Contemporary Interior Design

While styles like Mid-Century Modern and Art Deco are rooted in movements of a specific era, Contemporary design is ever-changing. Taking notes from a variety of design styles, Contemporary interior design is subtle yet curated with an emphasis on comfort. Contemporary spaces take "stark" to a new level with monochromatic color schemes and bold yet simple designs. Because contemporary design is rooted in the present, it won't always look the same in every home. Other popular design styles ultimately influence how contemporary style is interpreted in individual spaces. But there are a few key concepts to keep in mind when decorating a contemporary living space.
Contemporary Interior Design

Borrowing the simplicity and clean lines of Modern design and the subtle sophistication and comfort of Transitional style, Contemporary interior design takes the best of these popular looks to the next level, delivering a streamlined space that offers a unified, comfortable, and deliberate aesthetic. Open spaces are the focal point of a contemporary room, as furniture and decor are kept subtle and intentional.

While neutrals lay the foundation for the color palette, bright, bold colors also play a role in contemporary spaces. If walls and furniture are neutral, use accessories like wall art, area rugs, and throw pillows to introduce bold accent colors. If you’re working with a bold wall color, keep decor and furniture neutral to balance out the look. Monochromatic color schemes are another popular option for contemporary spaces, and you can nail the look by playing with various textures and shades of your primary color.

Contemporary Style


Contemporary Living Room

Contemporary style living room

Contemporary furniture tends to be softer than modern furniture, highlighting smooth rounded lines, natural materials, and fabric upholstery. Fluidity and simplicity are hallmarks of contemporary style, so look for quality pieces over quantity of decor. Natural fibers add texture to neutral furniture, so tie in fabrics like wool, cotton, linen, jute, and silk. Opt for furniture that is casual yet comfortable with curvy shapes and smooth upholstery. Avoid heavy or ornate furniture, and instead think light, neutral, sustainable, and practical.

Decorative accents like a distressed traditional area rug or flatwoven jute rug bring texture and color to the space. Round out contemporary furniture with warm elements like plush throw pillows in light neutral shades, curvaceous sculptures, or wall art that features rounded shapes. Soft wall colors and lots of natural light also help bring warmth to the space.


Contemporary Dining Room

Contemporary style dining room

A contemporary dining room is simple yet sophisticated. While modest in design, this dining room is anything but plain. Straight-back or slightly curved armless upholstered dining chairs are both comfortable and contemporary options for this dining room style. Paired with a sleek dining table, these chairs are a great way to add warmth and comfort to a contemporary dining space.

Avoid cluttering up the space with a large centerpiece. Instead, opt for a cut-crystal or hand-carved wooden bowl filled with fresh fruit. A short square or round vase filled with fresh-cut flowers can be a good way to warm up a stark dining space. Too much clutter can feel chaotic, so keep furniture and decorative accents to a minimum to create a relaxing place to unwind. Use a large art piece on the wall as a focal point, or choose a dining table that offers a unique shape or design to create a standout space.


Contemporary Bedroom

Contemporary style bedroom

Contemporary design is an excellent style for creating a tranquil bedroom. Clean lines, neutral hues, and open spaces make for a calming atmosphere. Keeping the space light and airy is easily achieved with sheer curtains that gently filter natural light, a platform bed that is elevated off the ground with narrow legs, and sleek bedroom furniture that boasts minimalist designs. Subtlety is key, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go bold with the addition of artwork and decor. To achieve a successful and impactful contemporary design, use bold colors and decor pieces sparingly and strategically to create focal points that don’t overpower the space.