In popular imagination, the word ‘home’ evokes pleasant feelings of well-being, tranquility and security.
Your own home is the perfect refuge where you can relax in the company of your family and friends, regain the energy you have spent during the day, and get away from the chaotic pace of everyday life.
This search for serenity inevitably leads us towards the design of a hospitable home, with welcoming environments.
This is a complex process, in which a good amount of time, effort and attention must be invested choosing every detail to get it right: lighting, furnishings, arrangement of objects, selection of the most suitable materials for floors and walls, colours to be applied to walls.
A set of apparently unrelated elements, at least initially, which takes shape day after day and, during the restyling phases, reveals a very precise stylistic direction.
In an analytical process aimed at defining environments, colour choices certainly play a fundamental role. This is why it is crucial to carefully weigh up all the factors involved before deciding on the guiding palette for your home, and assigning a shade to the walls of different rooms.
There are various ways to modulate the atmosphere of a room, making it more or less warm according to its function and characteristics, and colours are one of the most effective methods at the interior designer's disposal.
In this in-depth article, we will see, in particular, which colours we can use to infuse a room with warmth, while maintaining a stylistic orientation and a contemporary mood.
- Characteristics of modern style
- How to furnish an interior in modern style: 5 valuable tips
- The colour combination that works for your modern home
- Modern style: every room has its own colour
- Find colour harmony to decorate your modern rooms
Characteristics of modern style
Before delving into the world of colour, it is good to briefly summarise what it means to furnish a room in a modern style.
In interior design, the modern style was born in the 19th century, in the wake of the industrial revolution, with a very precise intent: to make dwellings more functional and rational compared to the glitz and 'pure' decoration of past styles, without however giving up beauty, harmony of form, fine materials and other aesthetic qualities that make rooms elegant and refined, as well as comfortable and practical to live in on a daily basis.
The most important difference introduced by modern style, compared to classical declinations, is a greater adaptability to changes in society.
Modern style is more flexible and versatile, with a predilection for the use of simple, linear forms, aimed at rationalising the available space and the specific function of individual rooms.
Decorative elements, although still present and, in some ways, indispensable for shaping the style of the room to the personality and habits of those living in it, play a less central role than in the past.
The focus is on minimalism and understated, essential design.
The use of colour and decorative patterns is also more parsimonious: surfaces become more homogeneous, with finishes ranging from glossy to matt, and uniformity is preferred for the colour palette although there is no lack of chromatic details with a strong visual impact, which we can find in a portion of wall painted in a bold shade or covered with an original wallpaper or in a piece of designer furniture, a complement, an accessory, a rug, a lamp.
How to furnish an interior in modern style: 5 valuable tips
If you are thinking of furnishing a room in a modern style, you should take inspiration from the luxury-à-porter design by Adora, Arredoclassic’s contemporary brand, and follow these few but fundamental tips.
1. Opt for large rooms
Sharing and openness are the key concepts for designing contemporary style environments.
Large rooms do not require a lot of space.
Simply optimise the square footage by creating open, dynamically connected spaces. The absence of closures (doors and partitions) contributes to visually enlarging the rooms and giving the impression of greater depth. Not to mention the light and airiness, which double, making everything more livable, light and harmonious.
A classic example of this is the modern living room, which is often designed in such a way that a kitchenette and dining area are combined within it. The result is an open-plan living room enhanced by large windows and furnishings that combine functionality with a sense of cosiness.
In the Poesia collection by Adora, the light coming from the full-wall glazing enhances the rational and symmetrical arrangement of the seating and the equipped wall, making the environment clean and elegant, while the guiding colours in warm earth tones warm the atmosphere and make it incredibly familiar.
2. Choose furniture with simple lines
The furnishing trend of modern style includes, as mentioned, a minimalist and functional imprint. This means that, also from an aesthetic point of view, modern furniture has a certain preference for practicality.
This explains why in the furniture of living rooms, kitchens and modern bedrooms, we find a predominance of sharp, square lines as opposed to the curved, sinuous shapes of the classic style. Often, doors do not have handles, preferring the practical push-pull system.
The same criterion applies to the sofas, designed not only to be comfortable and elegant, but also to occupy space rationally, with compact shapes and geometric lines.
