Modern vs. Minimalist Design

Interior Design Styles for Your Home: Modern vs. Minimalist Styles

Modern and minimalist are two of the most popular design styles of our current day. With regard to characteristics, they share several similarities but still remain two very distinct styles. You may not be entirely sure what they consist of as style, in this article we hope to provide some clarity on the matter. If you are drawn to either style and are considering potentially implementing them in the interior design of your home, it is beneficial to understand their origins as well as their specific differences. Understanding exactly what makes a style helps to be able to execute as effectively as possible.

Read on to discover the origins and manifestation of the minimalist and modernist movements in design and architecture.

Manifestation in Design
  • Modern: Throughout design and architecture, this movement manifested itself in the form of ‘simple geometric shapes and unadorned facades’ embodied by the emergence of steel and glass skyscrapers.1
  • Minimalist: Minimalism in design is characterised by a structure reduced to its necessary elements. Identifiable by the presence of large void spaces, simple lighting and monochromatic colour schemes- particularly white.
minimalist design
Design Style Origins
  • Modern design is rooted in the modernism movement which arose in the early 20th century of Western society, particularly so following the First World War. It is defined by a shift away from realist depictions and towards an alternative embracing of experimentation and abstraction.
  • Minimalist design was founded upon the western art-movement of minimalism which began after the Second World War. Its origin has been interpreted as a reaction against to abstraction in favour of extreme simplicity in form and function.
Characteristic Similarities & Differences

Modern and minimalist designs both strongly emphasize form and function. This shared aspect makes it possible to combine these styles if desired.2 The diagram below indicates the characteristic similarities and differences between minimalist and modern design styles with regard to colour, material and features.

minimalist vs modern design

It is important to remember that there are no rules when it comes to interior design styles. The most misconstrued idea being that you should adhere to one style throughout your whole interior. Mixing styles in different areas can actually create a very exciting dynamic and help avoid monotony as you move throughout the home. The overlapping similarities between the minimalist and modern styles highlighted in this article make it possible to combine them without appearing overly fragmented. Their differences also could also be utilized to establish visual separation between open plan spaces.

Perhaps you can appreciate the minimalist and modern styles but are still searching for that perfect design style that suits you? Take a look at our article on 9 interior design styles for your home which also offers a convenient downloadable guide for your use.

modern design scandinavian

Some of the styles featured in our 2021 interior design style guide, such as Traditional and Scandinavian for example, would prove challenging to make coherent in proximity to one another. If you are someone who is drawn to the unique possibilities of combining design styles to craft an exciting living experience, but you are unsure how to create the perfect balance in combining different styles, we highly recommend you get an architect or interior designer on board for your project. They will provide the expertise you need to design a space which is unique but still well-designed, aesthetically coherent and functional.

If you need assistance with choosing interior design styles or are planning on constructing or renovating your home would like some help, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.


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