Design Style Spotlight: Contemporary - DezignSpace

Design Style Spotlight: Contemporary

Style Vibe: Subtle sophistication, sleek, uncluttered, light, airy.


Although Contemporary and Modern styles share similarities, Contemporary design stands all on its own. Modern interior design represents forward-thinking styles, even if it began decades ago, whereas Contemporary design includes the ever-evolving styles of the present moment. It offers greater flexibility and has a larger style scope than Modern design, which has more rigid style criteria. Contemporary design includes several sub-groups like Art Deco, Modern, and Scandinavian. To further clarify, Modern design is Contemporary; however, the reverse is incorrect. Not all Contemporary design is Modern.

Want to know which design style matches the vibe you’re going for in your space? Take our quiz to find out! 


What are the Hallmarks of Contemporary Design?

The Contemporary design style focuses on color, shape, line, and mass while also emphasizing the open space around an object rather than the thing itself.


Is Contemporary Style For You?

This style is a perfect match for minimalists, artists, and/or anyone who loves art.



What Does a Contemporary Home Look Like?

Contemporary architecture favors asymmetry, clean lines, and open floor plans. It avoids anything overly ornamental, with typical features including flat roofs, simple trims, and large windows.

How to Design Your Space in the Contemporary Style:


Color Palette 

Contemporary color palettes are composed of neutrals, white, grey, black, taupe, and occasional pops of color.



Contemporary furnishings showcase sleek lines and geometric silhouettes with upholstery in natural textiles like silk, wool, and cotton. Raised chairs and sofas accompanied by glass and metal coffee tables are also commonly seen.



Contemporary style flooring includes anything that successfully serves as a supporting backdrop, such as simple hardwoods, low-pile carpets, large format tile, or stone. For even more details on flooring, check the handy dandy resources in The Library!




Contemporary decor includes large, chunky objects in high-shine metal, glass, and stone finishes, while pillows, throws, and rugs are used to soften the overall look. Eye-catching paintings or art pieces that act as focal points are a must.


Window Treatments

Window treatments are minimal in Contemporary design, especially if the windows are large or have a view. Long white sheers and dark-toned blinds are often used. By the way, the DezignSpace has your back when it comes to the ins and outs of window treatments; check out Drama-free Drapery: Your Detailed Guide to Understanding Window Treatment Basics


What to AVOID When Styling a Contemporary Space

The Contemporary design style avoids skirted furniture and anything that produces too much visual “noise,” like clutter, busy patterns, or intricate details.




Is the Contemporary design style totally your jam? If so, then you are going to LOVE these retailers: 



There’s plenty more where that came from; why not take a peek at another design style spotlight? We think you’ll love the Design Style Spotlight: Traditional.


Leave a Reply