Contemporary Home Accessories and Décor

I’ve always thought of myself as a traditional gal in regard to home décor. However, as time goes by I find myself drawn to the clean lines and minimalist vibe of modern design. So, what’s a girl to do? Maybe it’s time to look into contemporary home accessories and décor.

General Characteristics

Before you jump in and start buying accessories and furnishings, here are some characteristics of contemporary décor to get you moving in the right direction.

Contemporary spaces are a happy combination of sleek modernism and classic traditional design elements. No clinically stark interiors, no overly decorated spaces. The feel is sophisticated, light and airy, warm and inviting, and spot on with the latest design trends.

Even minimal design can evoke a warm and cozy feeling.
Even minimal design can evoke a warm and cozy feeling. | Source

Contemporary interiors feature the best of styles from the latter half of the 20th century through today. The focus is on soft lines, neutral backgrounds, shots of bold color, natural textures and open spaces.

You will find it easy to incorporate contemporary accessories and décor in your home, provided you don’t live in a gingerbread Victorian packed to the rafters with antiques. Some design styles were simply not meant to commingle!

Stick to these simple guidelines when furnishing your home and you will be enjoying contemporary décor before you know it!

Beautiful example of eco-friendly hemp fabric.
Beautiful example of eco-friendly hemp fabric. | Source

Fabrics

A good example of contemporary fabric is the new generation of environmentally friendly textiles. Social responsibility has ushered in a new wave of fabrics based on fair trade practices, natural dyes, organic growing conditions and sustainable fibers. These fabrics are durable and textural, visually pleasing and comfortable.

Cotton, linen, silk and burlap are great choices. However, hemp, abaca and bamboo fabrics have become increasingly popular in contemporary home décor. This is due to their minimal impact on the environment from harvest to manufacture.

Monochromatic room in grays and neutrals -- classic!
Monochromatic room in grays and neutrals -- classic! | Source

Colors

Imagine if you will, a monochromatic color scheme grounded in neutrals like varying intensities of beige, gray, brown, cream and white. To some, this color palette might be the height of boring, but neutrals actually promote harmony and calm. Add interest by introducing an accent wall or ceiling in a contrasting color, black accents, bold pillows or bright throw rugs.

Consider pillows to add color to your contemporary room.
Consider pillows to add color to your contemporary room. | Source

Lighting

Lighting sets the mood for a contemporary room, but it can also serve as a design statement. As in any interior design style, your home should have a balance of natural, general, task and accent lighting. Within each of these categories, the choices of contemporary lighting fixtures are limitless.

Contemporary lighting choices offer function and form in one neat package. For example, an Italian table lamp made from gleaming chrome with an organic glass shade offers flawless task lighting. A sculptural lamp created from moldable silicone provides soft ambient light. Which one of these contemporary style matches your personality and lighting needs?

Choose lighting fixtures that pick up on the contemporary vibe of your room.
Choose lighting fixtures that pick up on the contemporary vibe of your room. | Source

Contemporary chandeliers can be playful with bendable wire arms or classic designs, like a rectangular dining fixture made from wood and brushed nickel. Track lighting is also a suitable choice. It is easy to install and can spotlight specific areas, artwork and accessories.

Furniture

Look for furniture pieces with simple lines and little or no ornamentation. Upholstered pieces should feature natural fabrics or leather, preferably in a neutral solid color. Materials for dining and occasional chairs, tables and bookshelves include woods such as, poplar, ash and beech (think Danish modern), plexiglass, glass and silver-tone metals.

Use a combination of natural and man-made furniture materials.
Use a combination of natural and man-made furniture materials. | Source

Floors and Windows

Keep carpet to a minimum. Bare floors of tile and wood add to the clean nature of contemporary design. You can easily warm up the space with an area rug. Jute, seagrass and shag are excellent choices. Introduce color and pattern with a geometric wool rug.

Expansive windows framed in neutral sheers.
Expansive windows framed in neutral sheers. | Source

Maintain design consistency with light and airy sheers in colors that blend with your wall color. This will create a sense of openness to even the smallest room. Woven wood blinds, cellular shades and curtains in natural fabrics keep the lines simple and are also a good fit in a contemporary space.

Artwork

Contemporary artwork encompasses a variety of media and collections. Experts define contemporary art as works created since the end of World War II. An easy way to think about it is art created during your lifetime.

Choose artwork reflects your personality and sets the tone for your contemporary space.
Choose artwork reflects your personality and sets the tone for your contemporary space. | Source

Artwork is an investment and very personal statement. Out of all the design elements in your home, artwork is one of the most defining features, so choose carefully. Whether your choices are wild and whimsical or subdued and thought provoking, find artwork that reflects your personality and the tone of your contemporary living spaces.

Local art fairs yield unique and affordable accessories for a contemporary room.
Local art fairs yield unique and affordable accessories for a contemporary room. | Source

Decorative Accessories

Home accessories are the final layer of design in any home. A key feature of contemporary accessorizing is the use of hand-created decorative pieces. Source local artisans through galleries and at art festivals.

Seek out colors and designs that will meld with your contemporary color palette. Concentrate on accessories made from natural materials like glass and light reflective metals. Keep well-chosen accessories to a minimum. Remember, clutter is taboo in a contemporary home!

More Ideas for Contemporary Home Accessories and Decor

© 2012 lindacee

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Start a Conversation! 14 comments

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

I need to you come to my house and give it a make-over! I love the contemporary look, lindacee - that blue vase is so very cool!


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

Wonderful hub :) Thinking my house needs to have a bit of this contemporary look! Thanks for the ideas!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Leah, contemporary is a great look and one more people should consider because it is so easy to achieve. Would love to do the makeover -- maybe after the apprenticeship program is completed! Hee hee!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

CassyLu, I'm just brimming with decorating ideas and I love to share them! This Hub was fun to write 'cause I love the look so much. Thanks for the read and compliments!


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

Nicely done! I tend to fumble when it comes to putting things together and I seem to be such a color addict that it becomes a total blob! Now, I buy very little because I know myself! These tips are very helpful and will refer to them. -K


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

I appreciate your comments, krsharp! Being a color addict is a great thing. I'm one as well -- I constantly have to keep myself in check! As with everything, moderation is the key. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the tips and plan to refer back to them. Thanks!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

What a lovely hub! Your advice and tips are very helpful. The pictures and video are awesome. This is so inspiring I really feel like redecorating my whole place right now!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you so much Om! Your kind comments are greatly appreciated. I'm with you! After writing this Hub I feel like redecorating! :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I love the suggestions. The colors and lighting are what I need to work on in my downstairs livingroom. Thanks for the ideas.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thanks teaches! Hope you can incorporate some of these ideas into your room. I'm so pleased my Hub provided you with design inspiration. :)


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I had not thought of myself as all that much of a contemporary design fan, but after reading your overview, I must admit that I've always been a fan of things like eco-friendly fabrics and airy floors. Contemporary design ain't that bad after all, hahaa!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Yeah, Simone, I always equated contemporary with modern. So wrong! Now I categorize my design style as "new traditional". It includes my classic favorites, contemporary trends and, of course, eco-friendly elements. Love it!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

I am not much into contemporary design, but the coffee table in the first picture looks familiar. :) Mine has a glass top, but due to our little living room it is not being used.

Voted up and interesting!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

brsmom68, contemporary home design is not for everyone. Luckily there are many styles to choose from and even traditional furnishings can have a contemporary twist! Thanks for reading and voting!

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