What Is Modern Interior Design?

Interior Design Services in Washington D.C.Vintage; coastal; shabby chic; bohemian; industrial; art deco. There are so many different styles of interior design—and those are just a brief preview—they can be difficult to keep track of! That’s why our designers thought it would be useful to go over one of the most popular, and often confusing, interior design styles: modernism.

A modern space is versatile, capable of being elegant, cozy, and casual all at the same time. While the exact details might be expressed differently depending on the individual, there are a few definitive characteristics of the modern style you’ll need to incorporate if you want to achieve this famous look.

Modern interior design is NOT the same as contemporary interior design.

The terms “modern” and “contemporary” are used interchangeably in reference to a lot of things. Normally, this is fine. In the interior design world, however, they have completely different connotations.

Modern interior design refers to the style of a specific, fixed time period—namely the early-mid 20th century when it developed with the modern art movement. Contemporary interior design, on the other hand, refers to the styles and design elements trending in the present day. The definition and characteristics of modern style do not change, while contemporary style is always evolving.

Modern interiors embrace simplicity.

Modernism rejects the heavy and ornate elements and details of earlier schools of design in favor of a minimalist approach. The philosophy driving the modern style is “less is more”. Furnishings and accents are chosen carefully, with great thought. Because you have fewer pieces to work with, the ways in which each one contributes to the space are especially important.

Accessories in a modern space most often have a practical function, rather than just an aesthetic one—think lamps, wall clocks, throw blankets and pillows, etc.

Uncluttered spaces with clean lines are essential for a modern look.

Modernist logic adheres to the idea that if the space you’re in is calmer and less cluttered, your mind will follow suit. Function, therefore, is prioritized above all else. Every piece in a modern space has a purpose. Paring down a room this way ensures that it doesn’t become too crowded with unnecessary objects that overwhelm the senses.

Crisp, clean horizontal and vertical lines are crucial to achieving the simple and uncluttered look that defines modern interior design. Architectural columns, streamlined furniture, and open floor plans are popular ways of incorporating these straight lines.

Neutral colors and natural materials are a must in a modern-inspired space.

A neutral color palette provides the simple foundation a room relies on to achieve a modern design. These are most commonly different shades of whites and greys, sometimes with subtle earthy colors used to accent. Bold primary colors are sometimes used sparingly as well, especially in artwork.

When it comes to “natural materials” in terms of modernism, we’re not referring to the warm wooden elements that likely come to mind when you hear this phrase. The natural materials that define modern spaces are, rather, polished metals that help pull together that clean, fresh look. Think chrome, stainless steel, and unpainted woods.

Modern interior design should both refresh and soothe the senses at the same time—a difficult balance to master.

If you don’t execute modern style correctly, you’ll end up with a bland and boring space that completely misses the point of what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t worry though, the interior design team at Hudson & Crane will help you get it right.

From full design overhaul to the perfect finishing touches to bring your space together, our interior design services have something for everyone. Whether it’s fully modern, vintage, farmhouse, bohemian or a little bit of everything, our goal is to help you pull together your favorite elements with the perfect balance and create your own personal style.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can combine our taste with your space to make some magic!