The Ultimate Guide to Modern House Interior: Embracing the Latest Decor Trends


The word ‘modern style’ is probably the most commonly used phrase in the world of architecture and design, but few know what it truly means. The modern style of architecture and interior design originated with the Modernism movement, somewhere around the middle of the 19th century and developed throughout the 20th century. The Modernism Movement was a radical shift from the historic extravagantly ornamental design style that focused on minimalism. The most important philosophy behind the movement was Form follows function”. Before we understand modern house interiors, let us understand what is modern design style.

How Did Modern Decor Style Come Into Existence?

After World War II, an urgent need to rebuild cities to house the booming population magnified the scope of the modernist movement. Soon, architects started building structures using modernist principles. The philosophy of the Bauhaus School of Architecture and Arts proved to be the most influential template that laid the principles for modern architecture. Deriving cues from German and Scandinavian architecture, the Bauhaus philosophy focused on a function-based approach to design, with little to no ornamentation, sleek design, and doing the bare minimum. Such minimalism goes very well with a simple modern design house.

As noticed by editor Coleman, C.[411] in the book ‘Interior Design Handbook of Professional Practice’, the modern style came into being somewhere around the 1920s and has deeply seeped into the realms of architecture and design. It is one of the most extensively used design styles that continues to dominate the fabric even today. The style has evolved over the course of decades; these variations can be considered a part of the style; however, not everything that you see today is modern eclectic interior design.

Modern Decor Style vs Contemporary Style

Modern vs Contemporary style

Modern style is often confused with contemporary style. The word contemporary means that which is happening at present; contemporary style is thus that which is of the present time. It changes with time. The contemporary style of the 1980s and the 2020s may not be the same. It is ever-evolving as per trends. The modern style, on the other hand, is an established style that has a certain set of rules or characteristic features.

Characteristics of the Modern Classic Interior Design Style of Architecture and Design

The modern classic interior design style of architecture and design is primarily about minimalism. It strongly advocates that function should be the governing principle of any design. Overdoing any element is unnecessary. It rejects the need to decorate or clad a building purely for aesthetic reasons.

There are a few distinctive features of the modern design listed here:

01. New Age Industrial Materials for Modern Interiors

New age industrial materials for modern interiors

The advancement in the field of technology and the invention of new materials like steel, concrete, and glass helped overcome a lot of limitations attached to traditional materials. These new-age materials opened an array of possibilities structurally, and we could develop vertical buildings, long-span structures, and sleek thin walls.

The modern style not only used different materials but also promoted austerity. By using the material as it is, the style developed a very industrial character. Slender steel columns, glass facades, use of exposed brick walls, raw concrete surfaces, etc. are common features in modern bungalow house design.

02. Modern Design with Simple Clean Lines, Rectilinear Forms, and Flat Roofs

Simple clean lines, rectilinear forms, and flat roofs

The new-age materials were efficient and economical when used in a rectilinear manner. Thus, modern architecture took shape, having rectangular forms with clean, crisp lines. Since the form was anyway not important, there was little to no deviation from this rule. All truly modern buildings are typically rectangular blocks with flat roofs and many times repetition of the same module of a floor plate.

The horizontal or vertical lines are well-defined in modern spaces. Curves and ornamental forms are mostly avoided. This, coupled with industrial materials, may sometimes lead to a very machine-like look in modern hall design and other spaces.

03. Open Floor Plan of Modern Houses

Open floor plan

Spatial layouts in modern style were largely open. It aimed to maximize usable functional spaces by reducing hallways and corridor spaces. The open floor plan concept encouraged the elimination of walls for demarcating individual rooms and instead emphasized using furniture to create differently functioning zones. For example, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all situated in one large room; the kitchen island separates the kitchen from the living area. To create a modern traditional interior design, a dining table in a corner of the room demarcates a dining area, and the living space is defined using a sectional sofa.

04. Natural Light and Connection with Nature in Modern Room

Light and connection with nature

The modern style encouraged bringing in natural light within the space by providing large windows. It fostered the concept of the design flowing into the environment and nature becoming a part of the design, thus enhancing human comfort levels. This was possible because of the new-age materials. Architects took advantage of the advancements and created spaces that felt light and airy. It also helped save energy by minimizing the need for artificial light in modern drawing room design.

05. Modern Decor Style with Neutral Colours and Earthy Tones

Neutral colours and tone

Whites, neutral shades of beige, brown, yellow, grey, and sometimes black were the staple colour palette of modern style. The use of bold colours was avoided. Even if they were used as accent colours, they leaned more towards earthy tones. A natural and simple look was the goal of the modern design. This, combined with industrial materials, clean lines, and ample light, created an ideal specimen of a typical modern piece of architecture for modern bedroom interior design.

The ideologies of the Modernism movement were thus centered around function and the truthful use of materials within the space, inclining more towards nature and enhancing the relationship between the built and the unbuilt. The forms of modern buildings may not complement the surroundings, but the interior spaces very well reciprocate with them.

