21st Century Modern Home Design Essentials

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In a lot of ways, our 21st Century is still being decided upon in terms of interior design and home decor. The idea of the 21st Century home is one that has many definitions right now, with all manner of design traditions meeting the personalities of homeowners playing into that definition. But, there are some basic modern home trends that can be pinpointed.

Writer, and design enthusiast Lauren Greenwood is here to talk about a few of the big ones.


Source: Jeremy Levine Design

We’re now well into the 2010s – how “21st Century” is your home?

The modern home ideal changes constantly to adapt to given changes in cultural, environmental, and familial trends. What this looks like in any given decade can change, but as far as this century goes, there are several key characteristics that are slowly finding their way into the average contemporary home bit by bit. Aside from the variety of options out there for the modern aesthetics (are you more modern chic or modern vintage?), the shifts in functional modern home features are relatively objective.

Modern 21st Century home characteristics

For instance, art deco and minimalist notions of aesthetics have found prominent places in the modern home, and even Oriental influence still hasn’t left its seat in modern-chic. The idea here is to incorporate straight lines, moderate asymmetry, neutral color backdrops, and minimal decoration to allow lighting, texture, and subtlety shine through. This approach also brings natural elements into prominence, blurring the lines between the outside and the inside.

Perhaps the two most essential keywords to consider when trying to make your home more modern are simplicity and functionality. You want to be elegant, efficient, and to invoke a simple complexity of sorts that manages to not sacrifice warmth and sincerity for sterility. That being said, these are five of the best features to make to the interior of your home to, shall we say, “modernify” it.

Start Neutral

The key to starting up a modern aesthetic in your home is a neutral color scheme. Think smooth, quiet white walls and stark black or gray trims; even dark browns are alright. You want the backdrop of your home to fall into its place as a backdrop, allowing finer textures to come to the forefront.

Wide, elegant windows

Installing big, beautiful window fixtures works on a few levels. First, you can save on energy consumption by letting in more natural light and warmth during the winter. Second, natural lighting is easier on the eyes and genuinely provides crisper, more subtle detailing inside the house. Third, it looks great from the outside to have intricate windows and shades looking out on the street.

For the fixture settings, look for something dark and wood-grained to provide some contrast against the bright outside that’ll really stand out around the glass. When it’s all said and done, you’ll love the look of the natural light illuminating your interior.


While You’re at It, Look for Even More Wood Grains

These days almost nothing is more beautiful inside a home than deep, rich, earthy textures and colors. Cherry, cedar, and oak are excellent choices for wood finishes, or even better, for real wood fixtures like armoires, dressers, desks, chairs, tables, and bedframes. If your walls and interiors are neutral/light, primarily white, these piece always look incredible.

Avoid flashy features

When it comes to the furniture, try to avoid anything gaudy or excessive. Frills, tassels, and crazy ornamentation call too much attention and become distracting. You don’t want to have a single feature break the entire feel of a room, you want the pieces to play off of each other and establish a consistent, subtle tone that settles into the mind, not something that shouts to be recognized.

Go retro

Vintage couldn’t be more prominent now without involving a time machine. Look for simple, elegant retro pieces that fit the mold, supplying toned-down, antique sentiments to contrast the simple, modern setting to provide some warmth and character. Art deco works wonders here.


Thanks, Lauren!

Lauren Greenwood is an Australia-based blogger specializing in environmental awareness and green living practices. She writes extensively for RI-Industries, purveyors of pre-cast septic tanks that align with her goal of achieving widespread environmentally friendly lifestyles.





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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.