Even in modern style, there is no shortage of stylistic admixtures. For example, in the most luxurious environments, furnished with charm and elegance, with attention to detail and love for the canons of classical beauty, we can find sofas that combine the modern concept, linked to the concepts of modularity and versatility, with a classically inspired design, which conveys a pleasant sense of warmth and cosiness.
This is the case with the sofas from the Allure collection and the Diamante collection. The former, with their large, soft shapes, are a real invitation to relax. The latter pick up on the fan shape typical of classical and neoclassical canons, giving an evocative vintage touch to even the most contemporary of living rooms.
3. Do not leave any bare space
Be careful not to confuse the concept of modern minimalism with that of a bare environment.
Minimalist décor focuses on the essentials, combining aesthetics and practicality, providing an uncluttered, harmonious and perfectly balanced overall view of each element, with understated and consistent colour combinations and the possible addition of bolder touches of colour or iconic pieces of furniture that catch the eye. A bare environment, on the other hand, is simply an unfinished, neglected and unwelcoming space.
Don't be afraid to 'load' the room when furnishing a room in a modern style. Modern does not mean bare!
Therefore, hang pictures and decorations on the walls, display the objects and accessories you are most fond of on shelves and racks, show off luxurious furnishings such as the Diamante display cabinet or the Sipario jewellery table: the contemporary dimension of the room will be enriched by stylistic refinement and enhanced by great Made in Italy design.
4. Use colour contrasts, but in moderation
The rule of colour contrast is always a winner both in interior design and in the world of design and visual communication in general. Indeed, the human eye is attracted to contrasts, because it is through them that it can perceive variations and changes between one object and the other.
The modern furnishing style uses colour contrast, but does so in a 'subtle' way. That is to say, it prefers to build assonances and similarities: tone on tone and combinations of different shades and intensities of the same nuance.
It reserves sharp contrasts for details, furnishing accessories or points in the home where attention needs to be drawn. For instance: the Atmosfera sofa with the expressive force of the blue/gold contrast reinforces the centrality of the sofa element in the economy of the room and emphasises the modern character of the composition.
5. Don't choose just one colour
The monochromatic scheme goes well with the essentiality of contemporary furniture: think of the brightness of a modern total white living room, further enhanced by large windows and the absence of partitions.
However, it is always inadvisable to rely on a single colour to define the style and atmosphere of a room.
What would happen if, in addition to the furniture, the walls were also completely white? We would have a flat, soulless environment. White would no longer be synonymous with light, but rather with coldness and emptiness.
In this case, the right choice to enhance the modernity of glossy white furniture could instead be a wall with a contrasting colour. Not necessarily a strong contrast, a neutral shade would also be fine, as long as it is not too light (otherwise there would be no contrast) or too cold. Ideally, for example, a warm beige or a medium-dark grey.
It is with the right colour combinations that we can transform the face of our environments.
It is precisely on this last point that we want to focus to offer you some advice on which colours to choose to transform an anonymous room into a 'living' and cosy environment.
The colour combination that works for your modern home
Whatever your purpose, you must bear in mind that the choice of colours, in order to make a room cosy, is vital. Furthermore, colours are decisive for creating a continuum between rooms or, on the contrary, for completely breaking the visual homogeneity.
Before we start, ask yourself a few questions: do you want to create an elegant or an informal bedroom? Do you want your living room to have a classic or a modern atmosphere?
Once you are clean on what you want to achieve, you can start moving towards the colour palette that best suits your objective.
If you have even a smattering of Itten's colour theory, you will know that warm tones are generally used to communicate positivity, energy, sunshine and warmth, while cool tones are used to instil calm and reflection.
This rule also applies when creating an interior design project, as long as you consider it flexible, and not rigid.
It is not enough to choose a colour to achieve a certain effect. In making the choice, you should take into account the many variables involved (e.g. the level of brightness, the size and specific function of the room) and, above all, the combinations of the various shades.
Black, on its own, could make the room too dark, but when combined with white, it becomes a chic and modern solution among the most widely used in interior design.
Knowing how to correctly combine two (or more) tones means being able to enhance the qualities of both.
What are the colour combinations that make a modern room cosy?