Evolution of Modern Interior Style

The modern style took inspiration from the concepts of minimalism and simplistic design. It has its roots in Scandinavian designs and has also mixed with other design styles to create modern versions of them. We can look at these different styles with overlapping principles of modernism as the evolution of style over the years.

01. Modern Style Minimalism

Modern style minimalism

Minimalism is about simplicity and doing only what’s necessary. Taking inspiration from the Japanese gardens, it encouraged the elimination of all unnecessary elements. The philosophy of minimalism is based on the idea that “Less is more.” Clear, decluttered spaces with sharp, clean lines, whitewashed spaces, no ornamentation, large windows bringing in ample light, sleek furniture, etc. are typical features of a minimalist style.

This style is so similar to the modern classic interior design style that one can hardly differentiate between the two. The difference probably here is that every single element will have a designated purpose and the use of extra elements is avoided. It encourages and facilitates a minimalist lifestyle. It is perfect for small spaces, as it keeps the eyes engaged without grabbing too much attention by making it look less busy.

02. Scandinavian

Scandinavian with modern touch

Following the same philosophy of rejecting formally ornamental buildings and focusing on simplistic, function-centric design, the Scandinavian style is not very different from the modern style. Originating from northern European countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, Scandinavian interior designs were in a way a simplistic expression of vernacular European architecture. This style aims at enhancing the comfort levels within the space using light, warm walls and flooring, and large windows that bring in natural light and boost connection with nature.

The other key features of the modern traditional interior design style include a neutral palette, clean lines, efficient energy mechanisms, and odd shapes. The most distinguishing quality of modern architecture is the use of bold forms, especially for the roofs of houses. Achieving hygge in the space is the goal of the design style. It essentially means coziness and comfort, thus Scandinavian designs are always very comfortable. The use of warm tones is seen, wood is used in its raw form and excessive decor elements are avoided.

03. Mid-century Modern

Mid-century Modern

Much like the modern eclectic interior design style, the mid-century modern style also embraced new-age materials and promoted clean and sleek designs. The style developed in post-war America, where the focus was on enhancing living conditions and fostering family life. The style was taken up by several great architects of the time who had slightly different takes on similar principles such as connection to nature, a clean look, muted colours with soft warm tones for furnishings, etc.

The material palette here consisted of a mix of traditional materials like wood, brick, and stone combined with modern materials like concrete and glass. The volumetric composition was different from the modern style, and it paid attention to massing. The exteriors and the interiors were intermingled with the natural surroundings.

04. Modern Rustic

Modern rustic

This is a blend of modern style and rustic antiques. It uses principles like clean lines, the functionalism of modern style combined with natural materiality, and antiques. This style is particularly adorned with the extensive use of wood in its floorboards, ceilings, and furniture. This style is the result of the designers’ attempt to incorporate modern style into historic buildings.

It can be looked at as a bolder take on modern style, with the use of exposed materials, darker colours, and ornamental furniture. Antiques are an important element of this style for modern bungalow house design. The modern rustic style merges two contrasting styles into a perfectly balanced blend of heritage and modernism by using the overlapping features of the two design styles. In a way, the modern rustic style depicts the evolution of the modern design itself.

05. Modern Glamour

Modern glamour

Springing from the Art Deco style, the modern glamour style is a rather artistic take on modernism. It follows most of the modern design principles, like streamlined design, clean lines, material expression, functionality, etc. However, it does not stop there. It adds to the character of the space by incorporating artistic elements, delicate ornamentation, and comforting colours.

The modern bungalow house design glamour style uses fluid lines, soft curves, and edges, soothing yet bright colours, decorated furnishings, statement furniture as art, sculptural lighting fixtures, and a splash of golden or metallic bling. Many a time, in such interiors, the backdrop of design-meaning the walls, floor, and ceiling remains modern, and the whole play of artistry is brought about by the actors- the furniture, furnishings, art, etc.

Why You Should Go for the Modern Decor Style?

Go to for modern decor

If you’re someone who loves a simple, clean aesthetic for your space, the modern decor style is for you. This style of decor is also for all the minimalists, who like to consume less and make the most of what’s available. Uncluttered and organized spaces are the fundamentals of this style. If you like to use materials in their raw form, or if you love simple whites and neutral colours then you can go for the modern house interior style.

What Kind of Decor Should You Purchase?

Decor for modern style

Modern decor is typically characterized by sleek surfaces, simple geometric form, a machine-like raw aesthetic and streamlined furniture. Sometimes a pop of bold colours is added to a neutral space using statement furniture pieces.

The materials used for modern eclectic interior design decor differed from region to region. Some used steel, some plastic, and some plywood; thus, different designers came up with their versions of modernist furniture. In their book, ‘Designing Interiors,’ designers Kilmer, R & Kilmer, W. O.[402]  have listed a few examples of famous modernist furniture, including the Eames chair, Wassily chair, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, etc.

Eames chair

Eames chair is one of the most popular pieces of modern furniture that is extensively used even today. Made of cast aluminium and moulded plywood, and finished with leather, the Eames chair is recognized as an icon of modern American design. It is Charles and Ray Eames’s interpretation of the 19th-century club chair. The chair’s minimalist appearance and its experimentation with new materials and technologies are what made it a hit.

