Modern and contemporary are two styles frequently used interchangeably. Contemporary is different from modern because it describes design based on the here and now.
The primary difference separating modern and contemporary design style is that modern is a strict interpretation of design that started in the 20th century. Contemporary on the other hand, is more fluid and can represent a sense of currency with less adherence to one particular style. For example, contemporary style may include curving lines, whereas modern design does not. You can refer to modern vs contemporary article for more information.
WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY DESIGN?
contemporary interior design
Although some elements of modern design can be seen in contemporary design, these two styles have their own exclusive signatures. So what is contemporary design? By definition, contemporary refers to “living or occurring at present.” Contemporary, at its core, refers to “of the moment,” which illustrates that contemporary interior design styles refer to current design trends while paying homage to the past. Dating back to the 1970’s, contemporary style is truly unique as it borrows elements from several other design styles. With contemporary style, you’re certain to see modern elements along with traditional Art-Deco inspired notes, and futuristic design flourishes.
Another important aspect of contemporary interior design style s is that they’re constantly evolving. Unlike other styles that are usually devoted to a particular look, time, and spirit, contemporary style refers to the styles gaining traction today. When looking at contemporary interior design styles of today, you’ll notice neutral palettes, curved lines, and prominent minimalism.
What is the difference between modern and contemporary interior design?
Modern vs. Contemporary. There are quite a few differences between these two design styles. A modern space tends to follow a strict style format while contemporary has many variations in its interiors. … Modern pieces of decor tend to have a function, whereas contemporary pieces may concentrate more on the form itself
What is modern contemporary design?
Modern design refers to an era that has passed, while contemporary design is all about the now and the future. The most popular modern design era is the mid-century modern era of the 1950s and 1960s. But Art Deco design of the 1920s or anything from then to the vintage look of the 1970s can also be considered modern.
How do you decorate a contemporary home?
Fill your space with neutral colors. …
Introduce a few brighter colors, but not in a jarring way. …
Avoid patterns. …
Stick with clean lines, especially those with rounded edges. …
Keep your furniture free of adornments. …
Opt for natural fabrics. …
Favor light woods over dark. …
Select furnishings with smooth, glossy finishes.
What is contemporary home?
Here’s the 50,000-foot view: The term “modern” typically refers to a very distinctive architectural style of home that was built from the early 1900s to the 1950s. It’s a defined style and doesn’t change. … Contemporary architecture and design means “the style of the moment.
What is modern contemporary furniture?
Contemporary design is often used for what type of furniture or interior design is popular at the moment. … Modern refers to “Mid Century Modern”, a specific design period of furniture while Contemporary really means “right now” and does not refer to a specific design other than including designs from today.
What is classic contemporary?
In interior design and furniture design, Transitional Style refers to a contemporary style mixing traditional and modern styles, incorporating old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary.
Whether you’re looking for a simple room refresh or are starting from scratch, there’s something to be said about finding the best interior design style to suit your home, lifestyle, and tastes. To get you started in the right direction, we’ve set about to define what makes each standout and are considering the merits of contemporary style for your home, and what it takes to master the look with ease.
As we’ll be defining contemporary style from room to room and highlighting details from color to texture to window treatments and contemporary home decor, we suggest you bookmark this page as a resource for inspiration.
WHAT DOES CONTEMPORARY STYLE MEAN?
At some point, there’s probably been a time where we’ve all confused modern interior design with contemporary style, and though they share similarities, contemporary home decor stands all on it’s own.
Contemporary decorating style is classic yet thoroughly of the moment and timeless thanks to a light-handed, spare take on decorating to ensure it will never feel dated.
While modern decor can feel cold, limiting, and overtly minimal, contemporary style is calming and serene, and is peppered with a focus on architectural elements, decorative details, attention to bold scales, and a concise color palette to create a warm space with easy sophistication.
Simplicity, clean lines, plays on texture, and quiet drama are fundamental in achieving a perfectly balanced contemporary style home.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE CONTEMPORARY STYLE?
- Contemporary style is great for minimalists looking to steer clear of fussy prints, a heady mix of era’s, and for those looking to create a simple yet thoroughly realized harmony between varying elements while focusing on the architectural elements of a room.
- There’s joy to be found in a beautifully curated contemporary living room that features a mix of high-shine, contemporary home decor that boasts conversation starters that stand on their own in a sea of neutrals.
- As contemporary decorating style is timeless and defined by a classic approach to bringing a room together through luxurious simplicity, it’s a design movement that’s well worth the effort and investment as it will never go out of style and is easy to update.
HOW DO YOU CREATE CONTEMPORARY STYLE?
