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GET THE LOOK - What is Contemporary Style?

***Original post 2021.***

I have already talked a little about how Contemporary Style is different from Modern Style here. Check that post out first if you are unsure of the difference because it's an important one! Contemporary is a word that means "of the moment". This means Contemporary Design is always changing with the times. At one point, all of the major Design movements were contemporary. For example, in the 1920's and 30's Art Deco was contemporary. And in the 1930's to 60's Mid-Century Modern was contemporary.

So what is Contemporary Style right now? Let's take a look at some of the trends.

Contemporary Style

A contemporary living room design featuring neutral colors and sculptural lighting and accessories to bring interest.

How to Get the Look - Key Elements

  1. MATERIALS - Natural materials are everywhere right now, including lots of natural stone like marble, onyx and alabaster. Ceramics are seeing a resurgence in the form of tiles, lighting and decor. Fabrics are natural cotton, linen, hemp, leather and silk and highly textured. Natural toned wood is back in a big way. Of particular note is its renewed use in cabinetry after a decade or so of primarily painted finishes in kitchens and baths.

  2. SHAPES - The lines of furnishings are simple but softened rather than angular. Lighting, furniture and decor all have bold sculptural forms. There is a focus on simplicity in design and using unconventional forms as well as the idea of comfort as luxury.

  3. COLORS & PRINTS - Neutral palettes are still going strong, but darker, moodier colors are seeing a resurgence as well, particularly on walls. Abstract geometric prints are still popular but with more irregular compositions. Gestural prints feel like an artist's brushstrokes on a canvas.

  4. ACCESSORIES - Accessories are simple and spare, often larger in scale to make them more impactful.

  5. STYLE INSPIRATIONS - Elements of Modern, Coastal, Deco and Industrial styles can all be mixed artfully in one space.

Now that you know how, start creating your own Contemporary Design! Click on any of the products below to Shop the Look.

***Updated April 2024.  In the case that the same items were not available, similar items were chosen.***

Contemporary Style

Not a fan of the options above? Here are some alternatives so you can make it your own! Click on any of the items to get a closer look.

Contemporary Sofas & Chairs

Contemporary Coffee & Side Tables

Contemporary Lighting

Contemporary Accessories

Contemporary Rugs & Pillows

Websites to shop for more Contemporary Style:

If you haven't yet, take my Design Style Quiz to see what your personal style is!

There's more Design Styles to come so keep checking back. Better yet, hit subscribe above to get email notifications when a new post comes out, and exclusive access to design advice not available on my blog. Let me know what you think of these finds in the comments below!

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If you would like to see more Interior Design Inspiration head over to my Portfolio for a little eye candy.

If you need more assistance pulling a look together for you space, you can read more about what I offer on my Services page.


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