Everything You Need to Know About Contemporary Interior Design
Published: August 20, 2021
Written by: Jason Panuelos
Breathe new life into your space by doing these awesome and easy tips to achieve the contemporary interior design of your dreams like a complete pro.
There’s truly no better time in world of interior design than the present. Today, we are just so open to so many different aesthetics, and at the same time, there’s a ton we’ve learned from past eras of design. The most common interior design style we see today definitely falls under modern interior design and for good reason. The goal of this aesthetic is always to be clean, sophisticated, and oftentimes subdued. It’s sort of a clean canvas look that emerged in 1950s to 1960s where people took a turn from classic design which involved so many details and ornaments and went the complete opposite direction. In the 1970s, people did get a little bit more experimental and wanted their homes to reflect the new cultural factors that took place and it just wasn’t happening with the modern interior design.
This was when designers took a more contemporary style by modifying the modern style and mixing it with various elements to reflect the current trends in the world of design. This involved taking inspiration from past design eras and even other realms of design such as fashion. Before you knew it, new patterns, colors, and even forms had been introduced and felt more refreshing and current – ultimately coming together to form what became known as contemporary interior design.
Interestingly enough, the contemporary style can’t really be boxed into a single definition as it’s supposed to reflect the current trends so it’s the only design style that truly changes with time. Today, contemporary decor usually makes use of a lot of curved lines and minimal details to battle the very typical boxiness that most modern furniture can have. However, in a couple of years, contemporary interior design can look completely different. Who knows? Maybe the designers will bring the gothic cathedral style back? That’s the beauty of this style; there’s never going to be a dull moment.
Modern vs Contemporary Interior Design
Modern Interior Design
- Flourished in the 1950s to 1960s.
- Modern interior design can be defined as a style that makes use of minimal details and ornaments.
- This interior design style will remain the same forever.
Contemporary Interior Design
- Came as a response to the modern design movement in the 1970s.
- Contemporary interior design cannot be defined as it always shows the current trends and will always change with time.
- Contemporary may look a lot like the modern design right now, however, it could be completely different after a decade.
It’s always been a big debate of understanding the difference between modern vs. contemporary interior design. The reason why the two get mixed up and mistaken for each other a lot right now is that contemporary interior design builds off of modern design. Especially right now, the modern interior design still remains to be the most used design style and it is also the most widely available. Contemporary decor aims to modify this and give it new life to show what’s popular in the current culture. For example, fashion has been giving a lot of nostalgia by bringing back the 90s and 70s style, and in turn, contemporary interior design will take a lot of inspiration from the same eras to create a trendier effect. The biggest difference between the two is that contemporary interior design relies on trends while the modern design does not.
10 Best Contemporary Style Furniture We Totally Recommend
A table lamp is one of the things where you can totally experiment as it doesn’t take up a whole lot of room, and it can easily leave an impression. If you’ve ever found yourself to be a little iffy about modifying your space to make it more contemporary, this is a great first step to consider. This particular curved design will definitely cut through all the hard edges existing in your space and add a bit of softness while giving you the illumination that you need.
Patterns and color are a surefire way to bring your modern interiors to a more contemporary style. Modern interior design usually just makes use of plain items or really subtle patterns so you can make things more interesting with a more pronounced pattern through a shag carpet that can add so much softness to the composition of your rooms. This would look great in your living room or even your bedroom.
3. Meridian Furniture Ritz Collection Contemporary Interior Design Velvet Upholstered Sofa With Sturdy Metal Legs
If you’re looking to make a big move for your interior spaces, a sofa is probably the best way to define the design style that you’re going for. This particular style was made famous in the art deco movement in design and it’s certainly making a comeback in contemporary interior design by adding more curved lines and interesting soft textures thanks to the velvet upholstery. This sofa will no doubt grab all the attention while still being your favorite place to lounge in the living area.
A good clean cabinet is every person’s dream and simple design can actually be considered towards the direction of retro furniture rather than modern interior design. It’s an old-style furniture look that’s meant to be paired with really modern design to create an interesting contrast and almost a conversation of furniture belonging to different eras to form an altogether new aesthetic. Also, it’s totally worth noting that the pull hardware on this is stunning.
