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Modern & Contemporary Décor

Modern Nordic style homes display a contemporary style that balances a classic aesthetic with sleek, concise lines. It showcases an economic design featuring eye-catching metal, solid wood, glass and other refined materials. Earth tones and neutral colors set a calming vibe that is furthered by a lack of clutter or fuzziness in furniture and décor.

How to decorate modern & contemporary style

While the terms are frequently used interchangeably, contemporary is the latest spin on modern—or mid-century modern of the 50’s and 60’s—that stresses clean, straight lines and a lack of fuzziness in design. The best way to bring modern and contemporary style to a space is with color palette. Start with neutral tones, black perhaps as your base color for your walls or floor edging. Or go with white and soft greens or blues that remind you of nature. You might put gray tile or stained wood at your feet.

Add a neutral-colored rug to bring a warming feeling matched by the textured look and feel of stunning fabric couches and sectionals. Let color jump out where you choose, either through decorative artwork or signature pieces of furniture. Choose furniture and appliances with clean lines, little adornment and materials that accentuate a smart, efficient design.

Modern & contemporary decorating ideas for your home

Applying modern and contemporary décor ideas means getting the most out of a space while helping to guide how it will be enjoyed. Materials to feature are refined wood, glass, chrome, leather and plastic. For color scheme, let simplicity yield a vibe that is calming and sophisticated. Start with white, any neutral color or perhaps a soothing blue and build from there. Dark brown hues can dominate, from wooden floors to leather sofas, wooden sideboards and copper and brass elements of lighting fixtures. The eyes can drift over the sleek elegance of stainless steel, aluminum and chrome in decorative frames, kitchen appliances and along shelving and tables.

Modern and contemporary décor also likes to maximize the effect of natural lighting, while applying a tone-on-tone color coordination to achieve visual harmony while working with a pallet of soft colors. Choose to run a theme of earth tones from the carpet through your furniture and appliances or brighten things up with decorative items, artwork and pillows to elevate the mood.

For ideas on altering a room or doing a dramatic refresh into a more contemporary style, here’s some inspiration from around the house.

Modern and contemporary living room

When searching for how to apply modern décor ideas to your living room, start with your drapes and work your way inward. Visualize the difference in ambience between a sheer or semi-sheer curtain that has the look of fine linen, versus a denser fabric exuding elegance with no frills that transforms a room while complementing fabric or leather couches. Picture a low pile rug in a neutral light gray or charcoal holding a simple framework of solid wood atop a black metal frame for a coffee table. Or go with a modern design that features the airy play of a distinctive grain pattern of walnut veneer stretched out into an oval resembling a surfboard. The compact gracefulness of modern and contemporary carries over to the shelving tucked underneath that you can almost forget is there. The warmth of the piece can echo hardwood floors and adjoining leather couches and sectionals arranged to bring the family and dinner guests together in conversation. For striking, yet soothing lighting, call upon a modern floor lamp with a timeless design that combines a treated glass lampshade, a marble base and lacquered solid oak. As with any stunning piece in contemporary décor, you can use the colors and textures of any individual element to inspire the look of a contemporary bookshelf, modern end table or any other addition.

Nordic modern dining room

Let the eyes of your guests drift upwards to be entranced by the metal work of stunning, yet trim pendant lighting hovering over the dining room table. Or perhaps let a warm glow emanate from the crosshatching of bamboo arranged into geometric patterns for a stunning modern chandelier. Think light beige to dark brown wooden tables supported by wrought metal legs for your dining room table standing atop slate gray tile or burnished hardwood flooring. Apply the approach of modern and contemporary design to dining room chairs by going with cradling plastic shells supported by sustainable wooden legs or choose lush, neutral color woolen fabric cushioned chairs supported by triangular metal legs. Keep fine glassware and plateware on display along with cookbooks with the grandeur of simple tempered glass and the clean woodwork of modern hutches and shelving. 

Modern and contemporary bedroom

To achieve a contemporary look in the bedroom, apply a minimalist design featuring clean lines that delivers big on comfort and elegance while not being overly decorative. Think light beige, oak veneer side tables on either side of the bed with tall legs that leave room for storage below in true modern style before giving way to open shelving and a drawer with a pull-out stopper. Place a classic looking metal and glass alarm clock atop the table to complement an adjustable black steel wall lamp with stunning zinc components to help you read. Perhaps place a heavy woolen gray fabric throw at the base of your bed to complement an area rug and the smart, room darkening curtains that fall softly and evenly while being set to a timer to open or close automatically. For your bed, think clean, compact lines of solid wood that match hardwood floors and, in true modern Nordic style, rise elegantly to a headboard that doubles as attractive storage space for books or mugs. Apply recessed spotlighting or dimmable uplighting in striking fixtures featuring treated glass and brass to create a warm ambience and highlight works of art.

Nordic modern bathroom 

It’s easy to apply the efficiency and clean lines of modern décor to the bathroom to help you maximize space and get on with your day in a harmonic setting. Think black and white tile and woodwork offset by a gray shower curtain dancing with geometric patterns. Let an elegant, chrome plated vanity light float over your bathroom mirror. Apply a modern, industrial expression of compact Nordic design with a metal bathroom shelf that holds toiletries up top while storing towels and shower caps down below. Keep essential hygiene accessories organized and neatly on display in glass jars topped with cork lids—all resting snug in a tray made of beige cork. Let the clean, organized aesthetic of modern Nordic style extend up your bathroom wall with compact lacquered bamboo shelving that can also match other accessories such as bamboo soap dispensers or toothbrush holders.