How to Decorate in Contemporary Style

If keeping current with the latest fashion trends and enjoying things that are fresh, modern for today, and comfortable is important to you, you probably like contemporary style décor. Commonly confused with modern style which is defined by a specific time period and follows a strict style format, contemporary design is ever changing and evolving to keep up-to-date with the times. It is comfortable and welcoming without being cluttered or dark.

Contemporary style is current, comfortable, and uncluttered.

Contemporary style is current, comfortable, and uncluttered.

Contemporary style is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, texture and clean lines. Contemporary interiors focus on color, space, and shape to keep them sleek and fresh. The style is open and inviting and is equally appropriate for homes, commercial businesses, stores, and restaurants. If clean, comfortable, and uncluttered is the look you want for your home’s interiors, here are some tips to help you decorate your rooms in contemporary style.

Start With Color

Use fabircs and accessories to bring in color to the room.

Use fabrics and accessories to bring color to the room.

A contemporary room starts with a main color that is neutral, black, or white and punched up with more colorful fabrics and accessories. Walls are usually painted in a basic neutral color to provide a calm, unifying backdrop for brighter and bold colors used in accessories. Black can be used to ground a space and help define the room. If walls are painted in more pastel hues, keep the trims neutral such as white, cream, or natural wood. If you prefer bolder colors on your walls, use neutral tones everywhere else in the room.

It’s All About Lines And Space

Contemporary rooms showcase the space rather than focus on things. Architectural details are more streamlined. Interiors tend to have high ceilings, bare or minimally dressed windows, bold color blocks, and emphasize geometric shapes in wall décor, artwork, and sculpture. In contemporary design, less is more. Bare spaces are as important as areas filled with objects so each piece stands out.

High ceilings and open spaces define contemporary interiors.

High ceilings and open spaces define contemporary interiors.

Floors are usually bare and smooth. Hardwood, tile, and vinyl work well for these spaces. Color and texture can be added with plain or geometric patterned area rugs. If you prefer wall-to-wall carpet, stick with basic, solid neutral carpeting.

Structural elements such as ductwork, exposed beams or pipes, and exposed brick walls also become an essential part of the décor. To call attention to any of these structural elements, paint them in a contrasting color. To tone down their importance, paint them to blend in with the surrounding walls.

Keep It Light And Bright

Use your lighting fixtures to make a staetment.

Use lighting fixtures to make a statement.

Contemporary styled rooms use lighting to make a statement. Larger windows let in more sunlight to brighten your home’s spaces with plenty of natural light. In addition, contemporary style incorporates floor and ceiling lights to augment natural light. Choose statement pieces such as bold pendants, lighting fixtures with metallic finishes in chrome, steel, or nickel rather than wood, ceramic, or painted finishes, and floor and table lamps with straight, sleek lines instead of soft curves. Chandeliers and sconces can also be used to direct focus on specific pieces of artwork or areas you want to highlight within the room.

Contemporary Style Furniture

When decorating your home in contemporary style, try to refrain from filling a room with more furniture than you have space for. Furnishings should ideally have smooth, glossy finishes and are free from adornments. Save the scrollwork, engravings, and ornate detailing for traditional spaces. Clean and tidy is the key for contemporary interiors.

Contemporary furniture favors simple, straight lines.

Contemporary furniture favors simple, straight lines.

For contemporary furniture, choose light and natural wood finishes over dark. Choose woods with less graining such as maple and birch. Opt for natural fabrics for upholstery such as leather, cotton, canvas, or linen. Other materials such as wool and silk to add texture and interest can be introduced into the mix with pillows, window treatments, area rugs, or throws. With the exception of geometric prints, avoid excessive use of patterns and keep it simple with no-fuss solids and less busy details. Animal prints, polka dots, and florals will clash with the overall theme of the room and are best used in other styles of décor.

Keep Your Accessories To A Minimum

To keep a contemporary space open and inviting, you should ideally keep your rooms free from excess clutter. Limit your decorative accents to a few simple pieces or add one or two statement pieces that provide visual impact. Do not fill your room with too many accessories and don’t clutter tables, counters, and walls with too many items.

How to Decorate in Contemporary Style

Keeping accessories to a minimum helps create simple and subtle ambience.

Paintings and wall art can add bold pops of color, but you should avoid elaborate landscapes or scenes that are more typically found in traditional settings. Vases, bowls, trays, sculptural items, books, and photo frames are great ways to accessorize a room. Stick with similar colors and keep colors to a minimum to better harmonize the accessories with the rest of the décor.

If clean and simple style appeals to you, check out our selection of contemporary décor items.