There is simplicity in modern interior design that has given it everlasting relevance. Modern homes have clean lines and are without fuss, yet they can be comfortable and cozy. A modernist aesthetic is not limited to a specific style since mid-century modern furniture is coveted in many homes with different style narratives. Dive in and gather some stunning modern interior design ideas to get inspired to create your own masterpiece.

The History of Modern Interior Design

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Modern living room by Decorilla designer, Joe Ginsberg Design.

Modernism started in the late 19th century, reaching its height during the 1930s where after it slowly declined with movements like Post-Modernism taking shape. However, a stream of modernism continues today. Especially in architecture, modern design elements form the basis of many contemporary homes.

Tip: It’s important to know that your style can be a combination of two or more styles. Taking interior design style quizzes like this one or providing inspiration photos can help designers really pinpoint the client’s aesthetics because sometimes a personal style has no name!

“Form follows function” is one of the most important principles that govern modernist designs. The need to simplify forms originated from the rapidly growing cities that required an alternative to traditional construction. A fuss-free approach incorporated new materials like reinforced concrete and steel for building structures. As a result, houses could have large windows, flat roofs and could be cubic or even cylindrical. The use of new materials meant that the height of structures could reach far beyond any before. Other movements like Bauhaus, De Stijl, and Futurism also form part of Modernism, adding depth to the style.

The Difference between Modern Interior Design and Contemporary Interior Design

modern interior design online the difference between modern and contemporary design

It is certainly easy to confuse contemporary design and modern home interior design. One of the main differences between contemporary and modern design is the age above all else. Contemporary design refers to what is currently new and innovative while modern design refers to a specific era in design history. Presently, architects and interior designers alike use modern elements in contemporary design. This is similar to a modernist revival, but mustn’t be confused with the mother modern movement of the 19th century. Contemporary interiors are a blend of styles past with a healthy dose of technological advancement.

1) Modernist Art

modern home interior design modern art
Modern living room by Decorilla interior designer, Tera S.

Modernist artists rejected the traditional idealistic view of realism and decided to create expressive artwork in vibrant colors and unlikely forms instead. Abstract art, cubism, and Fauvism capture the essence of the early modernist perspective; a reaction to outdated traditions and the growth of an industrialized society.

modern interior design art blue
Modern bedroom by Decorilla designer, Joyce T.

A large art piece with a minimal or no frame hung on a wall is perfect as a feature. Opt for a small art series on expansive walls, but steer clear of a gallery wall arrangement because it will clutter the modernist look.

2)  Neutral Walls

modern living room neutral walls
Neutral living room by Decorilla designer, Joseph G.

After the embellished Victorian years of murals and wallpaper, the modernists moved to the stillness of neutral walls. Choose shades of white or grey for the inside and exterior of your home.

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Modern design by Decorilla interior designer, Sean J.

3) Line Focused

modern interior design streamlined furniture in a formal living room lauren a
Modern design by Decorilla interior designer, Lauren A.

Modern interior design ideas are often built around simple, clean lines. Strong horizontal and vertical lines in modernist architecture are echoed in furniture and décor designs. Cylindrical columns often feature in modern homes; these form clear vertical lines and showcase the revolutionary use of reinforced concrete.

4) Industrial Elements

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The modern design style wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the advancement of concrete, steel, and glass as building materials. So, pay homage to the core of modernism by choosing an industrial aesthetic with iron or steel finishes and concrete elements.

5) Clutter-free

modern interior design online minimal living room renata b
Modern interior design by Decorilla interior designer, Renata B.

De-clutter countertops, mantels, walls, and any other visible areas in the house. Remembering the minimalist mantra of “less is more” is essential when accessorizing your modern interior, so, be sure to organize and tuck trinkets out of sight.

6) Primary Colors

modern interior design with yellow and red
Interior design by Decorilla designer, Joyce T.

Primary colors were at the focus of Bauhaus and De Stijl movements, as a result, modern interiors are known for its bold colors. Add accent furniture pieces, artwork or rugs in red, yellow, blue, black and white to the interior.

7) Open Plan

Modern interior design open plan
Open plan home by Decorilla designer, Amelia R.

An open-plan layout is a must when it comes to modern home interior design. An open living, dining and kitchen area helps to eliminate unnecessary structures within a home while encouraging free airflow.

8) Streamlined Furniture

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Modern design by Decorilla interior designer, Roberto D.

Many mid-century modern furniture items like Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair and the butterfly chair have become iconic and coveted for any home. Top modern interior designers choose furniture with straight lines and restrained use of decoration. So, use furniture with plain fabric and avoid bold patterns or prints.

9) Skip the Molding

modern home interior design modern kitchen
Modern design by Decorilla interior designer, Sara T.

Ornate architectural designs like molding and cornices are certainly unnecessary in a modern home. To keep the calm look of a truly modern home, choose less embellished options when it comes to doors and cabinetry. See more examples of a modern kitchen style here.

10) Large Windows

modern interior design natural bedroom corine m
Modern living room design by Decorilla interior designer, Corine M.

Beautiful large windows are not just marvelously modern, but brilliant when it comes to light. Let in the fresh air as well as more natural light with this modern favorite.

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Are you ready to start your modern home interior design journey? Then get to it and schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation with a professional online interior designer today!

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