Modern design is considered the new classic design. Begun with the Bauhaus movement in the 1920's, the simplicity and functionality of this style makes it ideal. A contemporary 'take' on this style is to use pieces that are less metal and more chunky wood, and mix in typically traditional elements to create a warm appearance.
As these photos show, modern style is evidenced by clean lines, minimal detail (carvings, moldings and the like), neutrality in colors, and starkness of accessories. Warm wood tones, textural elements and architectural details (exposed beams, open stair and railing systems, changing ceiling depths) and use of metal finishes and fixtures is common.