Is “Modern" Old Fashioned?

Is “modern" old fashioned? Both yes and no. Modern doesn’t just mean current. It also refers to a decorating and architectural style that dates back to the 1920s and was popular throughout the twentieth century. Modern style is all about simplicity and repetition. A modern style room will often have a lot of black and white and not a lot of warm colours or interesting details.

Modern Style Room

Today, the modern style is the default for many mass-market home goods. Simple lines in furniture and accessories have tended to be cheaper and easier to manufacture in comparison to more ornate styles and these days, modern style furniture and lighting can seem predictable, drab, and boring. However, modern styling can work well if you keep an open mind about fixtures and accessories.

People-Centric Design

The key to making any room feel truly contemporary is to ensure that it’s accessible and meaningful to your family or your clients. In other words, make sure the space fits the people who are going to be living or working there. A room where the designer has zealously made sure that every detail follows the rules of modernism - but hasn’t done a thorough study of how the space will be used - will have designed a dated room regardless of how slick it looks. Think of a typical room in an architectural magazine and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Form over function makes for nice photos and not so nice living conditions. It’s like the difference between high fashion and what people actually wear. For a more successful design, take a few unique, personalised elements and combine them with simple, modern lighting and furniture to create a fresh look.

Modern Done Right

Modern styling features spare, simple shapes and monochromatic or subtle neutral colour schemes. Furniture is usually modular and has strong, clean lines. Any horizontal surfaces are kept clear of decorative flourishes like pictures, candles, sculpture, etc.

This typical modern look can feel sterile and uncomfortable for many people, but warming up a modern style interior is as simple as adding colour to the walls and a few personalised accents to show that people, not robots, live or work there. Saturated tones work well in a modern style room, and it feels good to escape from the usual black, white, beige and grey walls or rugs and replace them with some bright colours like green, gold, red, or orange.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated modern look and feel, then stay away from mass market decorative items. They are too predictable and often cheesy, and they’ll make your space look like just another cookie-cutter interior. For room accessories, try a resale shop or save up to buy something new from an artist or crafter. Try a search for local artists on the Internet for interesting items to add to a room. Sometimes a unique piece will cost less than a mass-market item.

If you’re good with carpentry or crafts, you can make your own room accessories, but be careful. Do It Yourself is has gone overboard in some cases, and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Quality over quantity is important with modern room design. Without all the interesting patterns, textures and details found in other design styles, every line counts when styling a modern room.

At Lighting Illusions, we’ve got far too many modern style light fixtures to link to. However, the Giani Tripod Floor Lamp is the one I’d say would be a better choice for very nicely designed modern-style room in the photo.