Modern Apartment Designs

Kimberly Bartosch
Scandinavian style kitchen

Modern Design for Apartment Living

Modern design is a timeless and iconic style that focuses on clean lines, minimalism and environmentally friendly materials. These elements incorporate well in apartments since space is limited and often found in urban settings. Creating this style is easy; it only requires a few simple details to pull it off such as materials, furniture, and smart layouts.

Modern White Kitchen Design

Minimalism Is the Key

This modern kitchen uses minimalism which some designers describe as the "less is more" concept. The Minimalist theory is not about using cheap furniture or materials to have more, but about using more design to create simple solutions.

The theory is demonstrated through the thoughtful use of shelves, hanging racks, and the layout of kitchen utensils and containers. These utensils and containers are not only functional but also provide the décor in this space. If you decide to use this concept in your kitchen, find containers that match and blend well together.

Bathroom by Moderne Builders, design by Avian Rogers, Palm Springs

Design Around a Focal Point

In modern design there is often a focal point and in this bathroom designed by Avian Rogers, Palm Springs, it's the ceramic white wall with an organic curved design. The wall, along with the glass shower wall and floating cabinets, is a great design concept that offers a simple solution for this small bathroom: it works together to make the space appear larger. Besides the clever use of color, texture this room has nice natural finishes, like the wood and ceramic tile, which is typical of this style.

Mezzanine industrial style apartment

Use Architectural Features

A popular sub-design style in modern design is Industrial, which is the practice of using exposed building materials or architecture as décor. This can be exposed brick, beams, or lighting and heating ducts as part of your design plan.

This apartment provides a wonderful example of this style that exposes the lighting rods, black architectural column, metal railing and open layout to create the illusion of space. Most city lofts and apartments in certain districts offer these features; all you have to do is fill it up with your furniture and accessories.

Industrial bedroom by Soma Architekci

Neutral Colors With Bold Accents

One key component of modern design is your color scheme, which uses neutral colors like white, black, grey, or beiges combined with accents of a bold color. Keeping to the rules of the style, if there isn't the need for extra, then don't use it.

This modern bedroom designed by Soma Architekci uses white as its main color with accent of bold purple combined with different shades of purple on the bed and bedding. This is simple, easy, and true to the style.

Urban modern dining room into living room

Add Depth With Texture

The hardest part about designing a modern apartment is balancing the clean, neutral color scheme with other materials to create depth and texture. This room is an excellent example of creating this harmony. The walls, flooring, and window treatments are stark white, which can create a boring room.

However, the designer added a heavy, textured wood table offset by white chairs and black canister lights. This pulls the eye into the living space and exposed brick wall. It's a nice flow that gives the room character while maintaining a simple, unclutter minimalist appearance.

Apartment bedroom with balcony view

Use Accents Sparingly

Staying true to the "no clutter" rule, the same applies in bedrooms with bedding. There should not be a mountain of pillows on your bed, save this for traditional, country cottage design styles. Use only your sleeping pillows or at the most, add no more than four small accent pillows on a full to king size bed. If you have a twin you should only have one or two pillows. The goal is to keep the room's appearance, design and color scheme as simple as possible.

This can be achieved is by using a couple small colorful accent pillows, a throw blanket with a backdrop of white, ivory, or beige sheets, and a thin comforter as shown in this bedroom idea.

Industrial bathroom - Gill Design & Construction LLC

Awkward Layout Designs

Apartments created in old homes, hotels, or manufacturing buildings may have an awkward layout. Using a modern style can help create a functional space while keeping the character of these type of rooms, such as this modern bathroom designed by Gill Design & Construction, LLC.

The room has a slanted ceiling that makes it difficult to design around. Adding a shower at the far end of the room with a white subway tile, white walls, and clean lines with two white rectangular ceramic bowl sinks enhances this unusual architectural element. The dark wood floors and dresser give the room some warmth and draw the eye back creating the illusion of more space.

Modern bathroom by Urban Abode

Key Bathroom Elements

There are a few key elements to consider when designing a modern bathroom. This bathroom designed by Urban Abode presents all of these characteristics.

The first is the use of a neutral color scheme and natural materials - ceramic tile with hints of metallic chrome in the shower and towel rack. Glass shower doors are a modern feature but if it's not feasible, choose white or clear shower curtains or use nothing. The open built-in storage and shelf is another great example of modern design, since everything is exposed and easily accessible. Finally, the room is not cluttered with decoration; the only décor is a painting. Remember, the goal is to create beauty with function.

Asian inspired blue bedroom

Use Environmentally Friendly Materials

This bedroom shows a wonderful example of using natural, refurbished materials as this rooms main color scheme. This raw, exposed wood floor and wall is beautiful and goes well with the furniture choices in the room. The white chair, table and bed pop within this backdrop of wood providing a stunning modern room while maintaining a cozy feel. This can be achieved in your apartment by using refurbished wood, wood paneling or use a neutral paint color on your walls, like beige or ivory.

Modern dining room by Dineen Architecture

Designing Without Walls

In modern apartments, an open floor plan is ideal, and screens, curtains, or partitions are used instead of walls. Everything needs to be considered within the layout to create the most of the walls you do have. This dining room designed by Dineen Architects provides an example of using the closed-in walls of another room while still keeping an open floor concept.

Another idea to divide rooms is to use large pieces of furniture, such as a cabinet, wardrobe, or bookcase. Just make sure the backside is as appealing as the front; if it isn't, paint or stain it to make it work for your space.

Modern living room by Dineen Architecture

Standout Pieces That Shine

This living room, designed by Dineen Architects, is a good example of using a standout piece and working the design around it. The large painting makes a remarkable impression and the designer cleverly added white chairs across from gray suede chairs and heavy, dark wood coffee table to mirror the paintings color scheme. A few curved accent pieces, such as the lamps and vases, along with a organic pattern in the window treatment tie-together nicely and make this, somewhat plain piece of artwork, shine.

Modern living room by Andrew Howard Interior Design

Furniture Choices

Stay true to the modern decorating rules but incorporate other styles. One example of this is the modern Mediterranean living room designed by Andrew Howard Interior Design, which combines Tuscan and traditional pieces of furniture and patterns but keeps the room balanced. This is done with clean, straight lines within the painted brick fireplace, white architectural ceiling beams, and two sets of French doors along with a balanced furniture layout. While this room feels busy, these architectural features, along with the heavy wood coffee table, weigh down the room while keeping a harmonious design.

Modern balcony

Extend the Design Outdoors

If you're fortunate to have a balcony and it's small, a modern design plan is perfect. It will create space and the opportunity to make the most of your outdoor oasis. As with designing your interior, use environmentally friendly materials, such as natural wood and stone, along with exposed concrete or brick to add texture. Sleek, neutral colored pots and containers are ideal for plants along with simple, modern pieces of furniture.

Urban modern bedroom

Stunning, Breathtaking Space

It's quite easy to accomplish a modern style as long as you keep this in mind as you plan out your space: less is more. Choose the best design concept that will add beauty to your space and make your life easier. These points should be considered every time you purchase modern décor or furniture, plan out your layout, and decorate your modern apartment. Once completed, you'll love the comfort, simplicity, and beauty of your space and will think twice about returning to traditional styles.

Was this page useful?
Modern Apartment Designs