When it comes to interior design, there are a lot of different terms and styles that can get confusing. Some, like “contemporary” and “modern,” might seem interchangeable when it comes to general description, but they can actually have quite a few differences between them.
Modern design is a term that is often used to refer to an architectural style that embraces elements of minimalism, balance and clean lines. While it has many similarities to contemporary style, modernism also incorporates some more fluid, expressive features into its overall aesthetic. In order to truly understand what defines modern design, it’s important to know a little bit about the movement that gave rise to this style.
While modernism was born out of a desire to connect with science, health and social equality, it also revolutionized the way our homes and buildings were designed. This style is characterized by open floor plans with few walls, spacious rooms and lots of natural light. This was partly due to engineering advances that allowed for structures to be built without the need for thick, load-bearing walls. This also enabled buildings to be taller, allowing them to accommodate more people and more interior space.
Another aspect of modern design is a preference for sleek materials that are free from embellishment and texture. While it’s still common to see furniture with curved lines, the overall feel is clean and spare, often taking inspiration from industrial architecture like factories and warehouses. The design philosophy of “form follows function” is also at play here, with pieces being simplified to only use what’s necessary for their basic purpose. This can sometimes result in furnishings that look machine-like.
Lastly, modern style is often inspired by art. The abstract expressionist works of Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso are a staple in most modern homes, along with the more minimalist, geometric shapes found in contemporary art. These artworks help to tie in the logic-driven aesthetic that is so prevalent in modern interior design.
While incorporating modern design into your home is easier than ever, it’s important to understand the nuances that distinguish this style from others. Otherwise, your space can risk looking like someone else’s Pinterest board or worse–a showroom. To avoid this, take the time to really think about how you use your space and choose items that reflect your lifestyle. Then, your home will have the modern look that you crave.