So you’re looking to modernize your home but don’t know where to start. What was once an exciting endeavor has become a stressful experiment in accent walls and mood lighting. But redesigning your home doesn’t have to be taxing. In fact, it should be a reawakening of your bold spirit in the form of lustrous design and geometric shapes. Get started with these five easy steps below.
5 Things to Modernize Your Home
Death to Clutter
A cluttered house is a messy house. There are no exceptions. No matter how good you think your stack of Architectural Digests look neatly scattered on your artsy coffee table, in reality they don’t. The most salient characteristic of a modern home is its clean lines and feeling of effortless style. Question: when you walk into a house with dim lighting and space packed with odds and ends resembling Ariel’s hidden treasure grotto, do you feel like you can move around freely? Probably not. So let’s follow Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s “less is more” proviso. When we’re free of clutter and disorder, we can then begin to breathe.
Organize Your Space
But the question is where to house your treasures. You can still design your home to feature a prominent art work or statement piece, but make “less is more” your mantra. Be it. Live it. One way to house your books, magazines or electronics is to organize them in a straight-edged, no-frills media cabinet. Another important ideal held by the most rigid of modernists is form following function. Nothing should be in your house that does not serve a purpose. Finding a piece that is both progressive and unassuming isn’t as hard as it sounds. Need to hide those unsightly electrical cords and store your magazines? There’s a cabinet for that.
How to Light Your Way
The way you light your interior space can have a dramatic effect on its usefulness. A modern living room requires a lot of natural light. But if you have a space that doesn’t offer such a luxury, a well-placed pendant light can brighten a room to meet even the strictest modernist’s satisfaction. Le Corbusier recognized that “the history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light,” and your living room is no exception. Transitional pendant lights allow you to control the illumination of the room in style. In true modern fashion, the Pythagoras Pendant designed by Mary McDonald shines a beautiful soft or bright light from every angle. The pendant’s pentagonal shape reflects a bee’s hive, mimicking nature while also built of industrialized materials—the modernist’s dream. Now you can say it’s the light that makes the room.
Don’t be Afraid to Make a Statement
Playing with accents can be a dangerous game. Too many accents make your home look like every “before” picture featured on HGTV. Too little and the room doesn’t feel lived in or comfortable. When you pair a lovely throw rug with a pristine coffee table, the room speaks for itself. Consider the Vlad Coffee Table by IonDesign and the Rabari 2 Rug by Nanimarquina. The transparent, asymmetrical coffee table doesn’t just allow you to appreciate its wooden base, but it highlights the accented rug underneath, filling your line of vision with organic shapes and a cool color palette ranging from bright violets to muted blacks. These modern pieces will anchor your room and balance your furniture pieces. By combining solid, well-designed fixtures with a whimsical accent, you are demonstrating your design know-how.
Make a Splash with Color
Have you ever noticed that your doctor’s office is usually beige or white, while a restaurant is done up in burnt sienna or a verdant green? We associate color with functionality. Beige and white is clinical, while natural colors like sienna olive are warm and inviting, causing us to stay in a space a while longer. Replacing outdated wallpaper with a splash of papaya whip yellow or terra cotta red will liven up your living room while not distracting from its function. Warmer colors bring people together and for longer, the very function of a living room.
If you’re on a budget (aren’t we all?) scavenge the web for seasonal sales and promotional blowout deals. For example, Lumens is running what they call “The Design Event of the Year,” offering a wide selection of brands at discount prices. Or if you’re more DIY-inclined, you can scour Craigslist for quality pieces that just need a little life injected back into them. Don’t be overwhelmed with the task of modernizing your home, just be open to a few simple design tips and you’ll quickly see your environment transforming before your eyes.
I would love to hear your tips you would add to this list.