What Is Modern Style Interior Design

Sleek surfaces and luxurious feels. These two are the main impressions of a modern style interior design. Like most popular interior styles like the Scandinavian and Minimalism, this style is proven a timeless design statement to have.

A celebration of natural materials and zero tolerance for unnecessary detailing, the clean modern style interior designs make a good choice for prestige hotels, offices and even in your homes as well.

What is modern style and how can we make it our own?



On a broad, general design term, the modern style refers to a space with clean lines, simplistic colors and combination of smooth surface materials like metal, glass and steel.

This style grew out from the age of decorative art appreciation in the late 19th and 20th centuries. A time where designs are influenced by arts, a representation of modernism turned fashion. Some argue that it also rooted back from German and Scandinavian architecture and design. The intention was to create luxurious, sleek and elegance that symbolises wealth and sophistication.

The modern style interior design is adored by many for its simplicity which allows more spaces for self-expression and experiments for individuals to go rampant with their creativity. It is like painting a white canvas with sleek materials and clean lines as the subject. Still, modernism was and is a trend of its own.

An item that is still revered as a statement item to have is the Barcelona chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe first in 1929.




The basis of a modern style interior is to keep it simple, neat and as little walls as possible. Open floor plans work better in a modern style home, where furnitures are strategically placed to carve out the visual distinct spaces of a home, like the kitchen and dining area.

Modern Style Interior Design

With the abundance of natural elements in a modern home, it helps a house to appear much more homely. We’re talking about natural woods, metals and leather. Little adornments keep the place less cluttered, allowing the natural elements to stand out better.

Natural lights are celebrated to further emphasise the airy and open concept. The sleek aspect of a modern home is the choice of using reflective surfaces such as steel and/or glass.

When we combine everything above with a neutral color palette, a modern style interior design is born.



Interior design styles, as the years go by, get interchanged very frequently. Home owners and designers alike rarely stick to a single design. Usually a combination of two which makes interior design a truly unique subject – and all the more confusing definitively.



One major difference is that the modern interior style is specifically of the designs in the 19th to mid 20th century only. Contemporary, as the word suggests, is more flexible to cater to present day and the future style. It’s always changing, always evolving.

The modern style insists on functional decor pieces and accentuate strong lines. Contemporary on the other hand, have decor pieces that could merely be for aesthetic purposes and feature curves to straight lines.

Many people fancy the Contemporary-Modern style as it reflects the basic principles of a Modern home. Comfortable and inviting, nostalgic yet modern at the same time. The best of both worlds, perhaps.



Still within the realms of minimalism and practical art, the mid-century modern is an evolution of the modern interior design. It has its own unique rendition of functional art, keeping decorative items minimal.

Primarily in the 50’s and 60’s, the mid-century modern blew up with its retro elements of organic, round shapes, along with pops of bold hues.

Mid Century Modern Style | Your Casa Concept






Barcelona Day Bed

Besides the Barcelona chairs, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe also designed the Pavilion Couch. Sometimes known as the Barcelona Day Bed.

Built to create a chair worthy of a certain degree of prestige, Mies van der Rohe popularised industrial-age materials to be of recognisable quality and luxurious finish. Today, the pavilion couch is still sought out to be in a modern style home and ideal for commercial space such as hotel lobbies or office receptions.

Keeping to the design principle of ‘less is more’, the pavilion couch is by and large, a leather cushion and a single cylindrical bolster laid on a platform with steel legs. Simple, yet if we were to talk about the specific construction of the couch, it is easy to see how this modern style icon marries modern design and exquisite artistry.

Luxury furniture brand Knoll holds production rights to the Barcelona Collection, with this couch priced at a staggering $11,321.

The alternative to having this iconic piece is seeking for another brand that could produce a replica of the original. Eternity Modern’s replica of the pavilion couch has plenty of positive reviews, recognising that the piece was very well made, comfortable and worth it’s price. You can get the pavilion couch at Eternity Modern at only $1,829. Will I buy it for my own modern style home? Yes.

Pavilion Couch from Eternity Modern





Even as new interior styles emerge, the modern style interior design remains as one of the quintessential designs for its remarkable history and captivating minimal yet functional concept. This particular interior design ages like fine wine.

A greater depth in understanding each design’s fundamentals will be able to help you get inspired with how you would like your future home to be. A question of which style best suits your eyes and  personality, all within the best of your budget.

For more modern pieces for your home, check out Eternity Modern and Manhattan Home Design.

