Tag Archives: interior design styles

What Is Modern Home Design and How Do I Create It?

With the rise of minimalism in homes around the country, many homeowners are seeking to incorporate modern home design in their houses. However, it is one of the most misunderstood types of interior design. And many people feel confused when they try to adopt this style for their spaces.

Sometimes people mix up modern interior design with contemporary or minimalist design. Although these can overlap, each one is different.

Everyone deserves to have a home that makes them feel safe and comfortable. At Design Elements NW, our goal is to make your home feel like a haven. No matter which style you prefer, we can make it happen. Whether you have new construction or are remodeling your current house, our team will design the perfect oasis for you. Reach out today for a consultation.

Roots of Modern Home Design 

Modern home decor and design refer to a specific period. This style began and developed during the first half of the 20th century. It started from Scandinavian and German influences at the end of the 1800s. Rooted in America’s move toward machination and functionality, it has a streamlined aesthetic. 

Leaving behind any remnants of fussiness and ornamentation, modern home design adheres to the motto, “form follows function.” That is, all parts of this design style should serve a purpose. If something exists merely for its looks, then it isn’t necessary and doesn’t have a place in authentic modern decor.

Hallmarks of Modern Design

If you enjoy simple, open, and uncluttered spaces, then a modern home design may be the perfect fit for you. Of all the interior design styles, modern decor offers the most streamlined look.

Here are some of the primary characteristics of this style:

  • Significant use of natural light – Homes with modern design rely on large windows to allow plenty of light into the home. Artificial light is secondary.
  • Visible structural features – In this style of interior design, beams and concrete often remain exposed. Rather than hiding or covering these elements, they are an integral component in the overall look.
  • Neutral colors – Modern home decor utilizes mostly a neutral color palette. Earth tones and a monochromatic look feature heavily in this design style.
  • Emphasis on lines – You will find few curves in modern home design. Low furnishings with horizontal and vertical lines are characteristic of the modern look.
  • Natural materials – Plastics and other synthetic materials don’t have a place in modern interior design. Instead, this style utilizes natural wood, metal, leather, and fibers.
  • Reflective surfaces – Glass and chrome are often part of modern decor for their ability to reflect the natural light in a space.

In general, when you want to have a modern interior design scheme, you look for items that are simple, unobtrusive, and have clean lines. Chunky, curvy, ornamental pieces need not apply. This style gives you an open feeling that is free of extraneous pieces.

Contemporary vs. Modern Interior Design

One challenge in understanding modern design is that there is also something called contemporary design. They sound the same, right? Modern/Contemporary. Potato/Potato.

But they actually are different. While the modern style refers to the period in which it came about, contemporary design changes with the times. It has a fluid definition that shifts as styles and likes and dislikes shift.

Contemporary design often incorporates elements of several styles, so sometimes, it includes a modern design look. But it doesn’t remain steady over the generations. As trends change, so does contemporary decor and design.

Is Minimalism a Modern Design Style?

The minimalist lifestyle is a way of living. It involves thinking about each thing you own and whether it serves you a valuable purpose. 

Most people who live with a minimalist ethos are careful about what they bring into their homes. The goal is to live a full life that doesn’t pull its joy from having a lot of stuff.

So on some level, minimalism fits well with modern home design. However, you can live a minimalist lifestyle with any design plan. And you can have modern decor without ascribing to minimalism. The two do not have to go hand-in-hand.

How Do You Implement Modern Decor Into Your Home?

If you are eager to give your home a modern interior design makeover, there are many elements you can change or incorporate. The simplest and most dramatic step is to adjust your color scheme.

A fresh coat of paint in neutral tones throughout your home will quickly add a modern touch to your space. And this choice certainly doesn’t mean your rooms will be dull. There is a vast array of options within the neutral family, so take the time to find what you love.

After making your paint choices, take a look at your furnishings. Depending on your budget, you may want to invest in all-new pieces to fit your updated design. 

Look for low furniture with straight lines. The furniture should have no fussiness or ornamentation. Remember, its function is the primary concern. The form should align with the function.

But if that sort of purchase is not in the cards right away, there are plenty of small changes you can make, as well. Consider adding in the following items:

  • Woven baskets for storage
  • Glass tabletops
  • Natural wood end tables
  • Natural fiber blankets and rugs

If you happen to be building and designing from the ground up, you have many choices for your modern home. Working with your designer, pay attention to the windows and the structural elements. 

Be sure your building plan incorporates oversized or plentiful windows to allow a lot of natural light into the house. And discuss ways to leave beams exposed, if possible. These two design elements will quickly set the style tone for your modern home decor.

Ready for a Change?

Whether you know exactly what you want or have absolutely no idea, Design Elements NW is here to help. Creating a beautiful haven for your home is our number one priority. We take the stress and confusion out of the design process. Our work helps you feel empowered in your choices, and we walk with you every step of the way.

Contact Kym today for your free consultation, so you can start enjoying your stunning new space.

A Guide to Choosing Interior Design Styles for Your Home

As spring approaches, many homeowners get the itch to change things up in their houses. They are ready for deep cleaning and renewal and a fresh feeling. One of the most fun ways to give your home a new spring look is to update your take on interior design styles.

From furniture to artwork to paint colors, you can easily switch the look of your home to give yourself a mental boost. Fresh, new spaces always feel good to the soul. 

One stumbling block that comes up for homeowners, however, is where to start. There are so many interior design styles, and you may like a few elements of many of them. You might not be sure how to define or choose your style.

