Modern with Soul: How to Make Modern Welcoming

by Nicole Hodsdon

Modern with Soul: How to Make Modern Welcoming


The most common objection I hear about modern design is that it’s too sterile, cold, and soul-less.  It breaks my heart because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  The feel of a modern room that’s done right is relaxed, refreshing, and welcoming.  To achieve that easy, livable feel, check out these tips for creating a welcoming modern space.


The first tenant to modern design is to declutter.  Too much stuff creates an anxious feel to a room, so don’t follow through on the urge to add more things.  One focal point - like a couch - and then some secondary chairs and a coffee table are all you need, really.  Keep the lines of your bigger pieces clean and resist the urge to add layers of pillows, piles of knickknacks, or tufted everything.  Just go with what’s necessary and you’re golden.

Modern Simplicity

Photo: Nielsen:Schuh Architects



Modern is family friendly!  Modern open layouts encourage families to gather together and actually communicate with each other with spoken words instead of texts.  To achieve this openness in any space, avoid furniture that makes the room feel smaller than it is - like over-sized couches or high-backed chairs.  A smaller-than-desired room can be opened up by judiciously using clean-lined furniture and lighter colors.

Modern Space

Photo: Mapos


Warmth & Comfort

It’s easy to assume that a simple and open space will be cold and stiff, but that’s not the case.  Textural rugs, soft pillows and throws add a warmth that makes it easy to cuddle with the dog and binge on Netflix.  Warm wood tones and lush, green plants add a natural element that will make the room even more inviting.

Modern Warmth

Photo: Amy Hilliker Klebitz



Bold, bright colors are where modern design kicks it’s shoes off and has it’s fun.  Color helps people to relax in a room, so don’t be afraid of a few bright pillows here and there.  The more colors the better!  As long as the colors you choose have the same tone, they will work together - trust me.  

Modern Color

Photo: Baxter Design Group

Nicole Hodsdon
Nicole Hodsdon