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Modern Design

What is Modern Style?

First of all, modern style is not contemporary style, although the two terms often get used interchangeably. Contemporary style is in reference to interiors that follow trends being championed by retailers at the moment. Modern style, meanwhile, refers to a particular design style originating in Germany in 1919 and championed by European designers through the twentieth century. Modern style is all about sleek lines, polished surfaces, basic geometric shapes and no fuss whatsoever.

It’s a style that’s particularly suitable to smaller houses and apartments as it’s all about maximising your space through beautiful yet practical furnishings. It’s a timeless look that works for homes that want fuss and frills at a minimum.

What are the key characteristics?

If you want to make modern style work in your home, these key characteristics will help you choose the right décor and furnishings.


Polished surfaces are key to modern style so you want to look at materials such as glass, concrete, chrome and stainless steel. These are durable, hardwearing materials that have a beautiful high-shine finish and offer a clean, sleek look, just make sure you keep decorative extras to a minimum.


Colours should be kept pure and simple. Opt for neutrals or black and white with bursts of vivid primary colours here and there. Don’t use too many colours though, or you’ll overpower the overall look. Instead, pick a palette of just a few colours and stick to it rigorously, keeping bold and bright colours as accents while the simpler colours provide the backdrop.


Keep shapes clean, opting for functional lines and curves. Think ‘serene’ when choosing furniture, so that you’re creating a room that’s an oasis of calm. Furniture should not have any decorative parts or carvings, so all shapes should be simple, clean and elegant.


Accessories are a bit of no-no in modern style. Steer clear of ornaments, trinkets and frills. Instead opt for art that works as a room’s focal point. Naturally, stick to modern art that complements the room. Other items that work well are rugs, either with a plain design or a geometric pattern. These can create distinct areas within your home and accentuate the modern look.

tips for achieving modern style?

Here are three top tips for getting a modern style look in your own home:

  • Keep wooden floors sanded to minimise the amount of grain and to keep the floor sleek and smooth. Even the floor will work towards the overall modern style so this should be got right before any furniture goes in.
  • Shelves should not be freestanding or jutting into the space. Instead, they should be inset into walls or alcoves to keep the lines of the walls clean and smooth. Hidden storage in the bottom of shelves can keep the modern look but hide away clutter that would otherwise detract.
  • If you are in an older house with mouldings on walls, doors and windows, you should consider removing them for a thoroughly modern look

You can contact Sara Corker Designs on 01883 742786 or Contact Us in order to speak to an expert about modern style.

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