What Is Modern design: Everything You Need To Know

Modern design is difficult to define because of all the many aspects that go into it, but the most basic and simplest term of modern design is a style of decor that focuses on minimalism, neutral colors, clean design lines, and environmentally friendly materials.

Minimalism plays a big factor in modern design how so, u ask? In Minimalism “less is more” when trying to design a space,  and I can’t think of a better sentence that defines the simplicity of modernism.

Modern design was born due to an intellectual movement called modernism.

Modernism began in the late 1980s that movement then started playing a role in every aspect of our lives from political to creativity such as our music, art, literature, and home design.

Even though modernism is referred to as a thing of the past, there is no end date that has been set and stone for modernism and that is why modern design gets mixed up with many of the other designs.

Modern Design History

Modernism was a movement that started back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, modernism rebels to the previous design styles which used heavy texture, carving wood tones throughout the home.

The modernist wanted to do things differently they wanted to steer away from the old way of life. They were destined to push the boundaries of culture and creativity to the next level, by any means. They had the mindset to develop a new way of life that was more suitable for the world that was drastically changing since the industrial revolution.   

During this movement homes that were classified as modern would consist of smooth straight lines, geometric shapes, patterns, and a lot of man-made materials.

 Natural items were also integrated into the design such as nice smooth wooden materials. 

Prior to modernism in the 1940s-1960s was the mid-century movement (It’s crazy how time has changed). Modernism was considered the future! in the early mid-century, it harnesses the capability of Machinery to offer affordable housing and Furniture Solutions to the masses.  

In 1946 George Nelson created a platform bench, till this day his bench is known for being the most memorable design of the genre. 

He wanted to produce the bench in mass in order to provide average homeowners an opportunity to afford an elegant bench for their home, and ever since then that movement helped developed modernism.

When discussing modernism you’ll often hear about the sub-genres of modernism which is used to describe the movement inspiring architectural styles of the time

  • Futurism
  • Bauhaus
  • Neo-Dada
  • Cubism
  • Minimalism
  • Abstract Impressionism

Modern Design Characteristics

Modern design is the new wave for home design, with such a rising in popularity I’ve decided to do some research on it and share my knowledge with my viewers.

Modern design became a thing in the late 19th century due to the fact of wanting better and simple home design. In the previous era, the homes were designed with heavy textures and carving wood and that was not very favorable.

They wanted the simplicity of space, form, detail, colors, materials and I for one agrees with them.

Below are some characteristics of modern design 

1. Furnishing

You can get overwhelmed when furniture shopping it’s a very fun activity to do but with all the options that we have in 2019, you can spend days deciding which one to get.

It’s crazy how you can have your mind made up on a particular piece then you go to the store or browse online and boom everything you thought u wanted get toss out the window, that’s the downfall of having so many options, it really clouds your judgment.

Having numerous options also have its perks, now don’t get me wrong, we have endless unique one of a kind furniture to pick from, we never have to worry about having the same furniture as everyone else. 

When it comes down to the material and Furniture to use, you should get the ones with straight clean lines and sharp edges, unlike the previous era that primarily uses heavy textures. 

Modern furniture should have a sleek shiny surface made from plastic, glass, or polish wooden materials. Modern design has a job to do so let it do its job and you do yours by getting the right materials to give yourself that modern look. 

Unlike the previous era, Modernism favors polished metals. The Furniture, lamps, sinks, and appliances usually consist of chrome and stainless steel materials these beautiful shiny metals really brings out the core clean elegant Hallmark of Modern Style.

2. Open Floor Plan

It used to be every room serves a different purpose and should be kept separately. The Kitchen was meant for cooking so it was separated from the other areas, the dining area was for formal meals and the living room was for entertainment and relaxing, but with the simplicity of modernism, open floor plan has been integrated into home design.

If you ever watched a home design television show 9 times out of 10 you have probably seen them taking their sledgehammer and tearing down any walls that get in their way to create a more spacious area for their clients. 

At one point you probably asked yourself why are they vandalizing that poor client property, and the reason for their madness is simply to give their client an open floor plan which will provide them with more room to do the things they love.

With an open floor plan, you now have the luxury of enjoying your favorite Netflix originals, while watching your wife cook (guilty) and indulging in your favorite meal. All in one area. What more can u ask for at this point right?   

Open floor plan has so many benefits, it can take the smallest of space and make it feel bigger and brighter. If you have a small living room imagine tearing apart that wall separating the kitchen from the living room and visualize the amount of free space that will be available.

If you have kids keeping an eye on them will be easier while you attend to your mommy/ daddy duties. Open floor plan aids you in multitasking you can watch the kids, attend to guests, and attend to your chores all at once.

For some of my viewers, you might not be ok with the open floor concept and it’s alright if you like the traditional concept of every room created separately, but you are missing out on the opportunities.

As much as I am a fan of the whole open concept I can’t be biased and not mention the cons of having an open floor. The biggest con of an open floor is probably the privacy lost. Sometimes you may want your privacy while you work or relax, but with an open floor, you constantly have to share that space with others.

If you love decorating your walls with pictures and decor having an open floor might not be for you due to the fact you have to sacrifice a significant amount of wall space in order to get that large room feeling.

Less wall space also means fewer outlets with this technology thriving world we live in today we need all the outlets we can get.

3. Lighting

A great way to get that nice spacious open space feeling is to use modern design best friend “Light” and it can be any form of light, Ambient or Accent light. Light pretty much fools our eyes into thinking there’s more space than it actually is.

With all that ambient light (the sun) beaming through the room, it’s going to look amazing and take the style you’re going for to the next level.

4. Flooring

Let’s talk about the flooring now, the floors are usually made of wood, (laminated flooring works fine) big square tiles, and even concrete. At first, when I heard concrete I thought of the ugly concrete floors they use on the road (don’t judge me), but let me tell you concrete floors looks amazing! “image”    

These flooring materials enhance the simple idea of modern style.

5. Art

I’ve talked about the floors now let’s talk about the walls. Instead of cluttering your home with small accessories and hindering that spacious vibe, try using art ( don’t overdo it) nice well-selected pieces of art creates a beautiful visual that helps tone down other elements. Abstract art that has nice sharp edgy clean lines and interesting angles create a gorgeous accent for modern style.

When deciding on a wall art you have to be mindful of the size of the wall you’re hoping to fill up, it’s not an easy task, but I’ll show you a cool trick to help aid u in your decision.

A general guideline to follow is to choose an art piece that takes up a great portion of the wall width while leaving 6-12 inches of empty space around each corner. Not making sense? Alright let’s bring out some math, let’s say your wall is 36inches. If you leave 6inches of empty spaces at each corner 6×4=24, so the ideal art size for a 36inch wall would be 24inches, and u can do this with any number.

6. Color Scheme

Other than providing beautiful visuals to look at, colors can be very useful when used properly. You can use colors as a mood indicator, you have happy, and sad colors at your disposal.

If you are renting a home, and don’t have the luxury of painting over the previous color, you can experiment with different colors through your decor to match the overall color theme of the house.

In the textbooks, modern style favors the different shades of white, and neutrals for the overall color scheme. It’s ok to break the rules sometimes ( I know I do) If you want, you can try using bold accent colors to enhance the details of the clean lines of the furniture, art, and decorations around the house.

In the past modern style focus a lot on bright primary colors because these colors were considered pure. Adding little drops and samples of these colors through your pillows, and the rug is encouraged.