Defining Contemporary Interior Design Style
Contemporary design derives from modern design styles, but eschews the rigid minimalism of Bauhaus or the streamlined styling of the mid 20th century. It opts instead for edited accessorizing, for softer lines and subtle color palettes.
The interior design style known as Contemporary should not be confused with contemporary design, the latter being designs popular at the moment.
Rather, Contemporary design is a transitional design defined by the bridging of that which is distinctly modern design and the current concept of eclectic design. A Contemporary design scheme includes a mix of the past and present, a touch of the personal and is, above all else, comfortable.
Upholstered furniture is cloistered into cozy seating arrangements to encourage conversation. The couches and chairs are cushiony and covered in durable, soft fabrics. The colors are subdued, yet rich. Cocoa browns have given way to nuttier browns. Bright orange is more burnt and yellows more discreet.
Contemporary is all about making your home your comfort zone, not a show place. Your grandmother’s rocking chair is right at home with the new sofa. The odd mix of pieces creates a distinct character to each of your rooms.
There is an art though to this style. The key is keeping the eclectic characteristics in check. Too many of the family hand me downs and your home looks like a collection of cast offs. Too few and the solitary pieces don’t relate to the overall scheme.
The advantage of Contemporary design lies in its diversity. This diversity makes achieving this design scheme fairly simple. You can create a warm and comfortable style that is both unique and, well, contemporary.
In this style, eliminate ruffles, fringe, bangles and beads. Limit your accessories to sculptural pieces, such as silver plate bowls or abstract statuary. Keep your accessories to a minimum.
If your current furniture has patterned fabrics, purchase slipcovers in solid colors. Choose soft, quieter colors such as sage green, misty blues or grays. If your tables and cabinetry are ornately carved, trade them out for furnishings with sleeker lines.
Eliminate fussy window treatments and replace them with simple drapery panels or shades. Keep the lines simple and soft.
Now add your “character” pieces. These may be an antique quilt folded and placed across the foot of the bed, an overstuffed ottoman and a portrait of your great Aunt Hattie dressed in an evening gown.
That’s it. Clean, soft, uncluttered. A touch of whimsy and a touch of class. That’s Contemporary.
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