Posted Jun 25, 2015

How to Determine If Your Decorating Style is Modern

If the “less is more” motif applies to your decorating style, then your apartment might be modern. Clean lines, stainless steel appliances and a lack of adornment is what modern style is all about, and it is a look that has become quite popular in contemporary apartments, especially in urban settings where many young renters are choosing to live.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern

There are many different sects of modern decorating styles, whether you prefer ultra minimalist looks with little to no adornment or textured, industrial spaces with exposed brick and color. That’s the best part about modern decorating– you have a lot of options to choose from.

I would probably call my decorating style modern, and it all started from by minimalist black leather sofa and linear, streamlined kitchen table. I also have a galley kitchen, which makes decorating difficult– hence the less-is-more idea.

Wondering whether or not your apartment fits into this style? If you need to know how to determine whether your apartment is modern, check out some of these minimalist themes below for guidance:

Lots of Neutrals, Pops of Color

One characteristic theme in modern decorating is the use of neutrals, which is easy to do because so many furniture pieces come in black, white, or grey material. However, you don’t want your house to look drab, so be sure to include pops of color to add some life to your rooms.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Lots of Neutrals Pops of Color

Whether it’s a bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen, a lovely bouquet of lilacs in the bedroom or colorful artwork in the hallway, adding these flourishes gives life to a modern look. Another way to instantly add color without going overboard? Throw in a fun rug or funky retro lamp with plenty of color against a black or white accent wall.

Trademark Pieces

Many modern homes will have one signature piece in a room that ties everything together. For instance, in a living room, you might have a chair or ottoman that sets the tone for your decorating. Or in the bedroom, it could be a really cool stand-up lamp.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Trademark Pieces

In a kitchen, it could be an installation of colorful floating shelves. Whatever it is, let it do the talking and build your other accessories or decorations around the statement furniture.

Get Industrious

If you’re living in a city, you might opt for staying in a contemporary loft apartment with exposed brick, which is becoming much more common. If so, you will need to counter this warehouse architecture with a softer modern decorating style.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Get Industrious

For instance, hanging a piece of abstract artwork against a brick wall will give the room color and culture at the same time. Counter exposed plumbing or pipes with sleek kitchen cabinets or furniture that seats low in order to draw attention downward.

Add Patterns, But Sparingly

If you think that sleek white couch or steel-framed bed needs a touch of softness, prints and patterns are an excellent way to go, but be smart about what you choose. For example, pillows with a chevron print will look marvelous on a lighter-hued couch, but make sure that they are the focal point of the room and choose a more muted coffee table or side tables.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Add Patterns But Sparingly


In the bedroom, stick to just one or maybe two accent pillows, if any.

Hidden Storage is Your Best Friend

Although the less-is-more idea seems great in theory, you have to secure spots to store all of your stuff.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Hidden storage is Your Best Friend

Get futuristic and install shelving underneath a sofa, allow floating shelves to double as liquor cabinets or wine and glassware storage and make great use of ottomans and hidden drawers throughout the home.

Work with Angles

One of the reasons why modern furniture works in a lot of apartments is you can find a lot of furniture that works with weird angles or architecture.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Work with Angles

If you have an oddly shaped apartment, live in an refurbished attic or loft or have a lot of staircases that encourage angles, modern clean lines are the way to go.

Embrace Fresh Plants and Original Artwork

As a modernist, you probably steer clear of pieces you can find anywhere. Add a touch of originality by growing your own plants through the house (they don’t have to be too complicated– fresh bamboo or herbs will work!). They add that pop of color I mentioned earlier, are great for your health and serve a practical purpose.

How to Determine Whether Your Decorating Style is Modern - Embrace Fresh Plants and Original Artwork

Artwork for your home should showcase your personality– steer clear of stores that offer cheap, mainstream pieces and splurge on one or two works from original artists that you really love.

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Is Your Decorating Style Modern-

Rachel LaCroix


Rachel LaCroix is from the Music City, but she now calls the Windy City home. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys writing, reading, seeing local bands, frequenting Chicago eateries, playing with her adorable schnauzer and, most of all, traveling. She's seen Costa Rica to Copenhagen and loves it all!

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One response to “How to Determine If Your Decorating Style is Modern”

  1. John Donovan says:

    A modern decorating style is perfect for a city apartment! The clean lines and light colors of typical modern furniture both make the space feel open and refreshing. Using bright pops of color and subtle patterns are a great technique for giving the space character.

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