Here’s a quick rundown of the architectural details you’ll want to highlight to inject your home with contemporary interior design effortlessly:
- For a contemporary living room, keep flooring simple with a classic wooden floor and source rugs that are simple in pattern and carpets that feature a low pile with geometric shapes.
- Source lighting that’s simple yet effective in showcasing contemporary home decor and architectural features.
- A mix of metal, stone, and opaque or clear glass.
- Make use of structural elements like molding and exposed brick walls and pipes for added character in an otherwise simple room.
CONTEMPORARY STYLE COLORS
A go-to when considering contemporary interior design, neutrals along with gray, black, and white, are a signature of the design style and are used to define and ground a room.
Think of a neutral setting as a great starting point to bring in hints of color and a foundation for expressive artworks and objects with more personality. By selecting the right neutrals for a contemporary living room, you’ll be able to bring in smaller pops of riotous color that you can easily switch around depending on your mood.
But if you’re looking to go full-on with color, say an entire wall, we suggest keeping your trims, ceiling, and flooring light to compliment contemporary decorating style cues with flair.
CONTEMPORARY STYLE FURNITURE
When it comes to contemporary interior design, less is always more. Select contemporary style home furnishings that are statement-making conversation starters while remaining pared down, with smooth, clean, geometric silhouettes and straight lines. Think solid hues and finishes, natural materials, and unadorned surfaces.
For upholstered pieces in a contemporary living room, go for neutrals in textured natural fabrications like wool, cotton, linen, silk, and jute, and bring in pops of color with throws and pillows that steer clear of loud patterns as clean and concise is the mood you should be fixed on.
CONTEMPORARY STYLE TEXTILES
As contemporary interior design calls for clean lines and studied simplicity, textiles are an easy outlet to help you avoid a cold contemporary style home by bringing in plays on texture, tonal pattern, and concise color combinations.
Stick with neutrals, stripes, and geometric prints in small amounts to bring in personality and to complement a well-designed contemporary living room with hints of unexpected, yet considerately placed play.
CONTEMPORARY STYLE ACCESSORIES
Though furnishings call for a minimal approach, decorative accessories are where you can get creative when looking for a contemporary style home refresh.
From lamps to décor objects to artworks, sometimes the best contemporary interior design approaches rely on the extras you bring into a room after sourcing furnishings that you’re committed to.
For contemporary living room ideas, go for small elements that’ll double as unique conversation starters while adding depth and personality to an otherwise minimal room.
CONTEMPORARY STYLE WINDOW TREATMENTS
If you’re blessed with oversized windows and great unobstructed views, we suggest keeping contemporary style window treatments minimal and easily retractable to maintain a clean, flawless look.
That said, sometimes the best contemporary interior design inspiration we come across boasts the unexpected and window treatments are a great way to bring in contrasting elements.
You can keep the look natural with wooden blinds in a dark hue, or go for sheer white floor to ceiling curtains that’ll add polished drama to a decidedly contemporary living room or dining room.
CONTEMPORARY DECORATING STYLE ROOM BY ROOM:
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what makes contemporary style interior design so compelling and timeless, here’s a quick take on approaches to bring the style throughout your home with ease.
Contemporary Style Kitchen:
Again, contemporary interior design is all about a spare, minimal approach that steers clear of clinical. A colorway of soothing grays, neutrals, and white is a classic fail proof option that will stand the test of time and always appear clean.
Paired with traditional flooring in natural materials, explore modern cabinetry with either high-shine or matte finishes for an understated yet elegant juxtaposition. And do seek out storage that’ll keep surfaces clear of clutter.
Contemporary Style Dining Room:
For this room, its all about a substantial table, structured seating, and symmetry. Go for a contrasting oversized table with a glass or stone top, matching chairs, and a console to tie everything together. Note how the room above, while simple, is far from clinical thanks to only four add-ons.
Here, the green reflective hanging works as a simple yet unique statement-maker, while the gilt pendant light and textured vase lend an organic touch in small doses.
Contemporary Style Living Room:
Keep in mind that what makes a contemporary style home rememberable is a fierce commitment to modern simplicity, attention to line and space, geometric shapes, and a strict yet well-considered color palette that’s easy on the eye. But since your living room is often the best place to highlight your tastes and sense of play, do add character to your most often used gathering room with decorative extras and art that’ll set your home apart.
Think expressive artworks, two-toned rugs, pillows, and throws, and sculptural lamps and vases for added decadence.
Contemporary Style Bedroom:
For a your bedroom, do as you would in any room in your home and go for clean, straight lines that boast a sense of richness via impeccable design and do bring in tonal textures for extra warmth and comfort through bedding, rugs, and accessories that evoke a quiet sense of pulled together glamor.
