What is a contemporary house design style

 What is a contemporary house design style

There are a lot of different interior design styles that define homes, and contemporary is one of the most popular. Contrary to what it might sound like, a contemporary home isn’t just one that’s up to date in terms of style, although that’s a large part of it. Contemporary is its own subset of design, and refers to a specific point of view with specific features—including some that, at least in the current moment, overlap with modern and minimalist/Scandinavian homes.

If you’re styling a new home from scratch—or if you’re just trying to figure out what your personal interior design style is—understanding the ins and outs of contemporary homes could be helpful. Here’s what to know about this popular home style, as well as some tips for bringing it to life in your space.

What is a contemporary home?

A contemporary home is one that reflects the current style, which in this case would be 21st century architecture and design. It’s evolutionary, meaning it changes and grows as we do, constantly adapting to what’s new, intriguing, and trending in the world of home design.

Because the concept of a contemporary home is so fluid, it often overlaps with other interior design styles. For example, today’s contemporary homes present with many similar elements of modern boho, farmhouse, and mid-century modern design—serving as a testament to the trending nature of these styles.

Key to note is that a contemporary home isn’t just about adopting the most popular trends from other design styles. Equally important is pushing the boundaries of what’s new, and in today’s contemporary homes, that often means a widening focus on sustainability and smart features, including eco-friendly building materials, energy-efficiency, and smart home products.

How to design a contemporary home

Because contemporary design is by definition of the moment, you can often learn a lot about what elements to include in a contemporary home simply by looking at what’s trending in home décor magazines and on social media.

That being said, there are some broad features of contemporary design that you can adapt to your own home if you want to bring it more up to date. Here are some of the big things to keep in mind.

  1. Let there be light (and lots of it)
    Today’s contemporary homes celebrate and accentuate light—both natural and artificial. This involves letting light in whenever possible, particularly through structural elements like large windows and skylights.Of course, unless you’re building a new house or doing a complete renovation you’ll be restricted to the existing windows that you already have. But there are still lots of things that you can do to emphasize light throughout your home, including:
    • Focus on window treatments. Your window treatments can make all the difference when it comes to how much natural light penetrates into your space. Opt for sheer or neutral shades, blinds, and curtains, and keep them open during the day to let the light in.Ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is the lighting you don’t normally think too much about, such as can lights, flush mounts, track lights, and anything else that serves the main purpose of simply making it so that you can see in a room. If you’re lacking in ceiling lights, use floor lamps to illuminate more of your space.
    Aside from these essentials, use accent lighting—think sconces, LEDs, up-lighting, and table lamps—to further brighten up your home, particularly when it comes to highlighting key features like artwork and cabinetry.
  1. Use color wisely
    Black, white, and neutrals are central to a contemporary house. There is a place for color too, though generally as an accent instead of the primary shade in a room.Balance out color throughout your home by using black, white, and neutrals like beige, taupe, and muted, earthy blues and greens as your main hues, which will ground the space and give it a contemporary feel. From there, you can bring in pops of color throughout through décor, art, and other small but impactful features.
  2. Bring your floors up to date
    The contemporary home is all about clean lines and smooth textures—and that extends to your choice of flooring. Wood or wood-styled vinyl or laminate are a popular pick, with rugs used in lieu of carpets to soften certain areas without drowning them in texture. Avoid ceramic tiles like terracotta and porcelain, which will appear dated in this style of home.
  3. Dally in décor
    The suggestions so far have been largely structural, but what about décor? Contemporary home design isn’t big on clutter, but there is absolutely a place for well-balanced, well-thought out décor pieces.Some things to focus on:
    • Plants, especially large ones
    • Artwork in non-ornate frames
    • Metallic or glass accent pieces
    • Use of natural stone

Sergej Schmitt


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