Redefining Modern: The Once-Cold Aesthetic Gets a Warm Upgrade

published Sep 1, 2016
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(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Modern has had a makeover: push from your mind any images of stark, white, ultra-minimal interiors that you associate with the word. The new modern is warm, cozy, tactile, and even a little glamorous. Read on for five hallmarks that are redefining the aesthetic.

Warmer Metals
The warm metal trend has been going strong for a few years now, and it shows no signs of slowing. From brass and copper to rose gold and bronze, warmer-toned metals have overtaken their cooler cousins (sorry, chrome) as the trendiest kid on the block. Paired with sleek lines and minimal style (like in the show-stealing kitchen above via The Design Chaser), it’s a great way to warm up a modern space with a hint of bling. Showing up in light fittings, kitchen and bathroom taps, drawer pulls and even tableware, warm metals are having their day.

(Image credit: Klip Klap)

Darker Colors (That Are Actually Colors)
Is it possible that we may be tiring of A.W.E (all-white everything)? These days, we’re seeing more dusky, darker and deeper hues popping up everywhere from walls to kitchen cabinets and furniture. And it’s not just grays I’m talking about (though they still reign supreme)—blues, greens and even warmer reds and oranges are shaking off their old-school associations and looking downright contemporary. So get out a paintbrush and embrace some color! (image via Klip Klap)

Natural Textures
Not too long ago, modern was code for smooth. Shiny melamine kitchen cabinets, high-tech materials, texture-less floors. These days, designers are using a variety of natural materials, leading to an altogether more tactile take on modern. Think stone, pitted concrete, terrazzo, and timber that sits comfortably between laminated and rustic. (image via Rue Mag)

(Image credit: Retrouvius)

Aged Accents
Modern doesn’t necessarily have to mean new. Perhaps as a follow-on from the rustic/industrial trend, we’re seeing lots of re-purposed materials used in clean, crisp ways. Think patinated metals, well-worn leathers, and reclaimed timber that all still manages to look fresh and new thanks to innovative design, like the parquet-like wall design in the above image from Retrouvius).

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Quiet Glamour
Too often we think of modern and minimalistic as synonymous, but the new modern style can lean a little glamorous and even OTT, in the best possible way. With all those warm metals, deep hues and natural textures going on, it’s no wonder. (image via Yellowtrace)