides adequate overall illumination to spaces, creating maximum ease in movements. (ex. recessed ceiling lights).
Accent/Decorative lighting which can serve as design elements to draw focus to certain architectural designs, or objects such as a painting, sculptures, and decorative pieces. (ex. chandeliers and pendants).
Task lighting serves to bring illumination to an area where tasks (cooking, reading etc.) are generally done (ex. desk lamps). To add both elegance and functionality to a space (while limiting clutter), unique, dynamic light fixtures are used.
I hope that you have learned a great deal about the Modern Design Style. Now, with this newfound knowledge, you can successfully transform any room or space into a modern one.