When someone describes an interior as “modern” they often mean “contemporary” – as in new, or trendy, or non-traditional. But while the words might be synonymous in everyday life, Modern Design refers to a specific strand of home decor, and it’s one of the most elegant interior styles around. If you love a sleek, fuss-free look, with clean lines and minimal embellishment, this could be the ideal style for you and your property.
A sculptural metallic lampshade is ideal for a modern kitchen
What is Modern Design?
Modern Design is a streamlined and sculptural interior style, with decor and furniture that complement the architecture of a room to create a sleek, minimalist space. Surfaces are smooth and expansive, sometimes using a single material from wall to wall or floor to ceiling. Storage is often built-in and free from handles or hardware; sofas and chairs have well-defined shapes and firm upholstery; tables, desks and benches have simple straight frames; and there is little in the way of soft furnishings, with blinds instead of curtains, natural matting instead of rugs, and glass or metal lampshades in the place of fabric and frills.
A glass splashback in lime green adds a splash of colour to this modern space
Unlike most other interior styles there’s almost no pattern or ornamentation in Modern Design, and colour palettes tend to mix natural tones with neutrals. Black, white, grey, taupe, and muted shades of green and blue, allow shape and form to take centre stage. Where brighter colour is used, it’s often restricted to a single burst that acts as a focal point or visual accent.
In this kitchen, the mix of materials creates visual interest
Essentially, everything is stripped down to its functional bare bones… but this look is far from austere or basic. Visual interest comes from the interplay between the various surfaces, and the materials used for each become the main attraction. Natural materials, such as wood and metal, provide warmth and variety, with the grain of the wood or patina of the metal taking the place of the colour and pattern that might be chosen for a more traditional space. Smooth, uninterrupted surfaces are also central to this style, and glass is a crucial component. Floor-to-ceiling windows, often with very little visible framing, are a common feature of the look. And glass wall panels, such as wall-to-wall kitchen or bathroom splashbacks, also work perfectly with this trend. Reflective surfaces are popular, too, due to their ability to add a polished sheen to the space and bounce light around the room.
Modern Design is perfect for smaller spaces
Cool and classic
Modern Design can work in any kind of space. Although it’s commonly shown in large properties with open-plan interiors, it is equally effective in smaller homes. In fact, in many ways it’s well-suited to compact rooms, as its clean lines and built-in storage help to use space effectively, while its smooth polished surfaces make rooms look bigger and brighter. A lack of clutter and pattern keep things feeling airy and open.
This look can’t be pinned down to one particular era
It’s also a classic look. Unlike interior styles that follow the latest trends and fads, Modern Design has been around since the early 20th century when Germany’s Bauhaus school of design promoted the idea that form should follow function. The concept caught on, and many design classics hail from this era. For this reason it will never look dated or unfashionable.
Modern Design is supremely practical
This is also a great look for kitchens and bathrooms. Despite its sophisticated and elegant appearance, it’s very practical and functional. Recessed lighting, integrated mirror panels and glass shower walls bring the Modern Design look to bathrooms. In kitchens, flat-fronted cabinets, clutter-free surfaces and seamless panels of glass, wood and stone create the perfect Modern aesthetic. These are easy to clean and maintain, ensuring the fresh, crisp look of Modern Design lasts for many years.
If you’d like to discuss installing a glass splashback as part of your kitchen renovation, please get in contact and we’ll be very happy to discuss your ideas with you.