Contemporary Interior Design
Contemporary and modern design styles are defined by clean lines accentuated by sculptural furnishings, art, and bold contrast. Some find contemporary style stark and unwelcoming while others find the underlying simplicity refreshing. Almost everyone can enjoy the uncluttered, relaxing vibe of modern style.
Colors used in contemporary and modern design range from neutrals to bright colors, though it is the use of black that defines the contemporary palette. Muted colors and monochromatic color schemes are also popular in modern interior design including hues of white, cream, brown, and taupe. Pops of color are often added with accessories and accent furniture pieces.
Through the use of negative space, each element in contemporary design has the appearance of independence while still contributing to the overall design of the room. Architectural and functional elements enhance textural interest and line.
The underlying simplicity of line, shape, and form in contemporary design requires only a few well placed accessories. Contemporary art is simple, dramatic, and large in scale. Art pieces are set off from other elements in the room by lighting or solo placement on a pedestal. Textures such as brushed metal, chrome, and glass are popular in modern kitchen and bathroom designs.
Woods like birch, ash, and maple are commonly seen in contemporary flooring and cabinetry. Plush or shag rugs add comfort and texture to wood or tile floors and help to round out the color palette. Lighting is an exceptionally important element in contemporary design. Recessed lights are used to wash walls and highlight art, while unique accent light fixtures serve as art statements.
During the early twentieth century, innovative materials started a revolution in furniture design. As a result, contemporary and modern furniture designers developed pieces from materials like acrylic, steel, plastic, and molded plywood. Influential design movements for modern furnishings include Scandinavian style, Bauhaus, and Art Deco. New materials are still being pioneered by contemporary designers who often seek out green design solutions.
Contemporary and modern furniture is often created in unconventional shapes with clean, smooth lines and no frills, ruffles, or carved details. Fabrics used on upholstered furnishings are often cotton or linen in solid neutrals, black, or bold colors. Sofa and chair skirts are flat or box pleated while exposed legs are thick and solid. Pillows, in clean geometric shapes, can be used to add a shot of color.
Since all contemporary and modern furniture is cleanly shaped, the upholstery is really what defines the casualness or formality of the room. Furniture upholstery in modern design tends to be low maintenance fabrics like cotton, microfiber, and leather. Upholstery colors range from bold primary colors to neutral hues of putty, cream, and black.