What is happening right now? This is contemporary. Existing at the same time, being new and current is what contemporary style is all about, and it can be tricky to pull off the look if you’re not sure where to start. Contemporary fashion is all about accessibility, both in price and the way people wear clothes, interior design follows the same pattern.
If you want to bring your home into “the now,” its important to understand what makes contemporary work, contemporary design moves away from ornamentation and displays of status and looks towards clean lines and an emphasis on space. For a great example of contemporary furniture, check out the Alara 3 seater fabric sofa with chaise.
Contemporary design aims to maximize space, and there are many ways of creating this look in the interior of your home. Whether space is gained physically or through clever use of lines and colors, contemporary style is spacious and relaxed. To create a relaxed and spacious look, it’s all in the dimensions. Look for furniture with clean lines and a minimal profile.
Whose line is it anyway?
“The line” has always been a fundamental aspect of design, and in contemporary design, the emphasis is even more so on lines. Defined lines are the order of the day, whether they be straight, curved, or something in between, strong lines make a statement and draw our eyes across a space. Lines can be made through the considered use of living room furniture as well as architectural details.
It’s not just black and white
Black and white are used extensively in contemporary design. Black is often used as a grounding color, anchoring the space and framing contrasting colors. Whites and neutrals are used for big open spaces, used on walls to accentuate space and black trimmings.
Walls and ceilings are usually toned down to give room for accessories and fittings to shine. When decorating your contemporary interior, choose pieces that have bold colors to play off your neutrals and blacks, if you have chosen to go bold with paint, tone down the accessories to add more contrast.
Flaws and all.
One of my favorite aspects of contemporary design is the way it embraces imperfection. Cracks in the brickwork or exposed components like ducting or grates should be celebrated, using bold colors to draw the eye and show off these utilitarian elements. Celebrating the ‘every day’ is what contemporary is all about, so show off the real elements of your space.
If you are trying to create a contemporary interior in an old home or one in disrepair, it might be easier to start again from scratch. While contemporary style can be achieved through paint and furnishings, ts made a whole lot easier with a solid foundation. If you are renovating, High ceilings are favored, as well as plenty of natural light.
Just like your walls and ceilings, you want your flooring bare and smooth. Tiles and stone are popular contemporary flooring choices, as well as the classic timbre floorboards. Carpets and rugs should be kept to a minimum, and if you need carpet, chose a neutral tone with little texture. If you are unsure where to start with flooring, Look to commercial spaces for inspiration
As you might have learned, a contemporary interior uses color and line to create contrast, showcasing the mundane alongside the unique. The use of texture can bring the whole look together, and again, it’s all about contrast. Contemporary interiors often make extensive use of glass, steel, and other modern ‘cold’ materials.
A savvy designer can soften up these hard spaces with heavily textured fabrics. Throw rugs and cushions can offset a sleek minimal lounge to create comfort in a spacious and clean interior. You can use texture to create soft pockets in your space. Create a cozy corner with soft textiles draped over a minimalist lounge chair, or go straight for a textured piece.
Art and other pieces
It’s tempting to fill our spaces with objects; after all, some objects can tell a story or inspire the mind. There is room for decoration and artwork in a contemporary interior, be careful not to distract from the clean lines and space. Black frames are a perfect way to make an artwork or print ‘pop.’
There are no rules when it comes to choosing artworks; that’s the beauty of contemporary design. Try to choose a few core pieces and use design elements to draw attention to these select pieces. If you must display multiple artworks, place them together to avoid clutter. Remember, this is your home, not a gallery!
Plants are a great addition to any home; they can bring a soft natural element that is hard to recreate. If you want plants to co-exist with contemporary furnishings, it’s best to go with plants with simple leaf structures as fussy leaves can distract from the space. When choosing pots for your plants, go big, bold, and simple.
Spotlights are used heavily in contemporary spaces, showcasing artwork, architectural elements and plants. Spotlights can create a bold statement, so use this effect sparingly. If you have started to build your contemporary space from scratch, now is a perfect time to think about integrated lighting. Recessed strip lighting not only looks amazing but can be used to wash walls with light, creating an intoxicating effect and bringing your interior to the next level.
Contemporary and modern are often confused, and the modern approach can be cold and intimidating. Contemporary is different; it takes cues from modern styles while adding serene, human elements.
There is a great joy to contemporary design; it throws conventions out the window and allows you to mix styles and eras into one harmonious space freely. If done right, contemporary interior design is welcoming as it is luxurious; it’s all about balance. From clean, defined lines to careful use of color and furniture, contemporary is what’s happening now. What are you waiting for? Get with the times and contemporize.