If you want to make some updates but feel unsure how to go about it, reach out to the team at Design Elements NW. From new construction to a cosmetic changeover, we have you covered. 

How Do I Figure Out My Style?

If you put that question into a search engine, you will have at least a dozen quiz options pop up for you to peruse. These are often fun to fill out and can be useful for some people. But for many homeowners, these can add another layer of stress or confusion. They might create more questions than they answer.

Here are some tips to get you started as you settle on a design style for your house.

Learn the Basics About Several Interior Design Styles

If you are just starting the process of picking a style for your home decor, it’s best to familiarize yourself with several of the top choices. As you look through descriptions and photos, pay attention to the colors, shapes, and lines that draw you in. 

Get a feel for the overall vibe of any given style. You might want to curate a Pinterest board or a physical notebook with photos and color swatches that please you.

Take a Look at Your Clothes

If you spend some time looking through your closet, you may find the clues you’ve needed about your style preferences. Keep an eye out for any of these trends:

  • Is there a color palette that is common in your clothing choices? Do you prefer bold colors? Neutrals? Mostly black and white?
  • Do you see a lot of prints? Perhaps you’ll notice that many of your shirts are animal print, or floral, or geometric. Maybe you have a lot of ironic and quirky t-shirts. 
  • Do your clothes have a lot of structure or not much at all? If you lean toward fitted, button-down shirts and tailored pants, that can carry over into home design as well. Or if you are a slouchy clothes aficionado, that can point you in the right direction for your house.
  • Are there certain fabrics that make up the majority of your clothing? Do you prefer comfy cotton clothes or snug leather options? Do you have a lot of dry-clean only wardrobe pieces, or mostly wash-and-wear?

Consider a Favorite Piece of Furniture or Artwork

If you already have a statement piece that you love in your home, that can be an excellent jumping-off point. You might have a favorite painting that speaks to modern decor. Or maybe you own a stunning, large plant that has a bohemian feel. Whatever it is, you can use it to help guide your choices as you look at the different design styles.

Do I Have to Pick Just One Style?

One of the other problems people have when choosing an interior design option is that they feel stuck picking only one. The reality is that most people like elements of two or three different styles. And that makes for a perfect blend that fits you just right.

This is your home we’re talking about. It’s your sanctuary and haven. It has to feel right to you, not to some magazine editor who curates photos of perfectly arranged styles. Perhaps you mostly like art deco interior design but also want to incorporate a little industrial edge to it. Go for it! Don’t feel forced into one style or definition. That will never feel right to you.

Top Interior Design Styles

In general, most interior design styles can fit into one of two categories: period-inspired or location-inspired. Period-inspired options have to do with a time frame, such as modern or art deco interior design. Location-inspired styles stem from a place, such as Mediterranean or Asian. And then there are a few choices that don’t fit either section. Let’s take a look at several popular styles among these categories

Period Design

  • Industrial – Hearkening to the early nineteenth-century industrial revolution, this style combines some old-world looks with sleek design elements. You will see solid wood pieces with metal fixtures and fasteners. You might see exposed brick, copper fittings, and darker colors. The industrial style is popular in urban lofts and condos but certainly can be part of any home’s decor.
  • Art Deco – The Roaring 20s come to life with this design style. If you enjoy bold colors and sharp designs, you may be an art deco fan. With clean lines and an eye toward symmetry, art deco also evokes luxury and glamour. This style is fun to incorporate into any space.
  • Mid-Century Modern – Some of the most iconic American design pieces hail from the middle of the 20th century. This style uses simple lines and natural elements as it focuses on high-functioning items. The post-war era was transitioning into the modern one, and this style shows that move away from heavy, stylized pieces.

Location Design

  • Nautical or Coastal – This New England-inspired design style is warm and relaxing. It evokes the feel of a cottage on the coast where you can spend time with a book, a puzzle, or a glass of wine by the fireplace. Unfinished wood and linen upholstery make an appearance in a lot of the furniture. Neutral sandy colors with blue accents make decorating a breeze.
  • Scandinavian – With similarities to art deco and minimalist design, Scandinavian style uses clean lines and fun pops of color. With gray and white as the primary undertones, the Scandinavian design style is very clean, open, and airy. It relies on textures in pillows and blankets to bring layers of coziness to your space.
  • Farmhouse – This style pulls from a rural, country feel. It uses exposed beams and natural wood colors to evoke a sense of simplicity. Light colors and natural elements like wildflowers, fruit, and lavender often complete the feel of farmhouse design.

Neither Here Nor There

Some interior design styles fit into their own category. They do not necessarily rely on a specific time or place for inspiration. 

  • Bohemian – To bring this design into your home, look for natural fibers and ethnic patterns or fabrics. The Bohemian style is purposely “messy” rather than streamlined and structured. It suggests whimsy and travel and exploration and can involve trinkets and photos scattered throughout the space. The Bohemian aesthetic is carefree and relaxed.
  • Shabby Chic – The shabby chic design style has a soft, feminine feel. It hails from a French style and leans toward vintage furniture and accessories. Floral patterns and muted colors dominate this style. 

Design Elements Can Help You Create Your Perfect Style

Whether you are building a house from the ground up or want help redecorating one room, the expert team at Design Elements NW is here to help. We walk with you on your design journey to make sure your home is the haven you deserve. Reach out today for a free consultation and get started on creating a space you will love to call home.