Home Inspiration

7 Tips For Great Modern Classic Interior Design

7 Tips For Great Modern Classic Interior Design
Reading time: 5 min

The modern classic aesthetic epitomizes many of the best qualities of contemporary interior design; melding simplicity with traditional features to create clean yet striking spaces that linger long in the memory. With the right eye, modern classic interior design can also be recreated within your own home, simply by following this core set of design principles.


1. Preserve Classic Architectural Details

One of the most compelling assets of your home is often its classical architectural details. Highlighting the defining features of the original building is the perfect way to complement a modern interior. Featuring original pieces like ornate moldings over doorways and in corners is an easy way to have the original classic style of the building contribute to the room’s ambiance. Featuring classic wall paneling with a complementary but traditional statement color, like gray, is another simple yet effective way to accentuate the inherent beauty of the room.


2. Modern Classic Interior Design Means Avoiding Fads

If you are not prudent, modern design can be compromised by bad fads. Fads and passing trends are the archenemies of a timeless modern classic interior design look. Before you fall in love with a fad, think about the functionality of the element you want to incorporate. Timeless design should always speak to a subtle sophistication and should be as sensible. Oversized furniture, busy patterns, or overly ornate or colorful pieces can drain the mood of a room and quickly feel scattered and overwhelming. The trendy elements that you incorporate should never take away from accent pieces or accessories, but should rather highlight and pair well with them.


Modern classic interior design

3. Your Walls Are Your Canvas

That does not mean you should cover your walls with ill-fitting art, but rather, your walls should be a neutral background for the room. Clean, neutral, pale shades accentuate the space in a room. Bright whites give architectural features and moldings the freshening up they deserve, bringing them into the now while highlighting their timeless regality – this is what modern classic interior design is all about. Neutral walls create the perfect backdrop for art pieces and formal furnishings like statues or busts. Statement walls, that is walls that are painted a different color or shade than the rest of the room, can also bring in an interesting modern edge, so long as they keep within the realm of muted, neutral shades.


Modern classic interior design - painting on the wall

4. Add Drama

Modern design loves drama. Whether it is a bold flash of color, a piece of modern art, or pairing a classic table with modern sitting, drama should be a feature of a room, not the tone of the room. You can add splashes of color to a room with modern furniture pieces, or even curtains or shades. It is important to restrain from overwhelming the space with accent pieces, which cannot complement each other if they are competing for attention. Adding a bold light fixture to a room can create an attractive yet functional focal piece. A fusion of modern classic interior design should mix minimalism with a splash of color.


5. Use Natural Materials Like Wood and Stone

Natural materials are the missing link between the modern and the classic. These materials are classic design staples that have branched into the contemporary design world, thus creating an array of choice to create a beautiful interior design. In kitchens and bathrooms for example, natural stone flooring can provide an exquisite backdrop for modern fixtures and old-world charm, well senselessly blending and accenting both.


Experiment with hardwood in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. Hardwood flooring textures like chevron arrangements can work quite well in a modern room, creating an interesting backdrop for a more minimalist design. Adding modern rugs is also a great way to give your feet a break from the hard floors and add warm sensibility or a striking feature to a room more classically dominant in design.


Modern classic interior design - luxury bathroom

6. Avoid Clutter

Modern design is inherently minimalist, while classic design, if done poorly, can become busy and overdone. To expertly blend these styles, choose eye-catching focus pieces to set in minimalist backdrops. An excellent way to combine these two styles without veering too much into either particular ambiance is to first pick out a great antique piece of furniture that you love. From there, build the room around this piece, finding both classic and modern pieces that compliment the antique. This way, you can feature a timeless antique piece, without overpowering its presence or leaving the rest of the room drab.

While everything should have purpose and place, that does not mean you need to stick to function before form. Indeed, a beautiful work of art or stunning antique do as much by simply drawing the eye as another item may do by being the perfect place to sit and read. It's not so much "less is more" than "no more than you need".

7. Get Inspired

Your home should speak to who you are, not just popular design aesthetics. Draw inspiration from pieces of jewelry and clothing that you love. Your favorite off-white cashmere scarf could inspire a warm living room, with off-white walls, and a cashmere throw over an antique love seat. Your favorite pieces of jewelry could inspire the color for a focus piece, or chandelier design. Imbue your home with the essences of what you love and who you are, and it will always be a timeless classic.

As you can see, blending contemporary interior design with the elegance that defines classical architecture takes thought and process, but it can be learned. Now that you have these seven essential tips for bringing modern classic interior design into your home, you have what you need to blend the vogue with the enduring sophistication of by-gone eras to totally transform your home.