What defines contemporary style when it comes to interior decorating?
Developed in the latter half of the 20th century, contemporary style is a combination of softened, rounded lines with both neutral and bold color elements. The focus of the space is on the lines, shapes, & forms, and is often inspired by materials found in nature.
Common throughout contemporary design is a trend toward neutral color palettes with pops of bold color. Different shades of tan, cream, and white, are often used and then accentuated by a piece of bold wall art, or bright accent pillows, or an ornate and colorful rug.
Multiple fabrics are used in contemporary design to create visual interest. Silk, wool, cotton, & linen are common for their textural appeal, while geometric patters and bold colors are often used to draw focus to the pieces they are accentuating.
Frequently seen elements in contemporary furniture are chrome, stainless steel, treated glass, nickel, and light colored woods like maple and birch. The furniture itself is usually minimalistic – clean, smooth, rounded lines, with little adornment or carving.
(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima)
Lighting in contemporary spaces serves a dual purpose:
- It is used as an artistic representation
- It is used for specific functionality – to light a desk, to highlight a piece of art, recessed in the ceiling so as not to disrupt any of the room’s clean lines, etc.
The lighting elements themselves usually consist of straight lines, and metallic finishes, with color being introduced in the form of lamp shades.
By combining differing materials instead of multiple contrasting colors, contemporary design creates vast visual and textural interest. Pared down design allows the eye to focus on the elements of the room that demonstrate serenity and bold sophistication.
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