Wassily chair

The Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer is another famous piece of furniture of modern design. Inspired by the strength of tubular steel, the designer created the chair in the constructivist style, using elemental lines and planes to form an elegant silhouette.

In general, long and low furniture made using materials like wood, glass, and steel, used in raw form, and finished in leather upholstery are common features of furniture for modern bungalow house design.  

Modern Decor Elements

Modern decor elements

Apart from the use of minimalist modern furniture, you can bring a few decor elements into your home to give it a modern aesthetic.

Modern art:  Modern minimalist abstract art can uplift the look of a space. Many times, in modern homes, art is the only element of decor. You can add some colour to your space through art. However, make sure that the art looks like it belongs to the space. Also, don’t clutter the wall with too many things.

Add a plant: To follow the modern concept of blurring the boundary between built and unbuilt spaces, add a plant as a decor element for a simple modern design house.

The modern decor style will give your space a very subtle and chic look. You don’t have to do too much to get a modern vibe in your space. Just follow the principle of simplistic minimalism in your design.

Here’s a video to sum up all the points mentioned above:

Frequently Asked Questions For Modern House Interiors

01. What Is A Modern Style In Interior Design? How Is It Different From The Contemporary Style?

What is a modern style in interior design?

The modern design style belongs to a particular era that started with the modernism movement. Triggered by the Bauhaus philosophy, it has a few defining characteristics. The modern style is about functionalism and minimalism. Contemporary style refers to the style that is seen as a general trend now. It may or may not be a complete style in itself. It can be a combination of different styles or simply something that is trending.

02. What Are The Different Styles That Come Under Modernism?

Different modern style

Modernism has evolved a lot since the movement first started in the 19th century. Several styles have taken inspiration from the philosophy of modern style and vice versa. A few of the styles that closely resemble the modern style and can thus be clubbed under the umbrella of modernism are The Scandinavian style, Minimalism, Modern Rustic, Mid-century modern, Modern Glamour, etc. 

03. What Are The Trends Of Contemporary Architecture In 2022?

Trends of contemporary architecture

Contemporary architecture changes constantly. The top interior design trends of 2022 include eclectic interiors with layers of different styles. This includes a monochromatic colour palette, use of warm colours, flexible spaces, curved surfaces and forms, bold ceilings and wallpapers, maximalism, use of smart and energy-efficient technology, use of mid-century furniture, adding plants and use of green spaces, etc.  

04. What Is Modern Decor Style?

It is a decor style that works with minimalism. It follows the maxim, “form follows function,” which means that more importance is given to function than form. Furthermore, it has simple lines and a design that has only essential details.

05. What Are The Key Elements Of Modern Decor Style?

Elements of modern decor style

Here is a list of key elements of modern decor style: They are-New-age materials like glass, raw concrete, and exposed bricks; Structural elements like long spans, thin walls, slender steel columns, and flat roofs. Design is made up of simple, clean lines and rectilinear forms. It majorly has an open floor plan. It should allow natural light and connect with nature. Neutral colours and earthy tones are suitable colours.

06. How Does Modern Decor Style Differ From Contemporary Decor Style?

Contemporary modern decor style

Contemporary means something that is happening right now. It means that it’s constantly evolving with time, while modern style depicts a particular period. Hence, modern is different from contemporary decor style.

07. Is Modern Decor Style Suitable For A Minimalist Lifestyle?

Minimal modern decor

Yes, modern decor is very well-suited for a minimalist lifestyle. The modern decor itself revolves around minimalistic details and design with a simplistic features.

08. What Are Some Popular Lighting Options In Modern Decor Style?

Modern lighting

Sleek lights with direct or indirect light can be used. Simple, decoration-free, and minimalistic designs in block colours can be used to create modern decor styles.

09. How Can I Create A Calming And Relaxing Atmosphere With a Modern Decor Style?

Natural sunlight helps to create a calming effect. Colour your walls with neutral tones that add to a relaxing atmosphere. Adding a plant can bring in much-needed calmness and relaxation.

10. How Can I Create A Luxurious Look With Modern Decor Style?

Modern luxurious style

A simple minimalistic design in a lighter shade becomes a luxurious piece itself. To create a luxurious ambiance, add a modern, sleek false ceiling with simple lighting. Neutral tones on walls are used to create a luxurious look with a modern style.

11. What Are Some Popular Decor Accessories In Modern Decor Style?

Modern decor accessories

Sleek lights, a simple minimalistic sofa, chairs and tables, plants, and a simple design centerpiece are some popular accessories in modern decor style.

If modern interior style interests you, then the following articles will as well.

Features of Contemporary Architecture | All you Must Know!
Modern Architecture | Glimpse of its Advantages and Features!!!

Image Courtesy: Image 1, Image 4, Image 7, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12, Image 15, Image 16

Author Bio

Saili Sawantt – She is an Architect and Interior Designer by profession. Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals, both national and international. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai, due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog ‘The Reader’s Express’ and is a practicing Architect & Interior Designer.

Do you have query?

Let our experts solve it for you while you rest

I need help to