The Essential Differences Between Modern and Old School Home Decor

When it comes to home décor styles, two popular recurring themes in home-and-garden television shows is the question of whether you should lean toward modern home décor or a more traditional style. In truth, this is a pop-quiz with no right answer. It all depends on your interests and tastes.

On one hand, modern home décor, which focuses on more neutral colors is often perfect for holiday decorating times of the year, as it makes it easy for the bright colors of decorative ornaments to stand out.

On the other hand, it’s hard not to be awed by the classic designs of early furniture makers like Bernhardt Furniture, a North Carolina based company that dates as far back as 1889, whose careful selection of styles and colors, fabrics and finishes exemplify a unique commitment to craftsmanship.

Let’s take a quick look at both modern and old-school designs to help you decide what will work for your home:

Modern Home Décor

Modern home décor is characterized by simplicity and functionality, and it works well with the design of modern technology.

  1. Simplicity.

As soon as you step into a room with modern décor, you feel immediate appreciation for the clean lines the neutral color scheme, and the crisp geometric shapes. Minimalism is achieved by a lack of ornamentation and clutter, and the stylish space is warm and inviting. The absence of clutter, in fact, creates a sense of relief. You feel an alleviation of stress, a sense that all is well, as you step into a world of order, purpose, and open spaces.

  1. Functionality

A room is functional if it is easy to access and use the furnishings, technology, and appliances in it. When you step into the living room, the chairs are placed at the perfect distance and angle to enjoy watching television or listen to surround-sound speakers; and when you walk into the kitchen to prepare breakfast, there is ample room for cooking, meal prep, and storage.

  1. Technology

Technology is any device that you use in your home, and it needs to blend into the room. Streamlined technology like flat-panel televisions and slim monitors seamlessly blend in a room that has simple, clean lines and neutral colors.

Old School Home Décor

There is actually no such thing as “old school” décor; it’s simply a catchall term for everything from traditional furniture design to retro fashion trends.

  1. Traditional designs

Any traditional design feature or element is considered timeless. Furniture, for instance, never goes out of style. It always looks elegant, classy, and regal. Traditional design, then, from sofas in the living room to sculpture in the hallway always makes a grand statement–rather like an august personage who doesn’t have to say a word to be recognizable in a crowd.

  1. Retro trends

Retro trends are just the opposite: they are playful, not serious; transient, not permanent. They are usually themes that were once popular and now evoke a nostalgic, déjà vu feeling in a room.

Here are some examples:

  • The use of bold, monochrome colors, an idea that has been popularized by Pantone’s Color of the Year trends.
  • The fluctuation in the choice of surfaces. These vary from sleek surfaces to rugged aesthetics, as both were popular décor styles in the past.
  • The predominance of faux finishes for their practical value. For instance, a faux wood ceiling beam looks like it’s made of wood but it won’t age and rot or become fodder for termites. Similarly, a faux quartz countertop looks like the real thing but it will not be damaged as easily by hot dishes or acidic food spills.

If you want to stay on top of old-school home décor trends, then you’ll need to know ahead of time through home décor magazines, blogs, and television shows whether you should anticipate trends like, for instance, bold, bright appliances, the return of wood paneling, or an emphasis on a tapestry in the year ahead.

In brief, home décor is a way of making an interior space far more aesthetic and functional. You don’t actually need a degree in interior design to get good at it. What’s more, if you’ve ever worked on trying to improve the look-and-feel of any of your rooms, you understand how fun it can be. And, of course, there is no right way to go about it. You’ll meet with high approbation whether you choose to favor a modern or old-school style.

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