Our Favorite Modern Interiors
Step inside these stylish beach homes to see stunning contemporary spaces by the sea.
A custom driftwood coffee table base acts as an artistic centerpiece in this living room. The rippled silk Tibetan rug and sea-foam walls hint at the beach beyond, and contemporary Turkish pillows reflect coastal cultures near and far.
A citrus-colored painting introduces bold colors while memorializing a beloved family pet. The bamboo chairs balance the contemporary look of the natural stone table and antler chandelier.
Designed to Last
Sanding and painting the previously dark oak with a stark white polyurethane overlay gives this home gleaming floors. A marine-blue striped runner stands up to foot traffic.
Keeping walls mostly bare―save for a few sconces and paintings leaning above the mantle―creates a mood that is calm and uncluttered. Limit furnishings to statement pieces, such as a chaise or a pair of shapely vases. Lining the fireplace with broken sea glass adds a touch of beach shimmer even when not in use.
In this master bedroom, textured grasscloth walls hint at beach grass. The extra-wide headboard practically hug those who sleep here. Low-slung lines, linen upholstery, and nailhead trim lends glamour to the unexpected accent.
Shades of gray-blue and yellow mirror the vast ocean and sandy beach outside. A sleek, modern accent table paired with a streamlined sofa introduces a mix of soft and strong elements to create a clean but comfortable feel.
Bamboo Chippendale dining chairs offer a modern, less formal alternative to the traditional look of 18th-century Chippendale furniture. It also lends a subtle beachy presence to a glamorous space. Billowing window treatments balance the look between casual and sophisticated.
Statement-making wicker Italian lamps add coastal style and creativity to the kitchen. Glass-front cabinets keep the black mahogany from looking too dark, and the white-painted interior makes everyday dishes look like art. Handwoven baskets weave a natural element into the decorating scheme and speak to an island way of life.
Instead of artwork on the walls, these homeowners incorporated eye-catching antiques and ethnic furniture. The standout pieces also help to bring the all-white room to life.
Straight lines and barely-there modern bar stools give this kitchen an almost futuristic feel. The custom-built refrigerator nook not only conceals the not-so-pretty side of the fridge, but also helps it to blend "into the wall" for a cleaner look.
A curtain-less shower, paired with white tile and black windows and doorframes, gives this space a modern Caribbean feel.
Rooms breathe easy with large expanses of white walls, white upholstery, and just the right amount of carefully selected accessories. Framed mirrors hung in a grid make a dramatic but simple statement in this guest bedroom. They also reflect light and sea views.
Haven on Earth
Classic architectural elements, such as a vaulted ceiling, mix with modern furnishings in this open living space. These homeowners carried a simple black-and-white palette throughout the house, relying on striped rugs and patterned fabrics to add variety and texture. The muted palette also helped ensure that the surrounding blue ocean and green palms stayed center stage.
Yin and Yang
This living room beautifully mixes midcentury pieces with classically tailored furnishings. The charcoal pinstriped sofa was designed as a giant wingback chair. Danish modern chairs upholstered in a colorful stamped linen balance the traditional style of the sofa.
By choosing one bold piece as the jumping off point, homeowner Heidi Hertel was able to add a graphic sofa, mod table, and interesting artwork to complete the modern sitting room. “We fell in love with the chairs, and everything played off them,” she says.
Designer Sasha Emerson believes the master bedroom should be a chill-out zone, so she decorated this room in muted tones of gray, mauve, navy, and purple. To liven up the serene space, she added a bold pattern with the Victoria Hagan drapery fabric.
Deep green-black paint and custom tile in shades of green, gold, and turquoise lends an edge to this refined yet playful kitchen. Designer Sasha Emerson used a black and white background throughout this home's spaces to marry cool and quirky with California warmth.
Apple green cabinets brighten up the kitchen, while letters on the doors add a fun touch. “We like to think we have lively personalities, and that the colors reflect that,” says homeowner Tim McNamara.
To blend a rustic Maine feel with modern flair, woodworker Tim Hill built a red-oak breakfast table accented with steel rods. Basic dining chairs in a dazzling red add color to the space without detracting from the view.
Predominantly white interiors keep this space fresh and modern. Splashes of color come from accessories such as artwork and throw pillows. The cognac-brown leather chairs add warmth.
For this dining nook, interior designer Carrie Livingston painted an antique table white and had it lacquered. The upscale plastic chairs add elegance but keep the space childproof. “It’s easy to maintain and it looks really good,” Carrie says.
Clean and Clear
The gray limestone fireplace in this living room was chosen for its neutral hue. “We didn’t want it to seem cluttered,” says homeowner Janice Barker. The rest of the room plays off the understated focal point with modern furniture and minimal furnishing pointing all visitors to the view of the ocean.
The key to making this beach house modern is an open floor plan which affords spectacular views from the kitchen while preparing meals or washing dishes. Sleek countertops and muted colors enhance the simple, clean design.
