What is Contemporary Interior Design?
Contemporary interior design can be defined in several ways. One common interpretation is that a contemporary design style refers to the style of decor that is popular in the present day, whenever that may be. This includes furniture, fabrics, and accessories that are currently in vogue, as well as the latest trends in fashion and technology.
Another way to think of contemporary style is as a design movement that began in the mid-20th century. This approach to design is characterised by clean lines, minimalism, and a focus on function. Contemporary interior designers often seek to create spaces that are both stylish and practical.
Whether you are looking to update your home with the latest contemporary style bathroom, contemporary bedroom or contemporary style kitchen space, or simply seeking a more timeless approach to your home design, contemporary design can be a great option to consider.
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Characteristics of a Contemporary Style Home
Several key characteristics define most contemporary interiors:
Clean and Uncluttered
Contemporary interiors are known for having straight lines and few decorative elements, with the overall look being clean and uncluttered.
Contemporary design also emphasises functionality, with every room element serving a purpose. The Benjamin Franklin quote, "A place for everything, everything in its place" certainly applies here.
Making the most of all available natural light is a particularly important consideration in contemporary interior design.
Materials that are generally little used in most homes, such as metal, concrete and glass (for decorative items) are staples in contemporary design.
Neutral Colour Schemes
The bulk areas of walls in contemporary spaces are made up of white, black and neutral colours, with flashes of bright colours coming from accent walls, furniture and accompanying textiles.
Large Structural Plants
Due to contemporary rooms often being open and spacious, plants are large and dramatic so as not to be lost within the overall design space.
Solid hard-wearing flooring such as concrete, marble, stone and wood are preferred in a contemporary style space over carpets and vinyl, with large area rugs used to bring in colour, patterns, texture and warmth.
Contemporary room walls are kept clear from unnecessary objects, decorations or wall art, making sure that clean lines aren't compromised by the wall decor, and the minimalist aesthetic is upheld.
Contemporary Interior Design Ideas
I have pulled together some of my favourite contemporary home interiors to hopefully give you some inspiration for your interior design ideas.
Modern Contemporary Style
Image credit: studio-mcgee.com
This updated living room diner has been given a full contemporary style makeover, from a traditional 1960s space with natural elements such as the stone fireplace and oak beams on the high ceiling, into a contemporary style interior design with a much more modern and contemporary feel.
The unique hanging pendant lights echo western saloon candle holders of the past, whilst the lack of window treatments on the large-scale glass panels gives an obvious and lasting boost to the amount of natural light that the room receives.
What we are ultimately left with is a bright, open and airy space with a modern contemporary interior design.
Modern Design Kitchen Living
Image credit: fabricsandpapers.com
This contemporary living room space is separated from the sleek modern kitchen by smoky effect sliding glass doors. These room dividers are crucial in bringing the amount of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows into the kitchen area, that a modern open space like this deserves.
The two main contemporary style design elements of this room that are hard to miss are firstly the subtle combination of geometric shapes throughout, in the walls, furniture, windows, lighting and rug (I'm not sure if this was planned or just a happy coincidence).
Secondly the use of golden yellow as an accent colour that has been carried through numerous elements such as the sofa cushions, flowers, within the artwork and even the mugs and other objects in the kitchen.
Contemporary Home Garden Room
Image credit: faap.co.uk
As with many contemporary interior design styles, neutral tones have been used across the board. The light grey seating and other furniture pieces, soft-toned flooring and white walls all stick closely to this theme.
The only deviation from this is the pastel blue and pink cushions and the dominant black metal of the structural elements.
Vast glass sliding doors in a matching black trim finish the room off perfectly, and whether open or shut, create a stunning indoor, and outdoor space with views to die for.
Beach Vibes Modern Interior Design
Image credit: homehighlight.co.uk
This modern contemporary design style living room has a cool beach vibe that would be at home on any LA beachfront.
White has been chosen as the main colour, which has been used for the majority of the wall space, ceiling and leather furniture. A subtle palette of colours comes from a few objects and small splashes within the geometric patterned rug.
The horizontal lines of the wall unit doors create the illusion of visually extending an already wide space, while the see-through nature of the full glass tables helps to keep the room feeling open, airy and spacious.
I love this built-in TV and storage wall so much that I decided to dedicate a whole article to modern TV walls.
Contemporary Living Room
Image credit: onekindesign.com
The contemporary style of this warm and inviting living room is a beautifully designed space for any modern family.
Contrasting against the bright white walls and furniture are the warm tones of the wooden flooring and contemporary furniture pieces made from natural materials, like the stone wall, marble table and hand-carved wooden door.
Neutral colours have been used throughout for all accessories, the rug, vase and cushions to name a few.
Contemporary Style Open Living Space
Image credit: homestratosphere.com
Open spaces are a main feature of any contemporary style room, and this living space certainly has that in spades.
Neutral colours, such as the greys in the furniture, large area rug, and the browns and beiges of the ceiling and tiled walls all neatly tie the whole theme together.
The full-width glass sliding doors are the true star of the show, which when fully open, create the ultimate open-air space for daytime chilling and evening gatherings alike.
Contemporary Open Plan Kitchen Living
Image credit: pinterest.co.uk
The contemporary style interior design of this open-plan kitchen, living and dining space is a well-thought-out interior design scheme.
Against the crisp white walls and ceiling, only three other colours make up the bulk of the design's colour scheme. The light grey of the kitchen units, blue/grey of the sofas and gold cushions as an accent.
Elegant glass sphere light fixtures hang beautifully from the skylight beam above, adding the perfect task lighting over the kitchen island, which in this case is used as a breakfast bar and preparation area.
My Final Thoughts
The design of your home is not only a reflection of your taste and of who you are as a person and the functions that you need it to perform. Therefore, I believe it's important to choose a design style that reflects your personality and interests.
Should you choose to go down the route of contemporary interior design, you will need to create an open, uncluttered space, that has a minimalist contemporary aesthetic and utilises modern materials and techniques.