Have you grown tired of your shag carpeting and bean bag chairs? Do you need to update your home’s décor but don’t know what to throw away and what to keep?
Don’t worry. We’ve prepared for you 11 simple tips in 11 categories to guide you when decorating a modern home. Use these proven design principles, and you’ll quickly bring your house into the 21st century. Keep reading to learn how to get that stylish look you’ve always wanted.
Modern homes don’t try to use all the space in their rooms. On the contrary, the idea is to draw attention to the space. That’s why modern homes are uncluttered.
Modern homes, even small ones, try to create a feeling of openness. There are clear, uncluttered pathways through rooms and into adjoining rooms. Homeowners place their furniture so that conversations aren’t disrupted by the flow of traffic.
There’s a reason that when you watch TV shows and movies set in upscale living spaces, the rooms feature a lot of white. Nothing sends a message of simplicity combined with elegance like white interiors.
But if you love color and couldn’t abide living in a primarily white space, you’re not alone. Many modern homeowners decorate liberally with color. However, the colors they use still say, “Modern.”
They gravitate toward lighter shades of their favorite colors while staying away from the heavily saturated colors found in non-adult, non-sophisticated spaces. Think of fast-food restaurants and amusement parks. That’s not the aesthetic that you want.
Never rely on a central overhead lighting source as your one source of light in a living space. Massive light from overhead will give you and your guests hideous shadows beneath your eyes that flatter no one.
Include area lighting specific to conversational groupings. Also, utilize task lighting for such activities as reading and playing board games.
Properly spaced table lamps and floor lamps can create a cozy environment that visually warm a modern home. Select lighting fixtures with strong geometric shapes while avoiding anything frilly or overdone.
Track lighting can also come in handy. However, be careful how and where you use it. It can give a room a somewhat casual vibe, which may not suit your living style.
Let’s hope that we’ve seen the last of those fake wood-paneled dens and rumpus rooms.
Paint predominates in modern homes. The colors tend to be lighter to make rooms feel brighter and cheerier. There’s an endless number of shades of white introduced each year. But modern homes also make use of colors beyond white. The color is usually a delicate hue such as a pale pink or wispy green that creates drama without drawing undue attention to itself.
You can also use wallpaper effectively in a modern home but select subtle patterns. Wallpaper is also an excellent way to add texture to your walls.
Look for furniture with sleek, clean lines. You want to skip furniture that features ornamental touches such as bowed legs, claw feet, and excessive carving or molding.
Modern furniture is anything but gaudy. The lines of modern furniture flow in a simple but often sculptural manner.
Modern textile designers create fabrics that are far more durable and sustainable than in previous generations. The materials also tend to be more understated in their patterns.
You may have seen pictures of your family’s sofa from the early 70s with its rustic print design featuring farms, ranches, or wildlife. That’s precisely the sort of thing you want to avoid. Avoid splashy patterns for large items such as sofas. As a general rule, the larger the seating, the less busy its fabric should be.
7. Floor Covering
Area rugs are standard in modern homes. Seldom do modern homes use wall-to-wall carpeting. Instead of hiding the hardwood floors beneath carpeting, the idea is to use the area rugs and the exposed hardwood to function as room dividers.
Area rugs often define a region of activity such as where you will sit with your guests to converse, while the hardwood areas denote traffic lanes.
8. Window Treatment
The genuinely bold modern homeowner leaves the windows in the public areas of the house unadorned. Nothing is permitted to block the flow of light.
If that’s a bit too radical for your taste, go ahead and use window treatments. But choose curtains that don’t compete with the rest of the room. For example, it’s common to see white curtains against a white wall.
If white isn’t your preference, choose a different color or a subtle design. By all means, avoid the busy patterns of the 70s and 80s. You also want to stay away from tassels, lace, fringes, and other unnecessary adornments.
If you don’t have a green thumb, you might overlook the possibility of decorating with plants. But the right plants can immediately soften and humanize a space, making it cozy.
It’s not necessary to choose a plant that requires an excessive amount of care. Ask professionals at your nearest nursery for hardy indoor plants that are forgiving of neglectful owners.
Look for plants that will add visual interest through the shape of their leaves or the texture of their stems. Don’t be afraid to go big. First-timers tend to timidly select the tiniest plant available, which will easily get overlooked in a good-sized room.
Think of your plants as living sculptures. You want them large enough to garner the attention of your visitors.
Choose bold prints and graphics over lifeless dreary discount-store copies of oil paintings. Photography is also an excellent way to bring life to your walls.
You can also use photography to bring art to practically anything else in your home from bedspreads to shower curtains. Professional services will print enlargements of your favorite photos onto sheets, duvets, pillowcases, and many other household surfaces of your choice. The only thing better than living with art is being surrounded by personalized art.
Modern homes aren’t necessarily minimalist, but they avoid at all costs resembling a curiosity shop. If you are a collector, you’ll want to curate your items carefully.
For example, choose an odd number of items of varying heights, widths, or shapes and create a tableau on a coffee table. You can do similar on side tables, consoles, shelving, and walls. However, vary the way that you choose to group the items to create variety for the eye.
Many homeowners make the mistake of trying to house an entire collection of dozens of items in the same room. The result is overwhelming and can trigger a sense of unease in visitors who are not as emotionally attached to the collection as the owner. Modern homes are all about peace and serenity.
Decorating a Modern Home Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Do you think that you have enough information to now give your home a needed update? When you’re ready, try tackling each of our 11 categories one at a time. Allow yourself time to get used to the change and then move on to the next category. If you enjoyed our tips, keep reading for more how-to articles on decorating a modern home.