Updated: Aug 26
By Héctor Bellorín
Many people use the terms ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ interchangeably when describing design, but they are fundamentally different concepts. In the world of interior design, a modern style is characteristic of the first half of the 20th century and influenced by the Bauhaus school, whereas contemporary style represents the trends of the here and now. Here, we discuss how you can create a modern design in your home.
1. Plan and visualise your idea
Even great artists start with small sketches or layouts to visualise their ideas before embarking on their masterpieces, and interior design is no different. Begin by taking measurements of your rooms and the larger objects within them so you know the size and shape of your ‘canvas’. Use a large, wide sketch pad on which you can draw two equal planes. One will be the simple design of the room, the other will have sketches of the spaces that your furniture will occupy. Include walls and indicate their measurements, the colour(s) you’d like to paint them, and the objects you’d like to hang or install on them.
2. Keep it simple
Simplicity is the hallmark of elegance. One of the secrets to interior design is the ability to convey emotions and turn simple, ordinary things into magic. Sometimes the perfect light is the only thing that is needed because it reflects its own beauty. Minimalist designs always have their own original image, and they allow you cleaner, wider space to focus on the details of each piece.
3. Create a balanced environment
To create harmony and a seamless, flawless look to a room, balance is key. Try to add perfect symmetry to your spaces. Divide a space into two and ensure each side has an object, or detail, that maintains symmetry and balance. It’s the ying yang approach to interior design where even the smallest details count.
4. Create harmony
Harmonious décor creates a wonderful optical effect and gives us a feeling of tranquillity and joy. Colours are key to achieving this, so before you decide on the furniture and accessories in your room, choose a palette of 2 to 4 colours.
Pick a few tones that will serve to set the mood and use the remaining colours to add detail. You can choose from existing palettes online or create your own. When purchasing furniture and items of décor for your room, take your colour palette with you. Ensure you choose at least one colour and piece that will give your space a natural touch.
Practical décor is a good choice as it helps make your life easier. Decorative objects, in addition to being aesthetically appealing, should also have a functional purpose.
5. Use simple Lines
A style with simple lines is essentially based on the principle of form following function and consists of using geometric shapes. This style has synthesised objects and focuses on designs that are functional. Spaces are refined and have few accessories or ornaments because only objects that play an important role in the space are used.
Tip: Opt for simple furniture with geometric shapes and solid tones, such as white or black.
6. Add art to your space
Keep in mind that a piece of art on a central wall will bring harmony to a space. HBellorin has selected artists in Budapest who offer modern art paintings to match the colour palette of your choice.
7. Add iconic design furniture
Iconic objects of modern design were created during the first half of the 20th century.
Designers such as Eero Saarinen, Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer were the stars of this era, and their works continue to be reproduced. If you’d like to incorporate this style, look for
objects of classic design that continue to be fashionable even today. Though it may be challenging and expensive to get authentic designs from this era, you can find replicas that are just as good as the originals.
Barcelona Chair By Mies van der Rohe
8. Add color
Unlike the minimalist and Nordic styles, modern design allows the incorporation of colour in pure tones (without nuances and gradients). You can also play with tone on tone to achieve greater richness, though simplicity should prevail. The idea is not to go into excess and keep the visual effect of the space simple.
9. Use transparent material
Modernism incorporates a lot of glass mainly due to the fact that the techniques for using this material were perfected in the beginning of the 20th century. Glass considerably expanded the possibilities of modern design and was to design what 3D printers are today.
Tip: Avoid putting curtains on your windows if possible, so you can fully appreciate the shapes in each room and bring part of the outside world into your space.
10. Be timeless
Perhaps one of the most appealing features of a modern style is that it’s timeless. Designs from this era feel current, especially in architecture. Modern-style houses continue to influence construction today.