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Design Style Series: Contemporary

Design by Bone Made

Image sourced from

Modern design and contemporary design are very similar, so the terms are often interchanged when discussing design styles. While modern design is characterized by clean lines and an edited approach, contemporary design borrows elements from many different aesthetics. From a bird's eye view, contemporary design is, in essence, about creating a space that feels currently on trend for the here and now. Back in the 20's, that would have meant Art Deco. In the 50's, that would have been Midcentury Modern. No matter what era, contemporary design fits the time and popularity according to when the space was designed. If you're drawn to this style, scroll through for more inspiration before your next big design project!

Design by Dylan Farrell Design

Image sourced from

If you're ready to try this chameleon of a design style, here's a few ways you can do that for your home:

  • Choose a paint color in a soothing neutral shade of gray or beige, to allow for bold contrast with either color or other neutrals, like black and white.

  • Pay attention to silhouettes and shapes in every single piece you bring into a space. Contemporary style is definitely the place to question the standard shape of big pieces like sofas, chairs, and tables.

  • Sculpture applies to your plants too! Sculptural stems and leaves, or wispy tree branches like we show above, add another layer of interest and opportunity for visual contrast.

Design by House of Jade Interiors

Photography by Travis J. Photography and Rebekah Westover

Need more? We've got you!

  • Scale is another element to play with! Think very large, impactful art pieces, or an extra tall headboard with an unexpected detail, like we show below.

  • Steer clear of fussy prints - contemporary style plays heavily with texture pairings next to glossy or lacquered finishes and mixed metals.

  • Lighting is also an important category to watch in terms of silhouette - either opt for something opulent and large, or meticulously simple that seems to defy the laws of gravity.

Design by Lisa Sherry Interieurs

Photographed by Stacey Van Berkel

If you want a quick summary to reference, think of contemporary style as a collection of different styles, in which each piece challenges the status quo for design in scale and/or silhouette! We haven't done a contemporary project lately, but this post is making us antsy to get our hands on a project!

Design by Moore House Design

Photographed by Erin McGinn

Do you see yourself diving into contemporary interiors, or does this look like the vision board you had in your single days with no one to mess up your space? We'd love to know - comment below!

And if you want to catch up on first three design style posts in this series, click through below to read!



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