Establish Your Style Series: Contemporary

Hello my minimalist friends, welcome to contemporary style where space, natural light and clean lines shine. If you are like me and fairly OCD, here we can thrive in a style where everything has a place and we do not waste.

Contemporary is often confused with it’s more serious and stricter sibling, modern style. Contemporary is in the now while modern looks back to the machine era for inspiration. 

Want your home to reflect the expansive, smooth and formidable style that is contemporary? Let us dive in: 

Tip#1: Tap That Axis: Lines, lines and more lines. Contemporary style centers around straight horizontal and vertical axes (yes, this is axis in plural, weird right) and references clean lines, planes, 90-degree angles and geometry. Time to get your math on peeps! Also, do not fear curves. Bring in circular shapes to add depth through lighting and decor. 

Contemporary Living Room by Pompano Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Interiors by Steven G

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Contemporary Kitchen by Palo Alto Architects & Building Designers Tobin Dougherty Architects

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Contemporary Staircase by Laguna Beach Interior Designers & Decorators GARY FINLEY, ASID

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Contemporary Bathroom by Houston Architects & Building Designers C O N T E N T Architecture

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Tip#2: I Woke Up Like Dis Materials: No frills or pomp here, materials should be au natural. Wood should look like wood in its most basic form. Leave the crown molding and ornate cabinetry carvings at the door. Surfaces should be smooth and basic. Materials should reflect their most authentic form without ornament.  

Contemporary Kitchen by New York Interior Designers & Decorators valerie pasquiou interiors + design, inc

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Contemporary Bedroom by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers SB Architects

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Contemporary Kitchen by Other Metro Architects & Building Designers Optimise Design

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Tip#3: Open Spaces: Contemporary style focuses on making spaces feel expansive, light and airy. Now don’t go too crazy, we are not trying to evoke the sense of unending emptiness either. Be sure to fill your space with large scale furniture and appropriately placed, even over-sized decor. Going contemporary in style requires synonymous contemporary architecture but allows for creativity in design and layouts. 

Contemporary Family Room by Nashville Interior Designers & Decorators Anderson Design Studio

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Contemporary Bathroom by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina V. Gentry, RID

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Contemporary Family Room by Austin Design-Build Firms Triton Austin

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Contemporary Bathroom by Los Angeles Architects & Building Designers Griffin Enright Architects

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Tip#4: Natty Light: No college friends, I mean natural light. “Light, light, light, in the light” says Led Zeppelin and so does contemporary style. Use light to emphasize openness. Windows should not be bogged down with fabrics, but large and in focus. Make sure your furniture layouts center around high-scale windows and maximize light. 

Midcentury Family Room by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Jennifer Weiss Architecture

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Contemporary Living Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Marie Burgos Design

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Contemporary Living Room by Saskatoon Interior Designers & Decorators Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.

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Tip#5: On Sleek: “Shine on you crazy diamond” (I’m feeling the classics today). Contemporary style welcomes high gloss and polished surfaces. Chrome, nickel, steel, lacquer, glass, acrylic, plastic and tile fit right in. But don’t go too crazy diamond, make sure to mix in matte finishes and unpolished surfaces to add depth. We don’t want heads to explode from the shiny glare. 

Contemporary Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Mark English Architects, AIA

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Contemporary Living Room by Other Metro Photographers Elad Gonen

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Contemporary Kitchen by New York Architects & Building Designers Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC

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Tip #6: Minimal Decor and Functional Furnishings: Everything has a place and should be tucked securely away and hiding. Contemporary style nods to a minimalist aesthetic. What furnishings do appear should be functional and serve a purpose. Decor should be sparse but add depth, some color and texture. Choose wisely and remember you will not see many curtains, slipcovers, skirts or rugs here. 

Midcentury Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA

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Modern Dining Room

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Contemporary Bedroom by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited

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Tip#7: A Mostly Muted Palette: Contemporary style is all about emphasizing space. Color should not be too overpowering so shapes take center stage. Cream, white, tan, beige, gray and black are all good ones for a monochromatic scheme. Color is welcome, but should be subtle or soft and carefully chosen as only one or two accent colors will do. 

Contemporary Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers John Maniscalco Architecture

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Contemporary Kitchen by Nashville Interior Designers & Decorators Beckwith Interiors

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Contemporary Family Room by Aspen Architects & Building Designers Charles Cunniffe Architects Aspen

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Contemporary Bathroom by Danbury General Contractors Blansfield Builders, Inc.

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Tip#8: Gallery Style: Let’s be honest, contemporary spaces tend to resemble art museums and galleries anyway. Jazz it up with large-scale art pieces but make sure it feels balances with the few chosen accessories you have in a space. 

Contemporary Bedroom by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Habachy Designs

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Contemporary Living Room by San Anselmo Interior Designers & Decorators Ann Lowengart Interiors

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Contemporary Living Room by Milwaukee Architects & Building Designers Bruns Architecture

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Exterior style: Perhaps the most visually dynamic and intriguing are contemporary exteriors, check it out: 

Contemporary Exterior by Englewood Interior Designers & Decorators cindy mccoy designs

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Contemporary Exterior by Sun Valley Real Estate Agents Katherine Rixon and Rob Cronin

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Contemporary Exterior by Mill Valley Architects & Building Designers Markoff / Fullerton Architects
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So far we have explored Traditional, Hollywood Glam and Contemporary. Eclectic is next.
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Want to see a particular style? Sound off in the comments below. 
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Until next time,
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Jenn

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