Let's take a closer look at the colour pairs that, when combined, can create a warm and relaxing ambience.
White-brown: the power of earthy tones
Frequently chosen to furnish luxury accommodation facilities, the white-brown union is an evergreen choice synonymous with undisputed refinement and elegance.
White, while apparently aseptic and flat, is instead an excellent base from which to start, thanks also to an extensive palette - cream, butter, ivory, milk, off white - which broadens the freedom of choice, facilitating the achievement of satisfying and not boring results even in the long term.
Its purity lends itself to fusion with earthy shades of brown: dove grey, chocolate, terracotta, hazelnut, caramel, rust are just some of the options available on a very rich colour scale.
To add to the welcoming effect obtained by this combination, it is advisable to include some furnishing accessories in tone with the palette velvet chairs, armchairs in light colours but also side tables in delicate nuances.
Grey-mustard: the elegance of opposites
Especially when it comes to the bedroom, pure grey is an absolute protagonist, providing a relaxing and classy atmosphere.
Its versatility makes it an excellent ally in colour schemes: it never overpowers, rather, its presence creates a pleasant balance with the surrounding colours.
Grey comes from the combination of black and white; depending on the percentage in which we combine them, we can create different shades of grey. Grey can also be created by combining three primary colours in equal parts: blue, red and yellow.
In an interior design project, this colour adds sophistication and versatility to a room, creating tone-on-tone combinations with a total decor effect.
Grey can also be combined with colours that need to be balanced or enhanced.
Among the many winning combinations, the grey-mustard combination is certainly a must for those who wish to design a visually balanced space where the shades blend, enhancing each other's qualities: the discretion of grey counterbalances the energy of mustard, vital and positive but never excessive.
These colours make any room feel cosy and are particularly suitable for creating a sophisticated, understated, yet relaxing bedroom.
The success of both shades was recently made official with the title of Pantone Colors 2021: Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow, respectively a solid, reassuring grey and a bright yellow, symbolising strength and optimism, made the podium.
Blue-beige: evergreen with a Mediterranean flavour
For a clearly Mediterranean-inspired effect, we dive into naturally cool shades of blue, which envelop us when combined with beige.
Blue has a relaxing effect on our organism, and helps us combat anxiety. In an interior design project, this shade balances out rooms that are too exposed to sunlight.
Beige, on the other hand, is a colour that adapts well to both cold nuances, such as blue itself, and warmer colours, such as orange or wood tones. It can give a sense of hospitality to the environment and generate tranquillity.
In a chromatic restyling path, the beige-blue combination rewards the understatement of the former and the refinement of the latter, resulting chic and always up-to-date.
In a bedroom, this colour combination can help you sleep more soundly and peacefully, while in the dining room, it seems to reduce stress and consequently an unhealthy appetite.
Sage green-cream: timeless romance
A far cry from the bright and vivid shades of grass green and very close to the discretion of olive tones, sage green is experiencing a moment of great success within the home decoration sector.
Widely used in the 1970s and then left on standby for some time, it is now back in the limelight, thanks to the versatility of being a light and never overpowering shade. Matt but not dull, low profile but not anonymous, this colour makes every room in the house welcoming.
It is a colour that brings wellbeing and is reminiscent of nature and the outdoors; it pairs well with neutral tints that accentuate its elegance.
Pink-caramel: luminous harmony
Once destined exclusively for the girls' bedroom, pink has now finally been let loose, returning to fill all the rooms of the house, without exception. In pastel and powder tones, this shade creates a serene and harmonious atmosphere.
Let's forget the baby effect and imagine the calmness of an enveloping and discreet palette, suitable for spaces with generous dimensions but, above all, for smaller areas: the brightness of light pink gives luminosity even to the most hidden points.
If we want to choose colours that make every room feel cosy, we opt for a combination of soft shades of pink and caramel, which is more intense than beige and less impactful than brown, and gives the colour involvement typical of shades close to a natural dimension.
Modern style: every room has its own colour
One of the musts of the modern furnishing style is to create stylistic uniformity between the various rooms in the house.
Several elements can lead the continuum, with the most recurring being the floors: by choosing them in the same colour (or colour scale) and style, a formidable visual-spatial continuity is achieved, which reinforces the harmony and orderliness of the composition, and emphasises the famous minimalism so dear to the modern style.
