Derived from iconic pieces of Mid-Century Modern design, today’s modern home decor is warm and nature-inspired. Modern decor items emphasize a return to simplicity and a focus on sustainability. The look is relaxed and elevated without including anything too dainty or precious.
Crisp lines and warm neutrals characterize modern design. The color palettes are earthy—composed of tans, rusts, and emeralds. Furnishings are typically made of natural elements like wood, stone, and jute. Modern design reveals and showcases the beauty of the material itself. While it does incorporate a few metals, modern home decor typically shies away from industrial materials like steel and concrete—unlike contemporary home decor.
The best modern home decor items add texture, visual contrast, and timeless style to your home. Here are the six must-have modern decor items I think every home should have.
Six Subtle Yet Impactful Modern Home Decor Items We Just Can’t Live Without
#1 Sculptural Art or Furniture
The decor items you bring into your home should speak to your personality and tell your story. Whether it’s art pieces, furniture, or decorative accessories, integrating sculptural modern home items into your interior design is a must. If you don’t have a large art collection, sculptural art is a great way to start.
A smaller piece tucked into your bookshelves or displayed on your coffee table will definitely get your guests talking. It never fails to make a statement! I love this stone Tallis from Made Goods. It’s reminiscent of a traditional Celtic knot, which instantly adds style and meaning to the room. The polished stone looks beautiful against rough textures like brick or wood. It also works well on a leather ottoman or an acrylic cocktail table.
Another option is to explore sculptural furniture that ties natural materials and organic forms into your design scheme. For example, the desk, accent table, and statement light fixture in our University Place study all add a sculptural quality to this space.
#2 Wishbone Chairs
As relevant today as when they were first introduced, the wishbone chair is a gorgeous decor item you can use with any design style. Whether you place it in a breakfast nook or the living room, it’s a versatile chair that will never go our of style. The simplicity of its elegant, curved frame is equal parts modern and traditional.
Top a wishbone chair with an upholstered seat cushion to give it a casual, East Coast feel. Choose a sleek black finish and pair it with a statement chandelier light fixture to add a touch of glam. A round dining table with crisp white wishbone chairs on top of a patterned rug creates a welcoming space you won’t want to leave.
#3 High-Performance Fabrics
Whether you have kiddos, pets or both, messes are bound to happen. But the decor in your interior shouldn’t be influenced by the possibility of something being ruined because of spills or stains. Selecting a high-performance fabric for your home ensures the interior will stay Classically Current for years to come.
Selecting materials that are safe, healthy and look beautiful makes my design heart happy! The home decor we select is intentionally chosen because of its heirloom qualities, durability, and sustainability. High-performance fabrics are designed to not only to make a fabulous design statement, but to also make a positive impact on the environment.
Revolution Fabrics creates gorgeous fabrics from up-cycled materials. I’ve used their high-performance fabrics on host chairs in formal dining rooms and on sofas in casual living rooms. It’s a fabric that can be used anywhere in your home. I love how these fabrics celebrate the beauty of a material that would otherwise go to waste.
We also work with House + Town to reupholster existing pieces with performance fabrics, or create pieces that are wholly customized to the client’s lifestyle and needs. At Braeswood Place, House + Town reupholstered the client’s pool house armchair in a Geronimo collection Zinc Santa Fe rainbow fabric. They also upholstered a storage ottoman in a blue leatherette that resembles pieces in the main house. This fabric, however, will stand up to splashes and drips from kids playing outside in the pool.
#4 Modern Flush Mount Pendant Lights
Proper lighting is an essential element in creating a room’s ambiance. Flush mount lights are typically used to provide ambient light in rooms with lower ceilings. These light fixtures are perfect for making an unexpected design statement in a room.
You can use them to add texture or bring some of the outdoors inside. This flush mount light is a modern interpretation of the outdoors. The gentle curves bring to mind the movement of water. And instead of a traditional wood finish on the decorative branches, a brushed silver finish gives it a luxe touch. I could see this fixture in a mountain home or a study.
Jute is a beautiful, functional, and sustainable material you can use in many different ways throughout your home. One of my favorite ways to incorporate jute is with a rug. This natural fiber is easy to vacuum and can be spot-cleaned with soap and water. It’s ideal choice for our clients with kiddos.
On its own, jute tends to have a casual, coastal aesthetic. But because of its neutral brown hue and natural texture, it’s versatile enough to work with a range of different design styles.
This Serena & Lily jute rug adds a beautiful layer of texture and personality to this neutral hallway. It softens the wood floors and gives the hallway a homey feel. The delicate braided diamond design creates visual interest without overwhelming the design.
If you have an open concept space, jute rugs are a great way to make it feel cozy. Layering a bold patterned rug on top of a jute rug balances the design and creates a beautiful focal point in the room.
There’s nothing like have a home that makes you happier and healthier! Incorporating greenery into your home’s interior not only elevates the design, but it purifies the air and improves your mood. The key is to select greenery that’s sculptural. You don’t want anything too flowery. Greenery like sand dollar eucalyptus or a single banana leaf look stunning in a sleek vase.
Touches of greenery in this modern master suite give it a summery, exotic feel and adds a layer of softness to the edgy design. A large banana leaf and small arrangements on the night stand visually contrast with the large scale bed frame and crisp white color palette. It’s a serene space that gives a modern nod to the outdoors.
Why We Love Modern Home Decor Items
What I love about these modern decor items is that they inject style and personality without overwhelming the design. The beautiful lines add interest and visual texture in an understated way. The natural materials lean toward a more neutral color palette which means you can easily incorporate any of these pieces into your home.