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bathroom with white rectangular bathroom tiles grey grout and charcoal floor tiles

How to Easily Achieve the Modernist Interior Design Style

Retro vibes in a home can often go too far, don’t you think?

Giving a nod to the mid-Century aesthetic can be a toughie because it’s often an all-or-nothing scenario. And what I find is that the pendulum tends to swings too far toward the older, vintage vibe. And a home that’s vintage in all pockets I am not a fan of (#sorrynotsorry).

You’ll be pleased to discover that you can give a nod to the old while fully embracing your love for a modern interior. And the way you do it is through getting all over the refreshed Modernist interior design style. And my friends at Metricon are the ones showing us how to get it right (all the dreamy images in this post are from their new LookBook theme!).

So let’s take a look at some ways you can incorporate the Modernist interior design style at your place.

modernist black and white kitchen with shiny black splashback tiles from metricon

Modernist Interior Design Style: The Contemporary Base

OK, so the best starting point to rock this look is to keep the entire base of your home contemporary. That means a sleek and striking black-and-white base palette (with a few grey moments too). Hard surfaces in places like the kitchen and bathroom – seen above and below – are a great place to begin.

Linear shapes are the name of the game in your floor and wall tiles. Teaming black grout with a white tile in the bathroom is a genius idea and will really make a statement. A dominant collection of black splashback tiles in the kitchen is another way to keep the modern vibe going.

To warm the entire look up in these areas, introduce light timbers (or veneer). It’s a nice way to keep harder rooms like this from veering into the cold and clinical.

Style Hack:

Give your cabinetry a modernist lift by replacing your existing handles with clean matte black ones. It’ll bring a new mood to the room, and you can install some hooks on the wall to continue the look across the room (as seen below). Try these $17 handles from Bunnings.

white bathroom tiles with black grout in monochrome bathroom from metricon

A modern foundation, decked out with retro finishes, is the easiest way to make this look work. Keep the modern at 70% and the retro at 30% and you’ll be fine

modern master bedroom with grey wallpaper design and white bedding from metricon

Cheaper Ways to Rock it in other Rooms

Of course, some of you might already have your bathroom and kitchen design locked and loaded (and renos are expensive). If this is the case, you can still rock this look in smaller ways.

There are heaps of cheap and easy avenues to creating the Modernist interior design style in other pockets of your home. And they don’t take long to roll out either.

What I do want you to try is two things…

And I know you’ll find this scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Those two things are: black walls, and geometric wallpaper.

I know what you’re thinking: Chris, you’re mad. That is too big a commitment! But as any 90-year-old couple who have been married for 70 years will tell you… fully committing can produce great happiness. And when you’re trying to pull off a trend successfully, you have to go big or go home.

For inspo and advice on dark walls, click here.
And to see 12 wallpaper designs that aren’t at all scary, click here.

It’s OK. I can wait.

Once you’ve checked those posts out, come back to this page. Because a dark wall or a monochrome wallpaper is the best way to bring the modernist style into a living room or bedroom. And from there, it’s all about choosing the right furniture and decor…

dark grey living room wall with floor tiles in living room from metricon

Opt for colourful accessories reminiscent of the mid-Century era: rusty oranges, deep navy, and dark olive tones are your friend.

modernist living room design from metricon with mid century glass top coffee table

Retro Furniture and Decor to Finish

Once you have the foundation of your home done, you’re ready to move onto the smaller moments in your space. And the key to getting that right it to look toward retro finishing touches.

Metricon’s senior interior designer Jacinta Evans tells me that you don’t have to spend a fortune here either, which is awesome news.

“Mid-century inspired furniture is important to the whole theme,” Jacinta explains. “Replica or designer styles from influences such as the Bauhaus designers sit in perfect harmony with today’s contemporary minimal style”.

I’m also told that artworks in abstract, bold tones are a welcome addition to walls, and that greenery is another important element to consider.

“Indoor plants that help to connect the outdoors in, is a way to reinforce this style in any space, with styles such as terrariums working perfectly for this look,” says Jacinta.

white mid century tufted sofa with graphic black and white patten cushion

Go-to stores for the Modernist look

Here are some stores to visit if you want to add a little modernist interior design style to your space:

  • OZ Design is doing some fab mid-Century sofas like this one in a light fabric
  • For replica glass coffee tables like this beauty, Matt Blatt is your best bet
  • West Elm is king when it comes to quirky, mid-Century homewares like these options
  • For black and white geo cushions, check out these ones from Simply Cushions
  • If you want to find some vintage furniture to throw in here, Kitsch Please is stellar

blue and grey velvet cushions on bed in modernist home from metricon

Are you digging the Modernist Style?

I’d love to know if this vibe has your name written all over it. Drop me a comment below and share.

I’d also love to know: where have you picked up some amazing mid-Century pieces for your place? If you’ve bagged a bargain recently, I’d love for you to share it.

And for more inspiration from Metricon, check out their other LookBook interior design schemes here.

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission. © Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.

black and white bathroom ideas from metricon blonde timber floating vanity


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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One Response

  1. Great article thanks Chris. I am doing an assignment at the moment where I have to create a modern interior, so this was a big help (minus the mid-century additions of course!). Love your newsletters and your website, especially the way you inject a little bit of humour into your articles, I always come away with a smile. Thank you

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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