Got five minutes? Then you're ready for your next crash course in beautiful design. The best part? You should try this at home. :-)

Modern design is a serious crowd-pleaser. A movement that grew popular in the early 20th century, it's easy to picture. Bright, open spaces often minimally furnished with simple, clean-lined furniture. The materials used, like glass and steel, are front and center and wood shines without ornamentation or heavy finishes. 

No one's arguing that modern design isn't cool. But, that's the problem isn't it? Sometimes it can leave you feeling cold. 

Ready for some yellow arrow magic? Let's look at easy ways to warm it up.

This dining room could feel sterile with all that white, so why does it work?

via Apartment Therapy

via Apartment Therapy

Instead of leaving that white to it's own devices it's balanced by an abundance of natural materials and organic shapes.

1. It's easy to see that plants are everywhere but if you look closely, you'll see that there is a LOT of variety in size, shape, and type. It's like a dining room grew up in a greenhouse, adding structure to lovely plant craziness.

2. They didn't stop with the plants when it came to natural materials. Leather seats, reed ottomans and chairs, and simple terracotta planters add so much softness.

3. Nothing matches. Each chair is different but shares basic characteristics. The vases and bowls on the table are similar-ish. The pendant lights are the same material but each is a different shape and height. 

Fun, right? Let's try another example.

This dining room doesn't have any of the eclectic, happy chaos of the first space but still has a playful warmth. Why does it work?

via Matt Garcia Design

via Matt Garcia Design

In a word? Color. 

1. The white becomes the backdrop for big punches of color that bring life to each part of the room. 

2. And, these colors are in your face! If the room didn't have that white it could get a bit overwhelming, so again, there's a nice balance.

3. Another smart move? Light wood flooring and chair legs with natural grain showing through feel clean and modern but also organic, which makes it feel warm.

Got more thoughts about why this works (or more questions)? I'm ready! Or, tell me what you want decoded next.

And, if you want even more #WhyitWorks and a peak behind the scenes at Niche, follow me on Instagram @camilles_niche


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