What Is Modern Design?

Modern design made its first appearance in the late 1800s as people were veering away from the overly ornate Victorian designs. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the style took off. Since then, modern design remains one of the most popular interior design styles along with its cousin, mid-century modern.

Characteristics of Modern Design

Modern design is rooted in Scandinavian design which values minimalism and functionality above all else. One of the key beliefs that drive modern design is the concept that form and function should coexist. In other words, all elements within a modern interior should have a specific intention. If a component found within a space does not have a practical purpose, then it should not be included in the design.

Several common features that can consistently be found in modern design include:

  • Minimalism
  • Limited, neutral color palettes
  • Natural materials (e.g., wood, metals, leather, etc.)
  • Exposed structural elements (e.g., concrete or wooden beams)
  • Clean, straight lines
  • Large windows

Mid-Century Modern

Similar to modern design, mid-century modern values functionality above all else. However, while modern design is all about minimalism, mid-century modern design allows for decorative accents. The décor is never flashy or overwhelming. It follows the same guidelines as modern design. Pieces that can be found in mid-century modern spaces might include geometric wall art, sunburst mirrors, or pendant lights. Even though accessories are used in mid-century modern, the overall space still maintains an uncluttered feel.

Modern vs. Contemporary

Modern and contemporary design are often confused with one another. However, they are actually very different. While modern design holds strict standards and remains the same over time, contemporary design allows for more creativity and can change according to what is appropriate for the times.

At Zelman Style Interiors, we believe in the importance of incorporating your lifestyle into the design of your space. Modern design allows for just that – ensuring each aspect of the design has a practical purpose. Check out our portfolio to see examples of some of the modern spaces we’ve designed. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation or to learn more about The Design Process.