Think this style is for you? What do you like most about this interior style? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


** Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which allows me to earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. There are no additional costs to you.

18 thoughts on “What Is Modern Style Interior Design”

  1. Hi there, I fancy the Contemporary-Modern style. I like the idea of open spaces, little clutter with curves and straight lines combined.

    I have to say I am definitely thinking about getting me a Pavilion couch. It’s really beautiful. I love a day bed and the price is reasonable as well.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Cornelia,

      I would lean more towards contemporary modern as well to be honest! Indeed, good price with good reviews, it’s a steal. I’m sure the day bed will be a fantastic add to your home!


  2. Hey,

    I am so pleased I came across this article. I currently live an oldish style apartment in London. I love living here but I would like to upgrade my apartment to a more modern style. I love the modern style apartments you describe above and from the photos, these are the types of places that I want to upgrade to.

    You are right, class is permanent and I want my next place to be classy. I want it to be a place I can be proud of.

    I will let you know how I get on with my next apartment and if I need any interior design help then I will get in touch with you. IF that is OK?

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Tom,

      Changing to another interior style will be fun (and tiring). I’m sure with good planning, you will be able to design a fine modern home of your own.

      Feel free to drop another comment here. I’ll be happy to assist you!


  3. I would summarize modern and contemporary like this. Modern design refers to an era that has passed, while contemporary design is all about the now and the future. This definition of contemporary design makes it more fluid and hard to pin down. 

    The most popular modern design era is the mid-century modern era of the 1950s and 1960s. This modern design has a distinguishable aesthetic that emphasizes crisp lines, warm neutrals, and balance.

  4. The pavilion Couch is a must have specially for my husband, it can be like his favorite spot for watching TV.

    I’m mostly in the contemporary design, I love the old style furniture but at the same time I have an eye for Modern, with more solid corners and less cluster.

    Thanks for sharing this great Article!

    1. Hey there,

      Good to know that! It is comfortable and great for the living room. 

      Likewise! I appreciate the modern design and keeping things minimal but I enjoy the present art as well. In a way, I feel that contemporary is where individual personalities shine through. 

      Glad you liked it!



  5. Ah, This is literally my favorite thing. I love the sleek look in the simple look of everything. It is weird to think that such little detail on stuff can really amounts to be a lot of detail when you look at it from a for their perspective. I hope that made sense ha ha but that’s what usually goes through my head when I see this type of sleek looks

    1. The devil is in the detail, they say. I totally get what you mean! It’s really about the small things – especially in interior design. 



  6. Hi Sam,

    I am an odd duck when it comes to the design styles in my house. I don’t like just one style throughout my whole house. I like various designs depending on the room of my house. The modern style is something that I like for my bedroom. There is something soothing to me about having simplicity and little clutter where I sleep.


    1. Hi Amanda,

      That’s truly one of a kind! But I suppose it makes your entire home interesting, with each room having its own flair. It would be exciting for guests to guess what interior style is behind each door. Hahaha.

      Fantastic choice. The modern style would be a great choice to bring that calmness and tranquility into a bedroom.


  7. Hi SAM,

    This post is quite educational, but I love it. I believe the contemporary-modern style suits my taste the most. I love the design of my house is comfortable, inviting, and modern simultaneously, and this is what people need the most after a long day working in the office, right? This post makes me design my next house in my mind. So, thanks a lot for your sharing.


    1. Hi Matt!

      Yes I think that is exactly it the psychology behind having a contemporary-modern style in the office is about. That sophistication yet comfortable feel of it. I think it’s a mature interior design that is appreciated by many.

      Glad you liked the post, hope you’ll get to design a fine one for your next home!


  8. Hi,

    I absolutely loved reading what is modern style interior designs are and also the photos in your article. My favorite is definitely the contemporary modern look with open spaces. Contemporary is the future in modern world in my opinion.

    Thank you for educating us all in this area of our lives.

    1. Hi Habib!

      Open spaces are my favourite too. How I wish I could have them hahaha.

      Glad you enjoyed the article!


  9. I personally love modern style interior design a lot because it has this amazing and stylish flare to it. It is simple, sleek and combines materials that don’t make your space look too busy. Less is more is the principle usually employed in this style. This article is very useful if you are thinking of upgrading or switching up your interior design to suit your taste. I am definitely going to take time off to read more on it. The price of the replica pavilion couch is a reasonable price and I will like to try it out.
    Cheers, Sam

    1. Yes, it’s a simple and charming concept where one would be required to think if he or she really need it or is align with the interior design chosen.

      That’s great!


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