Until a few years ago, the style of the walls was also used as a binding agent between the various rooms in the house, but now the trend has changed. The colour we choose for the walls affects the stylistic definition and overall atmosphere of a room so much that it is unthinkable to use the same shade everywhere.
The functions performed by the living room are completely different from those performed by the bedroom. And the same can be said of the bathroom, the study or the children's room.
Each room should be conceived and designed as a separate environment: this does not mean renouncing the visual continuity of contemporary style, but rather giving the right importance to colour harmony.
To ensure stylistic homogeneity, we could choose a uniform palette for the whole house (e.g. the blue scale) and then modulate the different shades, also increasing or decreasing the temperature and intensity, depending on the room to be painted.
So we could have a soft baby blue in the bedroom and bathroom, a vibrant turquoise in the children's room, a sophisticated peacock blue for a portion of the living room wall and periwinkle blue for the kitchen wall.
This is just one example. We could make countless examples using warm shades, such as red and yellow, or neutrals, such as beige and grey.
If instead we wanted to opt for a different shade in each room, especially designed for its specific characteristics, here are some tips for choosing the most suitable ones.
The master bedroom is where you relax and seek intimacy with your partner. The choice of colours for this area is crucial to create a relaxing and homely ambience.
You can opt for:
- Beigescale: beiges are very versatile and, in lighter shades, manage to be both restful and cosy at the same time. Beige instils calm and soothes sleep by creating elegant and refined colour effects, particularly when combined with white floors or wood-finish furniture
- Blue: deep blue can be used for accessories, cushions or curtains, while for walls, light shades are the ideal choice, preferably pastel, dusty and shaded ones
- Grey: grey is the modern colour par excellence and is perfect in every room, including the bedroom. You can combine dark grey with white or baby blue, for a decidedly refined effect, or create a contrast of character by combining the neutrality of grey with a warm shade, such as yellow, or a cool one, such as purple or the same blue
- Lavender: in its softer shades, the colour lavender is widely used in modern bedrooms, as it stimulates rest and highlights furniture and accessories
- White: white walls are only good if properly balanced with coloured accessories and warm materials such as wood. Otherwise, they could convey coldness, emptiness and restlessness, feelings to be avoided in any environment and even more so in the bedroom
The living room is the place where you spend most of your time: choosing the right colours can be more complicated than you think.
We recommend you choose between:
- Dove grey: a colour that is easy to match with furniture and adaptable to both a classic and a modern living room
- Black and white: a timeless and easy pairing. All you have to do is paint the walls white and add black accessories. The important thing in this case will be to soften the contrasts by adding grey details
- Beige: beige in the living room is perfect for creating a warm and welcoming ambience, especially when combined with wooden finishes
- Blue: if you want to dare with a more intense colour, blue might be the best choice for the modern living room, because it is versatile and rich in nuances
- Total white: opting for a total white living room means creating an elegant and bright environment; however, be careful to balance it out with the use of complementary colours and the right materials. To warm up the atmosphere you could use, for example, natural materials and earthy tones
The dining room is the place where family or friends gather to spend a few hours together over good food. The shades in this room should be chosen according to the atmosphere you want to create.
Our advice, in case you want to create an elegant and refined room, are:
- Dove grey: a colour that never goes out of fashion, and also one of the most suitable for adding refinement to a room. If dove grey is used as a guiding colour, it is important to liven it up with strong-coloured furnishing accessories, such as black or iron grey
- Green: a bold colour that has recently become very fashionable for the living area, especially in its more refined nuances such as bottle green and sage green. These shades can be combined with various shades of white, or with grey or wood tones
- Blue: blue works best in bright, spacious rooms, especially when combined with furniture with simple, essential lines
Find colour harmony to decorate your modern rooms
Choosing which colours to apply to the walls of your home is part of a process that includes studying the space and style you want to achieve.
Starting the search for colours to make a room cosy means embarking on an interesting journey, through a rich and constantly changing colour palette.
By analysing and taking into account trends and your personal taste, you will be able to achieve an optimal colour harmony for your rooms.
And if you want inspiration, look for the palette that suits your personality among Adora’s contemporary collections.