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Today's Lesson is About: Contemporary

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Contemporary design is a very popular style the elements of which can be noticed almost in every home. The fact is that not every person knows exactly what it is and what features it has. Today we will have a more detailed analysis of the contemporary design and its elements as well as learn how it differs from other styles.

What is Contemporary design?

According to the dictionary contemporary is explained as “at the same time” or “in the present”. In general, this notion is associated with things that happen “at the moment”, but in design, there is a bit different accent. It is based on the conventions of the traditional decor and makes a strong emphasis on lines and forms. The rooms designed in the conventional style have much open space and natural light, so every element must be thoroughly considered.

One of the greatest misunderstanding connected with its style is its toss with modern style (Read:Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency). Of course, there are some common features in both of these styles, but the number of differences is even more significant. Modern style has appeared in the 20th century and there are strict guidelines formulated. In the contemporary style, the frames are a not so restricted as it admits breaking the rules and is more fluid.

One more peculiarity of the contemporary style is its changing characteristics. Only current trends can be referred to the contemporary design and everything that was in trend 5 years ago, for example, is considered old-fashioned here. However, in a couple of years, these trends can be completely different too. This style is in the hot pursuit of new materials and elements so it has never looked, looks and will look the same.

Living room virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Features of the Contemporary design elements

As the contemporary design is always evolving we will focus on its current features popular nowadays. Despite its dynamic nature, there are some apparent contemporary design elements including:

1. The color range is predominantly neutral and masculine.

The most common colors are white and black, cream, tan and beige. Of course, it does not mean that only these colors can be met in the contemporary design. There should be a play of colors with a hint, touch or shade of others.

2. Clear straight lines make an impression of simplicity and cleanliness.

All the elements are grounded and have no decorative items. The orientation is along a horizontal axis in everything including furniture and architecture. The key is to focus on simple geometric forms like squares, cylinders, waves or circles. (Read: How To Prepare Your House For Sale: 5 Home Staging Tips & Ideas)

3. Oversized art pieces add color.

Contemporary art is admitted not by everyone so its extraordinary elements that are, moreover, increased in size create a special character in the room. These might be some bright pieces of wallpapers with huge geometric forms, for example, or a huge photography on the wall.

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

4. Storage solutions are hidden from other people’s sights.

You can see only smart and mostly invisible storage places. They might be hidden in the wall or under the bed, in the sculptures or furniture elements - but you will never think they are really there.

5. Transparent or tailored fabrics look simple and clean.

6. Blocking of the colors is used for emphasizing some contemporary style elements.

Add in white spots to a completely black interior is an excellent example of blocking.

Living room virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Living room virtual staging by Spotless Agency

7. Accents are made on black and highly reflective elements.

Steel, chrome, nickel, mirrors, glass are typical materials of the contemporary interior.

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

8. Layers must add comfort and coziness. 

Read: Top 10 Home Staging Mistakes Made By Realtors

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

9. The geometric and classic patterns dominate the style.

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

10. The design is never finished as it is evolving with time and always requires some new elements.

11. Open space is a characteristic of this design allowing it to suit large-scale furniture and art pieces.

12. Simple not adorned floors are a prerogative.

Usually, floors are covered with bamboo, ceramic tile, stone or light wood, while sometimes even concrete may stay there too. The rugs with the geometric design or textural weave must be preferred.

13. Center on the high-impact furniture. It should have clear lines and a striking profile to match the interior.

Living room virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Living room virtual staging by Spotless Agency

14. Huge not adorned windows from floor to ceiling are a source of natural light and the centerpiece of the interior.

Window treatments can be purchased only if you do not like to be on display. They must be sleek like blinds, sheets or solid panels.

15. No or minimum of accessories.

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

Bedroom virtual staging by Spotless Agency

You can opt for a few but simple and thoroughly chosen accessories. (Read: How To Prepare Your House For Sale: 5 Home Staging Tips & Ideas)

Relation of contemporary design to other styles


The constant evolution of the contemporary design results in close relation to a variety of different styles as all the fashion trends move around the circle. Something that used to be in trend dozens of years ago may become an inspiration for modern artists and designers and be undoubtedly referred to the contemporary style. It adjusts its features to the tastes, needs, and wishes of modern people who represent their living space differently depending on a variety of circumstances.

Contemporary style has many common features with the modern one. The elements of the latter style including a low sofa or a shag rug, for example, are combined with pieces from many other styles to achieve a contemporary interior look. (Read: 10 Simple Staging Tips That Make A Home Irresistible)

Many elements of the contemporary style take their origin from the traditional furnishing. Customary for us pieces receive some completely new qualities that make them an indispensable part of the contemporary style.
There are many pieces that are referred to two styles simultaneously. Eclectic elements are often taken from different styles and combined even if they do not match each other and that is characteristic of the contemporary style too. That is why sometimes these two styles get mixed.

Rustic elements can be also often seen in the contemporary interiors though they acquire a little different look. They can have more straight lines or be painted in neutral colors to match the interior.
The contemporary style has common features with many other styles so it is not surprising to see the elements from different styles in it too.