Like everything in modern design, when it comes to adding color, a light touch goes a long way. Move over, black and white. Neutral color palettes may be the backbone of modern design, but a bit of color brings a breath of fresh air. Muted hues are high on designer’s minds, including the earthy warmth of dusty orange and the sophistication of dusty fig (modern’s subtle take on the purple trend). A little further down the style horizon, we spy natural blush balancing out neutral grays and mossy greens.
· Contrast colors. Blend warm and cool tones for subtle, sophisticated contrast.
· Embrace the new neutrals. Let muted tones serve as modern neutrals.
· Keep shapes simple when exploring bolder shades such as deep brown and navy blue.
· Beyond black. Try warm brown for a modern, rich alternative to black.
We love the emerging “modern country” look, which pairs sleek lines and smooth surfaces with rustic wood finishes. For a lighter, brighter look, try white-washed cork on modern design accessories. Streamlined forms find a perfect foil in wood — the rougher the texture, the better. Matte, unvarnished wood also plays beautifully with marble, creating tabletops, decor, and kitchenware with the perfect cool-warm contrast.
· Look for reclaimed woods. Retain the raw character and integrity.
· Go with the grain. Emphasize the natural beauty of wood by highlighting its grain pattern.
· Share the story. The journey from growth to harvest engages customers and raises awareness.
· Mix it up. Combine smooth, textural and subtly raised surfaces for richly varied interiors.
Lovers of modern design are used to metallics that shine. But a new crop of metals have been creeping into home decor. With brushed and satin finishes, these modern metallics are more glowy than showy. Silver with a slight sheen brings just enough texture to lighting and furniture. Muted gold lends subtle luxe to everything from baby cribs to bathroom accessories. As for the darker brushed metallics? The drama is simply to die for. In all cases, minimalist design lets the finish claim the spotlight.
· Elevate the everyday. Metallic finishes make storage, appliances and functional accessories stand out.
· Create textural contrasts. Combine brushed metallics with glass, plastic, marble and wood.
· Pair brushed brass with blush pink, marble or greenery.
· Work it. Use metallics to bounce light around the room or amp up textural contrasts.
Soft curves and sleek lines bring mid-century modern design directly to baby’s corner. Today’s parents want the living spaces of their littles to look as stylish as the rest of the home. Just look at the latest crib mobiles, baby gyms, rockers and nursery furnishings. Playhouses and ride-on toys have reined in the cartoony details of days gone by, replacing them with simplified silhouettes and subtle colors to spark imagination. Even toymakers are going back in time, returning to natural tin or wood in place of the play room’s plastic.
· Break the mold. Find pieces that appeal across genders and generations.
· Up the playfulness. Pair monochrome color palettes with plush textures.
· Please eco-conscious customers with sustainable, plastic-free products and packaging.
· Treat toys as more than child’s play.
· Styled right, they can also complement design.
No longer just the stuff of skyscrapers and sidewalks, concrete is on the rise as an innovative and Instagrammable material for interiors everywhere. Its simplicity and strength make an ideal canvas for modern design, and designers are pushing the material to the soft side with fluid and surprising looks such as wavy wall tiles and ribbon-like table legs. Concrete cabinetry ups the cool factor of the modern kitchen, contrasting beautifully with warm wood and bright metallics. Throughout the home, pairing the material’s raw roughness with delicate metal and glass results in decor and lighting to die for.
· Experiment with forms and finishes. From rough to smooth and solid to fluid, try out new techniques to tap concrete’s versatility.
· Be inspired by architecture. Borrow shapes and details from Brutalism’s iconic landmarks.
· Combine and contrast. High-shine metals, glass and warm wood set off concrete’s rough surfaces and add a luxurious touch.
· Go beyond the gray. Softly pigmented concrete adds warmth and tactility.
Simple shapes, gentle curves and forms that feel good to the body. The celebrated seating options of modern design have long held to these basic tenets. Now, designers are taking these principles to the extreme with dramatically curved seating that seems to wrap your whole body in a warm and cozy hug. While forms remain simple, the materials lend luxe to every couch, settee and accent chair that embraces this emerging trend. Plush velvet, nubby boucle and supple leather and suede offer all the comfort a derrière desires, while finishing techniques like tufting and pleating create visual texture that delights the discerning eye.
· Take coziness up a notch. Add a faux-fur throw for warmth and textural variety.
· Basically beautiful. For relaxed rooms, stick with never-wrong neutrals like cream and grey, or calming ice blue and sage.
· Go glam. Venture into velvets in rosy pinks and mauve shades for a more luxurious vibe.
· Feel the pleat. This alternative to tufting adds unexpected texture to upholstery.