Downtown Dreams: Designing with Urban Modern Flair

Our design style series continues with the bold and visually detailed aesthetics of Urban Modern. To me this is an updated take on transitional styles that blend old and new. This style is ideal for city dwellers who would like to spice up their homes or really dive into a specific art style, color scheme, or pop culture era. The style itself is a combination of the industrial, minimalist and modern elements mixed and matched in order to create a softer and lighter look that also packs a punch when it comes to the imagery. So if you would love to live where cool meets classy cosmopolitan, this style is definitely for you.

Style Quiz

If you don’t know your design style, then you need to take our Design Style Quiz! Answer a few questions to find out where your style lies on the wide spectrum of style preferences and personalities. The quiz doesn’t include every design style includes some of most popular styles around today, so you’ll be a step closer to getting at the heart of how you can be reflected in your home.

Urban Modern Colors

Urban modern interior design works with a pastel and earthy color palette to achieve a classy and elegant look. This softer palette offers a bit of a blank canvas, while also allowing you to bring in bolder elements like avant-garde art, unusual furnishings, and a variety of materials and textures.

Once the undertones are established, more industrial elements, such as bronze, gold, and leather can be mixed in to add depth and warmth.

Natural materials such as brick and concrete, stone, marble, and wood are often used. So you’ll likely see exposed brick walls with natural wood floors and concrete countertops.

Alison Victoria home Photo credit is: House Beautiful/Robert Peterson

Urban Modern Furnishings

In this style, you should opt for sophisticated large furniture pieces which are as practical as they are unique. This will leave you with big and clear open spaces and a slightly more intense feel that reflects the skyscrapers and paved streets of the city. The furniture arrangement should be simple, utilizing geometric shapes, straight lines, simple forms, and a pinch of the organic mixed in through patinas, marbling, and variations in stone, pottery, or brick.

“Playing with scale is a quick way to introduce interesting elements to urban modern decor without having to use a ton of various, mismatched notes. Bright tones can throw off industrial, urban vibes – but you still need a way to please the eye and keep your design vibrant.”

Some great pieces to consider are a-symmetrical sofas, Mid-Century lounge chairs, marble coffee tables, and glass or industrial metal pendent lights.


Urban Modern & Nature

Natural light is really important to urban modern design. Floor to ceiling windows are definite go-to options, adjustable shades should also be taken into consideration, and warmer lights placed strategically throughout the room.

The natural look should be found in the decoration as well. Use more natural materials wherever possible, like jute or cotton rugs, fur throws, wood shelves and frames, and leather accents. Also, more intense decoration with large contrast is a key element of the urban modern interior design. As stated above, playing with scale is huge part of creating the urban modern look. So placing huge, abstract paintings next to more delicate wall decor, or finding a robust table that doubles as an art piece to contrast the subtlety of the rest of room will help create the urban modern look.

Urban Modern Takeaways

Remember, the urban modern style infuses your home with a sense of the city — any all cities, actually — so there a number of ways you can integrate the feel and architectural look of your favorite city into your home through textiles, furniture, and art. Don’t be afraid to experiment and create a mood board with all your favorite things about a specific city lifestyle that you want to be a part of your home.

Some key urban modern design takeaways:

  • The person best suited to this style is a city-dweller, or was once upon a time, and wants to bring the city spirit into a more functional and domestic space.
  • Embrace bold art, and unconventional design silhouettes, pairing them with a neutral backdrop and natural details.
  • Bring in plenty of warm wood tones for a more contemporary look and greenery. Faux plants work well too if you don’t have a green thumb.
  • You can be a little eclectic (blend of different styles) and a little maximalist (you like a full room look) to really pull this style together.

Urban Modern Design Inspirations

Here are some inspiration photos to jog your creativity and add to your home design mood board.

My Suggested Vendors

Here are some of my favorite vendors for the Urban Modern design style.

Shop the Look

Check out some of my customized looks for urban modern design lovers. Most items are in stock and ready to ship.

What next??

Save your seat to check out our own Mocha & Sage online boutique for even more choices when it comes to decorating your home with an Urban Modern feel.

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