Style Primer: Modern

Imagine your ideal home – does it feature clutter-free spaces, clear-cut furniture forms and the minimum amount of home accessories? Are you dreaming of a sleek, spacious interior with minimal pieces to clean and maintain?

If you're a straight-talking, black-and-white, highly specific person who is passionate about clear-cut home design, you might want to discover more about modern decor.

What Is Modern?

Influenced by modern and post-modern art, modern decor is based on the "less is more" concept. By using basic geometric shapes, shiny materials such as glass or glossy melamine, and crisp, linear furniture designs, each modern room should state, "I have exactly what I need to function. No more, no less." An alternate term for modern decor is minimalist.

To get a better sense of this home decor style, look at Miranda Priestly's office in The Devil Wears Prada, or Jay and Gloria's house from Modern Family.

What Does This Style Look Like?

Modern decor is the perfect style for those who love a polished, clean space. Major furniture items, such as couches and dining tables, are created with precise lines. Knick-knacks and ornate craftsmanship are a big faux pas – you should be looking for immaculate dressers and tabletops.

For colour schemes, go with neutral greys, blacks and whites, and have a pop of colour as a sparing feature. If you have polished concrete walls or a wood floor, make sure they are finished to a pristine clean. And let spaciousness be part of the decor, since this style is just as much about what you don't have as what is in your home.

Aren't Modern and Contemporary the Same?

In a word, no. Contemporary decor centres on design trends starting in the last quarter of the 20th century and leading up to today – this includes pieces with thick cushioning, softly rounded shapes and plush, cozy fabrics.

Modern, on the other hand, features a sharper furniture profile with little-to-no room for extra throw pillows and other accents. Learning to distinguish modern and contemporary styles could mean the difference between creating the modern look you want and getting something contrary to your wishes.

Key Traits of Modern Interior Design

On the Low

When hunting for large furniture, keep an eye out for low-profile items. We're not just talking about low-to-the-ground products – the whole look should be as compact as possible and allow your friends to see nothing but wide living space. Living room furniture with no headrests, dining stools with no backs or storage cabinets no higher than the bottom of your window frame are great starting points.

Favourite Example: This Theo two-piece sectional fits the modern profile perfectly. While it is designed to look very compact, you can pull the head rests up from the back of the sectional and put them back when you're done.

Basic Shapes

Rectangles, circles and squares – oh my!

When contemplating pieces to fill your modern home, consider using geometric shapes. If the item contains a lot of soft curves, it may not suit your modern dream space. But should you find something with clearly defined outlines, such as perfectly round circles or rigid rectangular upholstery legs, then you're probably on the right track.

Favourite Example: With several rectangles inside, this White Bark mirror shows how multiple variations of crisp, linear shapes can come together and make a style statement all their own.

No Fluff Allowed

Kick that old shag carpet to the curb, and remove the words "fluff" and "poofy" from your modern decor dictionary. The perfect modern home should stay away from anything that feels fuzzy, furry or velvety. Use leather or a woven fabric for your upholstery, and check your area rug to ensure it features tightly woven fibres that don't tickle your toes.

Favourite Example: Black, grey and white are tightly woven together to create this stunning Prague area rug without becoming bogged down in too many carpet fibres.

Reflective Chic

We're not talking about shimmering, shiny items – we're looking for products with a more natural-ish shine. Materials like tempered glass, chrome or glistening melamine are closer to the ideal of this modern staple.

Favourite Example: These Malang occasional tables offer space to store magazines and books while adding a light, airy look in your home.

Pop That Colour

While your modern living space may be monochrome, that doesn't mean you can't flash some colour to spice up your home. A shocking red accent wall, neon-hued wall art or graphic-printed throw pillows are some quick modern wins you can employ in your home.

Favourite Example: This Aristocrat abstract art piece will add a bold splash of red to your walls, making a modern statement wherever you display it.

Ready to get modernizing your home? Shop The Brick's collection of modern furniture and decor to find the perfect look to suit your tastes.