There’s never been a better time to think about renovating your home. With house prices on the rise and the amount of time we spend at home higher on average, it makes sense to make that space as comfortable and welcoming as possible.
You might already be familiar with the term ‘modern’ when it comes to interior design, but here we will define the term, and offer some concrete ideas for you to transform your home.
So What Do We Mean by ‘Modern’?
Contrary to how you might understand the meaning of the word ‘modern’, modern interior design takes cues from the artistic and architectural styles of the previous century. Modernity is a difficult topic to condense into a single paragraph, but in brief, there is more than one way to classify the modern period: the historical definition is simply the period of time between the 1500s and the present; the cultural definition describes the aesthetics of art between the late 1800s and the end of the Second World War; and philosophically, it refers to an ideology that rejects the constructs of realism in the face of a new Industrial Revolution.
With all that in mind, let’s think about décor again! Modern décor lifts ideas and aesthetics from the early and mid 20th century, where art, fashion, design and architecture were heavily influenced by Japanese ideas of minimalism and the vogue literary ideas of expressionism at the same time.
Modernism is conflict: minimalism and maximalism, colour and shade, shape and line. You can lean towards mid-century modern design – sharp lines, mustard yellows, the sets of Mad Men – or you can go rustic – natural woods, polished floors, dark greens, Downton Abbey. Modern glamour styles evoke the ritz and glitz of art deco Hollywood, while industrial modern makes use of bare metal and salvaged wood to evoke heavy textures.
Applying Modern Aesthetics to Your Home
So how can you embrace modern aesthetics into your home? Starting with living spaces, think about the kind of modern aesthetic you’d like to go for. If you want to evoke a rustic modern style, consider choosing dark, smoky colours for your wall, and pulling back any carpeting to reveal your floorboards. For a more mid-century style, burnt oranges are an excellent choice for the walls, while bespoke fur rugs and angular sofas become centrepieces of your living room.
For kitchens, you might want to lean into a rustic theme. Choose a darker kitchen paint for the walls that aren’t tiled, and think about replacing your taps with patina-ed brass faucets. You might also want to consider a maximalist aesthetic, for which bars from which to hang your crockery and spice racks out in the open would work a treat.
Bedrooms are anyone’s game, as your choices of bed can range from four-poster varieties to minimalist Scandinavian designs.
For older modern ideas, consider a bare floor with select white fur rugs to keep your bedroom pleasant underfoot; for newer bedrooms, carpet your room in ochre or magnolia.
How to Source Modern Artefacts
The best place to start for kitting out your home in any kind of modern style is your local vintage furniture store.
Buying second hand might seem like a risk, but if you find the right piece of 20th century furniture it will last several generations more before requiring repair. Online auction sites like eBay are also worth a gander, especially if you are looking for specific items to fill a space, such as telephone seats or mid-century dining tables.