What is Modern Design?


If you’ve flipped through home decor magazines, browsed style blogs, or tuned into any interior design shows, chances are you have heard the term “modern design” more than once. But what is modern design? It’s tricky. While the word “modern” means “new” or “up-to-date” in the dictionary, modern design refers to a specific era that still resonates with designers today (and most likely always will.) Modern design recycles styles from the 20th century, specifically that of the 1920s-1950s, when the machine age pushed consumers out of pre-Industrial Revolution styles that are now considered traditional. Though born in a specific age, modern design is considered truly timeless.


Modern design is not to be confused with contemporary design, which adversely seems to fit our “new” or “up-to-date” dictionary definition of modern from earlier. Contemporary design refers to what is currently in creation and production right now. Because of that, contemporary style is constantly changing. It can draw inspiration from multiple times and trends of the past, but is still more eclectic and unexpected than the iconic mainstays of modern design. You can always count on modern design to be three things: Clean-lined, minimal and functional. But when it comes to defining these things, pictures can speak louder than words. Take a look at some of the modern interiors in the slideshow below to see the common themes and versatility of modern design.

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AlwaysMod, as the name suggests, curates objects from around the world that fit the definition of modern design. From iconic classics born in the modernism era to new designs inspired by the timeless ideals, the curated collection takes the guesswork out of “What is Modern Design?”

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