Do avoid trims, tassels, bedskirts, and in general anything too cute or gender oriented.
Contemporary Style Bathroom:
When looking for contemporary style bathroom inspiration stick to the concept of a clean, serene oasis. Think white, bright, and light filled. For a personal edge we suggest sourcing custom-designed fittings or ones that are unique enough to create a memorable impact for guests
In home decorating, if you enjoy things that are modern and like to keep current with the styles of the moment, you are a follower of contemporary style. While it’s sometimes thought that “modern” interiors are cold and minimalist, in today’s homes, contemporary interiors are comfortable and welcoming without being cluttered and dark. Today’s contemporary style is equally appropriate for offices and stores, loft apartments and traditional homes.
Fundamentally, a contemporary style of decorating is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, deliberate use of texture, and clean lines. Interiors tend to showcase space rather than things. By focusing on color, space, and shape, contemporary interiors are sleek and fresh. To achieve the look of a contemporary home, it’s important to stick to some basic rules.
Uses of Color
Neutrals, black, and white are the main colors in contemporary style interiors. Black is often used for grounding and defining a contemporary style room. The palette is often punched up and accented with bright and bold colors that play against neutrals. With walls painted in a basic neutral, you have a wonderful backdrop for bold colored accessories. If the walls and windows are painted in pastels, the trims should be neutral. If a wall is a bright, bold color, neutrals should be used everywhere else.
Line and Space
The most obvious and distinctive element of a contemporary style interior design is the line. Whether straight vertical or horizontal lines or curved shapes, strong visible lines are evident in any contemporary-style home. The line is found in architectural details, use of bold color blocks, high ceilings, bare windows, and geometric shapes in wall art and sculpture.
The bare space on walls, between pieces of furniture and above in upper areas, becomes as important as the areas filled with objects. In contemporary interiors, less is more. Each piece stands out as individual and unique.
Take advantage of structural elements. Air ducts may hang from a ceiling, broken bricks provide texture and stability, and exposed plumbing pipes are perfectly acceptable in a contemporary-style interior. To draw the eye, paint these structural details in bold contrasting colors, or, to diminish their importance, blend them with the walls.
Furniture pieces should make a bold statement but at the same time be simple and uncluttered, without curves or decoration. Smooth, clean, geometric shapes are essential. Upholstered furniture often wears black, white, or other neutral tones, using the natural fibers found in wool, cotton, linen, silk, jute to add textural appeal. Pillows in clean geometric shapes add a shot of color and texture.
Use a basic background and shout out with your favorite color on a furniture piece that stands out. Less is more! Sofas, chairs, and ottomans often have exposed legs. Beds and chairs usually omit skirts, trims, fringes, or tassels. Don’t use ruffles, excessive carved details, fringe, or floral prints. Abolish cute and small—go basic, bare, bold, and structural.
Floors in a contemporary style home should be bare and smooth, using wood, tile, or vinyl. If you must use some carpet for sound control or warmth, choose commercial grades. Add color and texture with plain or geometric-patterned area rugs.
Lighting Considerations and Art
Track lighting and recessed lighting help to wash a wall in light. In both home renovations and new construction, consider installing cove lighting or indirect light. Include color and metallic elements on the light fixtures.
Use spotlights or can lighting directed at a painting, poster, or print. These will help to draw the eye to the pieces you want to focus on. Contemporary style sculptures or framed art can be placed at eye level by placing them on a structural column or pedestal.
Frames in high-gloss or matte black, natural wood, or metal finishes are great for artwork. If you must put several pieces together, hang them close together, so they create the feeling of one large piece. Don’t clutter contemporary-style rooms with collections or too many pieces. In contemporary interiors, open space is often just as important as the pieces you put in the space.
Other Design Elements
Generous use of metal, stone, and opaque or clear glass works well in a room decorated in a contemporary style. To soften and warm-up space, use heavily textured fabrics in plain colors for window treatments, pillows, or rugs.
Colorful, fussy prints should be avoided since they confuse the plain space that is key to a contemporary-style home. Two-tone prints work well. Think about a zebra-print pillow on a black leather chair, a large leopard-print pillow thrown on a plain floor, or a bold, heavily textured striped rug to anchor solid-colored, sleek furniture.
In contemporary rooms, plants and flowers should be large and dramatic in simple containers. Large blooms with interesting leaves work better than small arrangements. If space allows, place upward-focused lights around a large plant on the floor. Keep the arrangements neat with rocks or bark chips arranged over the soil in the pots.
Keep dinnerware contemporary, too. There are many geometric shapes, bold colors, and interesting styles available. Bring in texture with silverware, napkins, placemats, and centerpieces