What is modern interior design style?

The modern style began in the mid 20th century as a style that takes on industrial materials and pulls from German and Scandinavian design principles. This design style utilizes a lot of high contrast clean lines and functional pieces.

Modern design often gets confused with Contemporary. However, modern design refers back to a specific period of design style, and Contemporary design is ever-evolving based on current design trends. Before this style became popular, interiors followed heavy ornamentation, texture, and dramatic elements. Modern design rejected these in favor of minimal design, and clean, uncluttered spaces.


Elements of modern interior design

Basic Forms

This style uses the most basic forms and essential elements such as light and form. An open floor plan and lack of ornamentation bring out a sense of relaxation. Furniture breaks up space into designated areas, rather than walls. Any details that are used within the space blend in seamlessly and have a distinct reason for being there.

Clean Lines

Any furnishing within the space will have clean, simplified forms with flat, smooth surfaces. Clean lines create bold statements in modern furniture and accessories. Furniture utilizes steel, molded plywood, and glass as materials. Spaces should be free of clutter and practical.


The colors usually contain whites, blacks, greys, and beiges with very minimal use of color, and this keeps the space airy and bright.

Click here for more inspiration on incorporating a minimalist design style into your space.

However, if modernism isn’t quite your thing, find more design styles here.