Modernism has always held close the idea of clean-cut lines, minimalism, and an angular approach to design. The overall look is tidy, open, and airy - but can often leave a staunch modern space feeling cold and clinical.
Organic materials like wood, greenery, and other natural materials held to bring a sense of warmth, a sense of home, and a sense of personal identity that can sometimes feel out of reach in a modern living space. Wood, in particular, can be key to maintaining the clean, linear lines so cherished by modernist ideals, but in a way that helps to contrast a man-made interior, with the organic richness of the natural world.
In this post, we’re exploring how pairing wood with modern living room design can help bring warmth and relaxation into your space.
Wood accent walls are an incredibly accommodating way to help balance the industrial influence of classic monochromatic modernist spaces.
Adding a wood accent wall to a large and open modern living room is a great way to add textural contrast to an otherwise blank slate. Modern spaces are typically dominated by singular polished or sleek surfaces, so the addition of a wood accent wall creates a dynamic focal point from which to get your fix of texture and distinction.
You don’t have to feature solid wood furniture in your modern space to take advantage of the warming and rich material in your living room design. Rather, using wood as a structural accent in modern furniture is a lovely way to pair and use wood in a subtle way to help break up the metallic, industrial keynotes of modern design.
Couches and sectionals that feature wooden legs , for example, are a good way to bring the organic aura of wood into your furniture considerations and help to create a focal point from which to differentiate the contrast of materials. The same can be said for end tables, sideboards, entertainment units, and coffee tables. Further, the addition of wood to modern furniture design helps portray a desirable retro-chic aesthetic that’s attractive and timeless.
Adding or revamping your current living room pace to include a hardwood floor is an excellent way to warm up a modernist room, but also to help break up the neutral or monochromatic colour palettes to successful in modern interior design.
Playing with the hue of wood stains can help to elevate the perceived temperature of a modern space by utilizing red, Auburn or chestnut brown stains on woods themselves to darken them up and add a boost of colour - and on top of stains, there are many kinds of wood to choose from. Typical pine or maple flooring has a tendency to be light in colour, reminiscent of a light tan - whereas walnut or red oak are already dark enough to carry the warmth of the room. In this situation, it may be easiest and most desirable from a design perspective to treat a darker wood with a sealer, or a clear coat to preserve the material.
On top of the colour, wood flooring also can develop a beautiful warm texture over time, as the wood is walked on, gently scuffed up by foot traffic and furniture arranging.
Should your walls and floor be too opposing, introducing an area rug can help break up and soften the transition between wood flooring and a cooler colour on the walls by breaking up the contrasting colours, creating harmony between the two forces.
Modern design is very much dependent on wall coverings and artwork, as it is about furniture design and structural considerations. Pairing wood frames, for example, with genuine modern artwork creates a harmonious juxtaposition that adds personality and identity to monochromatic art, black and white photography and minimalist contemporary artworks.
Wood and other natural design elements made a huge splash within the interior design community in 2017 and 2018, and we predict that trend will continue to grow into 2019 and beyond, as designers and homeowners are only beginning to unveil how wood can be constantly re-imagined and used in modern living room design.
As an accent feature, as flooring, or as minimal, impactful add-ons to a piece of artwork or furniture, wood is the first choice in a material used to warm up a classically modern space and give it a touch of personality, identity, and energy.