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What is Contemporary Decor?
Before we dive in, let’s take a step back and define what exactly contemporary decor encompasses. The words “modern” and “contemporary” are often thrown around interchangeably, but they each refer to distinctive styles in design and decor. In the design world, “modern” refers to the design trends of the mid-20th century, while “contemporary” takes place later: beginning at the very end of the 20th into the 21st century.
This is a style that is defined by simplicity and a sophisticated, intentional use of texture, color, and lines. Essentially, the focus has shifted from the items we place in our home, to the custom designed space itself. This deliberate, more restrained approach to home decor creates a room design that looks sleek, uncluttered, and vibrant. Read on to learn about some of the key ideas behind contemporary home decor.
Contemporary Home Decor Style Tip: Clean Lines
Contemporary style is simple and uncluttered. The quintessential contemporary home would be the loft: an open, rectangular space, expertly furnished with only the essentials. This interior design style can even be seen in the way houses are designed these days, with open floor plans and rooms that flow into each other instead of narrow corridors or doors that block the light.
In room furniture, this means clean, geometric shapes rather than ornate carvings or ruffled trim. However, sleek design doesn’t have to be harsh. One major trend in contemporary design is the use of natural fibers, such as cotton, silk, or jute, which add soft, inviting texture to more linear pieces. In fact, the simplicity of these furniture designs is the perfect way to highlight color and texture, two key elements in refined, home decor.
You can also make an eye-catching design statement by mixing shapes throughout your home – think of circular pillows on a rectangular living room couch, for example, or a gallery wall made up of carefully arranged artwork in different shapes and dimensions. As long as you keep the overall look of your room design airy, you can play around with different forms to create visually interesting, contemporary decor.
Minimalist Palettes for Modern Contemporary Decor
The understated approach to contemporary interior design also extends to the color palette itself. Contemporary color palettes tend to include a lot of neutral tones, which are easy to mix and match without overpowering a room. The natural materials mentioned above can help set the tone for the rest of your decor. Colors like natural linen and moss green, for example, are muted but not dull when set off by crisp white walls and stainless-steel fixtures.
A more dramatic approach to the neutral palette is to focus on black and white only to enhance the modern design. This can be especially effective in a home patterned details like tiled floors, for example, or textures like stone and marble.
Although you can create sophisticated interiors by relying entirely on black and white schemes or a mix of neutral shades, there is also plenty of room for experimentation with other colors. The key is to use them as accents and to think about contrast as a design in itself. A few, brightly colored pieces like a Moroccan rug or pop art-inspired throw pillows instantly add dimension to a neutral living room. For a more flamboyant approach, pair a rich bedroom wall color, like navy blue or forest green, with lighter furniture and bedding. This allows your choice of color to truly stand out and have more impact, while creating a pleasing visual contrast.
Bold Accents to Make Contemporary Decorating Styles Pop
Remember, minimalist does not mean boring! In fact, one of the biggest trends of the 21st century has been our focus on individualism. If anything, the contemporary decor approach is about curating your space – so that it best reflects you! This means using a relatively restrained interior design style to showcase a room and the pieces, colors, and accents that mean the most to you, so don’t hesitate to get creative. Think of a neutral wall color as the perfect backdrop for your favorite artworks, for example, or choose subtle furniture and floor coverings to let a bold wallpaper or paint color take center stage. In keeping with the natural trend, contemporary home decor often includes a lot of plants. Their organic shapes instantly draw the eye and contrast beautifully with the sleek lines of geometric room furniture. It’s all about balance and making the statement you want to make.
Beautiful Lighting for Modern Contemporary Decor
One often under-looked design element is lighting, and it’s an excellent opportunity to add a personal, intentional touch to your living space. There are so many eye-catching lighting options that easily replace the standard track lighting that comes pre-installed in your home.
Hang a vintage-inspired pendant light above your dining room table for an airy, Bohemian feeling, or use oversized floor lamps by the sofa to create a cozy alcove within a larger room. Think of each room as a stage, and choose a lighting solution that best complements the activities that will take place in them.