The ABC of Contemporary Design

Gone are the days when contemporary design was heavily influenced by Nordic design, in the sense that bold colours weren’t into play and the scene was dominated by neutrals only. Well, neutrals are still the base, but there are now more options to add more vibrancy and life to an area through this design. Today’s contemporary design is all about creating a comfortable and welcoming ambience through implementing warmer and more natural colours and its guidelines can be used for both residential and commercial spaces.

The thing people find most confusing about contemporary design is its relation to modern design as many people think that these terms refer to one same thing. Although there are some elements that look alike a lot, the truth is that these two styles are completely different. Modern design refers to the design of the mid-1900s and is characterised by its natural materials, clean low lines and the use of neutral colours while the phrase contemporary design refers to the latest most popular style. The things that generally define the contemporary design of today are subtle sophistication, strategic use of texture and simple and clean lines.

Black, white and neutrals are the main colours used in contemporary design. The walls in a contemporary designed room are usually painted in basic neutrals so you have the freedom to add as many bold coloured accessories as you want.

Strong and visible lines are evident in any contemporary designed home as well as the use of structural elements. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to have exposed plumbing pipes, air ducts, as well as brick walls. All these things can be painted in bold contrasting colours for putting them into an interesting opposition with the walls and their colours.

Let’s not forget about the furniture pieces in contemporary furniture design as they have the power to create a bold statement and still be simple and clean. The thing that defines the contemporary furniture design elements are the smooth and clean geometric shapes, as well as the colour of the upholstery material which can be black, white or any other neutral colour. Regarding the material, wool, linen, cotton, silk, and jute are the mainly used fabrics for adding extra texture. The golden rule you need to stick to is ‘less is more’, so when it comes to choosing sofas, chairs, tables and ottomans, choose ones with exposed legs.

Wood, tile, or vinyl are the most commonly used types of floors for contemporary homes, and if you plan to add a carpet or rug, make sure you choose one with geometric patterns. When it comes to the lighting, track and recessed light fixtures are ideal, however, metallic light fixtures are also an option. To make a painting, art print or poster pop out, use spotlights. And lastly, keep in mind that sculptures or any type of framed arts need to be placed at eye level.