Modern interior design is hallmarked by clean, straight lines and an uncluttered look. It's the opposite of traditional interior design with its ornate, antique furniture and detailed embellishments. Although the terms modern and contemporary interior design are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two.
Whereas contemporary interior design can only mean trendy looks that are in style at any current moment, modern interior design refers to the specific geometrical, clean-lined style called modern. The fact that the modern style may also be a part of a current look or trend adds to the confusion between modern and contemporary. The creation of the modern interior design style is credited to the group of European designers and architects that started the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany in 1919. The Bauhaus philosophy is that form should combine with function in all interior designs. For the first time, useful industrial materials such as glass and metal were combined to create household furniture.
Much of the inspiration for the new modern style came from the uncluttered, geometric architectural features of Japanese house interior design. In Japanese design, space isn't considered as empty but rather as an important element. Form and function are predominant in Japanese interiors. For example, furniture such as a round table may be placed in the middle of a room both to create a focal point and to create a useful area that's easy to access.
Traditionally, interior design materials were different types and colors of wood that were often ornately carved and shaped, so the modern looking stark designs were a sharp contrast to traditional interiors. Whereas detailed wallpapers and printed fabrics in multiple colors added to the warmth of wood furniture, plain walls and accessories in one main accent color brought out the coolness of the new modern furnishings. In this way, traditional and modern interior designs are complete opposites and any combination of the two creates eclectic looks that aren't clearly defined in style.
Organization is a big part of modern interior designs. Since an uncluttered look and functioning furniture are important concepts in the modern interior design style, innovative storage in sleek furnishings is popular in modern interiors. For example, modular office furniture is geometrical in shape and can be stacked and combined in different ways such as a rectangular desk piece used with a curved desk section to add extra storage and additional style.