How to Make a Modern Apartment Feel More Unique

Twins Stella Laird and Jodi McSherry are the brains behind Blackton Grange – a beautiful new luxury holiday home and wedding venue in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Elysia Fryer takes a tour…

The problem with going for “modern” as a style in your home is that it can look very much the same as not only the different interior design magazines and Pinterest posts you’ve seen, but even the homes of the people around you. Especially with fast fashion now affecting home décor, a lot of people end up buying from the same places and going home with the same items. 

Incorporate old and new

What’s modern? It’s a very broad term and subjective to everyone. Your grandma might think her doilies are modern. Your mum might think “Live Laugh Love” is modern. You might think bold-coloured sofas are modern.

Trends are, whether fortunately or unfortunately, pretty cyclical, and dependent on the wider social situation. So, there’s no harm in adding a few less-modern pieces into your modern home to give it some character.

There are two ways you can go with this: trendy and timeless. The gold statuettes of wild cats are trendy and bold, but a simple old-timey candelabra is timeless. The only practical difference there is how long you want your items to last. Knowing the difference is the key to making your home feel more unique.

You can swap out trendy pieces as you feel like it or invest in quality classic pieces. Either way, a lot of new characters are bound to come into your modern home.

Look for unique pieces

Instead, one option for furniture is to go off the grid with your hunting. This can be fun. Visit charity furniture stores and antique stores for your TV set rather than getting the same Swedish set you’ve seen everyone buy whether it fits the room style or not.

You’re bound to find something that appeals, since you’ve got a much wider choice than what said Swedish furniture stores offer. They might be simple and sleek modern, or they might have extra moulding, or a little something extra that gives them character. You can find a sculpture found nowhere else or a hand painted lamp to add to your modern home.

You might even find something no one is using anymore. Why did the old-fashioned bureau desk go out of trend? They’re coming back a little bit as you can see that they’re a great way to store your things with a pull-down desk element and still hide them away again. Beauty or office furniture, the possibilities are endless. You can probably find one in antique stores or charity shops for a pretty penny.

Upcycle your furniture

Say that bureau is too old fashioned, you’re not a fan of so much moulding or the wood doesn’t go with the rest of the room; well, you can upcycle it. This can be as simple as stripping its varnish, bleaching it to lighten the wood, painting it a modern colour or even adding your own moulding.

If you’ve seen it in someone else’s home, don’t buy it

The problem with fast fashion, which affects home design, is that everyone ends up having the same things. That’s a little easier to forgive in clothing, given you they’re a lot cheaper and if you have bad luck you’re only going to be matching for a few hours. But in the home, a bulky, expensive piece of furniture that is exactly like the one you have at home, is a little embarrassing.

As a general rule, if you’ve seen a statement piece of furniture in someone else’s home, don’t buy it! Try to find something slightly different, because the chances are other people will have it too.

Study up on styles

“Modern” is a very vague term. If you even take it for what it literally means, “relating to the present times”, according to Google, that could mean so much when applying to interior design. Are we talking minimalist? Botanical? Industrial? And then, how modern is modern? Trends today don’t tend to have a name yet. Have you seen the Instagram “squiggle wall”? It needs a real term.

The point is, they are all “modern” and yet “modern” immediately puts an idea in your head. Read up on different styles and incorporate a few different factors into your home for a look that is unique to you. The same way Japandi evolved from Scandinavian and Japanese trends, you can put your own spin on something old, or merge a few styles.


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