When it comes to contemporary style – there’s no clear-cut definition, especially when it’s so often being confused with modern. Modern style refers to a specific design movement that appeared in the 1920s, which doesn’t change and will remain such forever. On the other hand, contemporary design is ever-evolving to reflect the spirit of the current time. While modern style follows strict guidelines and tends to feel cold and formal, contemporary is fluid and allows a bit of rule-breaking – as long as it’s done minimally.
The defining characteristic of contemporary design is that it puts emphasis on simplicity and sophistication. Therefore, when it comes to contemporary furniture, smooth and clean lines are preferred. The pieces are usually made of hardwood and often gravitate towards a more natural look. To gain its natural appeal, contemporary furniture uses fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, and jute. There are no elaborate curves and no over-the-top decorations. Quite simply – here, less is more. Try not to over-clutter your space and only bring in pieces that are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing.
Don’t forget that the way you place furniture pieces greatly affects whether the room will feel contemporary or not. In contemporary style, the negative space beneath and around the furniture is just as important as positive space. That’s the reason we so often see bulky contemporary furniture such as couches and chairs in rectangular shapes, placed in the middle of the room with plenty of empty space around them. While this also reflects the notion of less is more, it’s also meant to create an open space with more functionality and freedom of movement.
As for the colour palette, neutrals, black, and white are the main inspiration for the backdrop of contemporary interiors. This palette is often accented with bold colours used in statement pieces. Sometimes contemporary spaces have walls and windows painted in pastel, and when this is the case, neutrals (cream, taupe, brown, and white) are used everywhere else.
Again, the “less is more” mantra applies to all aspects of contemporary style, including décor. Avoid making eclectic groupings of various décor elements, and keep accessories simple – in minimal amount, but well chosen. In this paired down style, overscale artworks can shine beautifully, adding drama but without feeling too overwhelming on the streamlined contemporary furniture arrangement.
If you enjoy the present moment, and love interiors that are simple yet current and inviting, contemporary style might be just the right one for you. It’s a style that doesn’t have strict rules that require you to go out of your way. It’s so simple, that you can easily achieve it with the help of well chosen contemporary furniture that evokes balance and harmony.