The Eero Saarinen tulip table with Arabescato marble top adds a classically modern touch to this porch. Honey-hued cedar board walls soften the look of the contemporary architecture and furnishings.
Designer Jon Delach constructed a contemporary space in this master bedroom by featuring furniture with clean lines, large double-pane windows, and African wenge floors. And nothing says modern luxe like an all-white bed with plush down pillows.
Architectural designer Julie Hart designed a space-saving bench for this dining area. The vintage dining table and Emeco Navy aluminum chairs keep the space cool and clean. A crystal pendant chandelier tops off the look.
The white fiberboard cabinetry sets a modern tone for this updated kitchen. Stainless steel appliances and simple cabinet pulls follow suit. Colorful accessories add excitement to the low-key space.
Fresh and Clean
A neutral color palette plays with natural hues from outdoor surroundings in this sleek living room. The white, modular chairs contrast with the woven rug, yet complement the room's clean, straight edges.
The integration of bright colors and strong metals creates a playful, yet mechanical atmosphere. Slate tiles contrast with bamboo flooring to separate the kitchen and dining area, while pops of fresh flowers add a touch of femininity
Framing the View
Sleek silver shelving and a simple circular mirror contrast with the colorful scene framed by curtain-less windows. Mother Nature adds a touch of color to the muted tones in this bath.
A crescent-shaped banquette and table along with a geometric pendant lamp and bright fuchsia cubes provide plenty of seating in this colorful dining area. Designer Amanda Nisbet put her own spin on modern decor by incorporating vibrant shades or orange, pink, and purple.
Bring modern outdoors with sleek stripes like the ones on this deck. Try "railroading" the stripes, or running them horizontally on the fabric for an updated look on a classic motif. Incorporated stripes in the architecture enhance the clean feel.
Pops of Pink
Wall-to-wall white paint makes the vibrant pink shade in this bunkroom look even brighter. Patterned prints and bold hues pop against the white background and give the room plenty of color.
Bold wooden beams lend warmth to all-white walls and furniture in this peaceful living room. Simple artwork and greenery add touches of color while still keeping with the relaxing feel of the space.
Built-in storage in this outdoor room provides adequate storage while the geometric arrangement gives it a mod vibe. Clean, straight edges and a neutral color scheme contrasts with the vibrant colors of nature just beyond.
This minimalist bedroom gets a touch of warmth with a rich hardwood floor. Straight-lined furniture and an all-white color palette maximizes the ocean view.
Stylish green armchairs surround a sleek wooden table, while a funky pendant lamp feels like an updated version of an old classic. The large, curtainless windows bring the serenity of the ocean indoors.
Chic and Functional
Stainless steel appliances, streamlined barstools, and frosted-glass cabinet fronts enhance the contemporary vibe of this beach-front kitchen. A wooden island doubles as a kitchen table for even more functionality.
An all-white interior and painted window frames puts a spin on a traditional color arrangement. The open shower makes the space feel bigger and gives an airy feel to this island home.
A blend of cool and warm hues help this modern kitchen feel welcoming. Smooth textures, contemporary appliances, and natural light enhance the mood.
Painted wood and minimal accents draw eyes to the fireplace in this nearly all-glass living room. Interior colors echo the home's surroundings, and built-in sofas sport a nautical stripe.
A funky mix of styles and bright beachy palette create a fun and inviting room perfect for kicking back and relaxing. Coastal elements like wicker and stripes complement the contemporary look of stainless steel appliances and clean-lined sofa.
A variety of sandy hues set a calming tone throughout this bedroom. A geometric print on throw pillow and bench as well as a lucite side table and chair lend an updated feel to the traditional space.
Soft and Soothing
This modern nursery features updated versions of classic necessities. Hand-painted blue-and-white stripes add interest in the neutral space. A plush swivel chair puts a contemporary spin on your everyday rocking chair.
Make a Statement
An an oversize shell orb anchors this contemporary dining room. Cottage elements such as wicker furniture and floor-to-ceiling curtains make the space feel cozy.
Large windows above the sink allow clear views of the ocean outside. Nautical light fixtures add a traditional element to the otherwise modern room.
Anchored by a streamlined table and chairs, this bare, white dining room is the epitome of modern, providing the perfect furniture choice for the contemporary space.
Eco-friendly choices such as CaesarStone countertops and quarter-sawn walnut cabinets keep this modern kitchen's carbon footprint small. Energy-efficient stainless steel appliances are a smart—and low-maintenance—choice.
Square white his-and-hers sinks sit atop built-in drawers and hanging towel racks for a smart use of space. Large casement windows replace traditional mirrors and allow in an abundance of natural light.
Keep it Simple
Sleek, minimalist furnishings adorn this Westport, Massachusetts, home to complement the streamlined architecture. Builder Rick Guidelli installed a 14-foot-long pocketing glass door between the dining area and screened-in porch that is easily opened to make room for guests during larger gatherings.