Yes, the old maxim is still true of modern decorating: Form does follow function. However, as with all truisms, mottos, and mantras, extremes should be avoided and exceptions are common. While for a time all modern decorating insisted that design should always focus on how the space would be used, contemporary modern décor allows for a few incidentals that help to enhance the experience of the space.
Contemporary modern design is still all about reducing clutter and achieving a minimalist look. However, one of the goals of all that elimination can and should be to make space for a fabulous art piece, that eclectic but charming piece of furniture, or a modern table lamp that could not be passed by without purchasing.
Sometimes function does have to take charge. A tiny one-room apartment will need a different approach than an industrial loft. A three-story Victorian cottage cannot be decorated in the same way as a sprawling ranch home. The table that works in a formal dining area will be out of place (or simply will not fit) in a kitchenette, and a lamp that looks clever and cute on a bedside table in an attic-loft bedroom will be dwarfed in a deluxe master bedroom.
Many decorators shun color when attempting a modern look. Although it is true that crisp, clean lines and clear styles are common to modern design, color highlights can provide a focal point to a room. If a room is done in metal and glass, a bright red lamp or a navy blue table can create stunning, minimalist appeal. In addition, sleek and clean does not have to translate into rigid and uncomfortable. Furniture can be modern, functional, minimalist, and comfortable all at the same time. There is absolutely no need to forego comfort for style simply in order to be “modern.” Attractive and comfy are not mutually exclusive.
Of course, one of the biggest challenges in developing a modern style is storage. One of the easiest answers to storage issues is to divest of unnecessary junk. However, even after that’s been done, space still needs to be made to store essentials. However, there are creative end-arounds to this need. This is an opportunity for creativity. Think about a coffee table that can also house board games. Decorative baskets in a bathroom can maintain clean, crisp lines while storing a multitude of toiletry items. With a little planning, a home can be uncluttered without being spartan.
So, go modern with your home décor without sacrificing comfort. Be minimalist without sacrificing frills. De-clutter without giving up all of your prized possessions.