Here’s another piece of furniture that clearly belonged to the art deco era. The boxy middle evokes an almost Asian inspiration which makes it the perfect accent that isn’t too loud but doesn’t blend in with everything else, either. This would look particularly beautiful with a lot of typical modern furniture just to give your space a little bit of a refresh.
One of the greatest trends in contemporary interior design right now is transparency. Even in fashion, plastic and acrylic have become some of the hottest materials to grace the runway. In a time full of lies and confusion, it’s become the craving of the people for some honesty and transparency. It also doesn’t hurt that it looks so clean and lightweight which makes it an easy trend to pull off in interior design. This gorgeous glass console table is so simple that it would no doubt look great anywhere while still giving you your gorgeous console table at the entryway.
Continuing with the transparent trend, the Ghost chair has been around for a really long time, but when Philippe Starck first revealed this design, it was definitely targeted towards the elite classes. Since then, the Ghost chair has become more and more accessible to everyone and has become a very popular choice for dining chairs around the world. However, it was only until recently when it became truly on-trend in the contemporary interior design world thanks to the prevalence of transparent materials.
Making use of a ton of curved lines, this metal and glass side table is an easy entry as a choice for your contemporary decor. It will still no doubt work wonders with your current furniture; whether they’re more on the modern side or even older styles. The overall look of this end table is clean and sleek but still interesting enough to pull the eyes towards it. The best part is the tone of the metal which is an elegant rose gold that makes it extra perfect in spaces like a girl’s bedroom.
9. Meridian Furniture Lily Collection Contemporary Decor Velvet Upholstered Bed with Deep Channel Tufting and Custom Gold Steel Legs
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the contemporary design of today really celebrates curved lines and even design trends present in the art deco era. This bed frame combines both of those lovely elements and creates a plush paradise right in your very own bedroom. Despite its unique looks, it will still look great with anything else thanks to its dark gray velvet which we all know is complementary to any color you can think of. As the icing on the cake, this contemporary style furniture is finished off with retro gold legs.
This console table from SEI looks almost like it’s trying to mimic modern art with the design of its legs. It is then further framed by the upright metal legs that allow it to stand steadily on your floor. The marble tabletop is another cool touch that helps put it in the contemporary decor territory rather than modern. The best part of this design is that it’s truly so slim that could be used even in tighter spaces such as apartments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Contemporary Interior Design
1. What does the contemporary interior design look like?
Contemporary interior design is impossible to permanently determine as it is always a response to the current trend. However, one thing that can be used to describe it is that it will always take inspiration from past eras and often mix them together to create a unique effect that expresses the intent of the owner of the space. Today, the contemporary interior design explores a lot of different colors outside the neutral spectrum. There’s also a lot of play on patterns and textures that give the space a feeling of fun and life as opposed to the universal approach of modern interior design.
2. How can I decorate my home in a contemporary style?
Taking that first step into updating your home’s interiors can be scary. It also involves a lot of commitment to make sure you achieve the effect that you want. A great way to get started is to just browse the internet for inspiration so you can nail down what you want to do. You can also check out our site for a ton of great recommendations and tips to make your experience all the better. Another nice tip is to just start small with your decor by simply adding a little bit more color by getting art that you like and displaying it in your dining area like the photo above. It will surely give your space a much-needed refresh.
3. Where are contemporary houses most common?
In the U.S., contemporary design can be seen in more upscale neighborhoods in major cities. In the suburbs, most remodeled houses will probably be done in this style to make the spaces look more unique and refreshing. A lot of restaurants have also started to adapt to contemporary style as the popular design style. It’s actually more likely to observe this design in renovated homes as old spaces are the best playground for a contemporary design to happen because very old styles are already present and ready to be given a brand new life and purpose which is what contemporary decor always strives for.
The contemporary style can seem a little bit intimidating at first, but you can think of it right now as modern interior design’s quirky sibling who likes to experiment and be free in life. For a lot of us, a little bit of surprise to break life’s monotony is what we need and it should also reflect in our space. Contemporary interior design can really help us remember to live with the current times and not to rail against it. The only permanent thing, after all, is change, so why not experiment with a design style that celebrates this very fact? Don’t be afraid to take that plunge and we’ve got all the tips you need to help you along the way.