Contemporary interior design is different from modern design. Modern design is a little bit of a misnomer because it officially refers to a time that is no longer modern. Modern design sticks to styles that originated and became popular in the mid 1900s. On the other hand, contemporary design exists in the here and now and is constantly changing with current trends. In this post we’ll outline important aspects of contemporary design, and how they differ or borrow from other design styles.
Similar to modernism and minimalism, contemporary design often utilizes a neutral color palette. In contrast to modernism, the neutral tones contemporary interior design utilizes are not as earthy and natural. White, black and gray are the go-to colors for contemporary designers. A splash of bright color is a common tactic to give a contemporary room a unique and personal feel. If bright color accents are not your jam, you can utilize differing materials and textures to add contrast to your room. Mirrors, polished metal, and glass are all powerful contemporary tools
Contemporary furniture is often unique and different. It stands out and often becomes the focal point of a room. Contemporary furniture often sticks to a geometric design, with hard lines or perfect circles. With this style you’ll want to avoid ornamentation and use fabrics that are simple and stylish. Many contemporary rooms use furniture that is brightly colored. If you choose to do so, you can make all your furniture match in color and brightness or just choose one piece to be the accent piece and use neutral colors elsewhere.
Of all the design styles, contemporary is the one that most utilizes lighting and light fixtures as an art form. Contemporary lighting has unique chandeliers, lamps, and other light fixtures that grab your attention and make you stare in awe. These fixtures have an emphasis on form rather than function. In addition to unique light fixtures, contemporary design uses inconspicuous can lighting to provide uniform light throughout the room, allowing the chandeliers, sconces, and lamps to act as art.
Art and Décor
For contemporary design, art and décor are used to accent and keep your eye moving around the room. To take advantage of contemporary design with your art and décor it’s important to pick a color scheme and stick to it throughout a room, and if you’re ambitious, throughout the whole house. Artwork is almost always abstract but doesn’t have to be colorful. Mirrors are a common décor piece, especially mirrors that are unique shapes or extremely large. Also it’s important to remember that light fixtures are a contemporary decoration more than a source of light. Minimalism is also a valid decoration style for contemporary design.
A contemporary space definitely uses clean lines and is devoid of clutter but is not always big and open. Living space in contemporary design has more of a focus on cleanliness than actual open spaces. Don’t be afraid of getting that awesome coffee table or extra accent chairs. Feel free to use those uniquely shaped end tables and the shelves that stick out at odd angles. Taking up space isn’t going to ruin the contemporary feel as long as you keep it clean and uncluttered.
Contemporary design is always changing, so pay attention to current décor trends and make adjustments to your style as necessary. In most cases you can pull design aspects from other design styles to add a unique feel to your own contemporary home. Perhaps a more traditional style couch is what makes your living room stand out in your contemporary home. Different textures like brick and wood can be pulled from industrial style to make a room feel different, but still contemporary. Because of the fluidity and ambiguity inherent in contemporary style you have a lot of freedom to try new things and make the room uniquely yours.