What is Contemporary Style?

Contemporary style is pretty much what it says on the tin.  It’s the style of the here and now.  It’s not to be confused (although often is) with Modern style which actually refers to a set time period of design around the mid-century – but there are similarities and overlaps.  However today we are going to be focusing on the clean and often striking look that Contemporary style embodies.

contemporary buildings

While all rules are meant to be learned and then creatively broken (at least in my book), it’s good to understand the principals of certain styles to understand what makes them work in an interior design.  The beauty of Contemporary is that it’s ever changing – what is current today will not be considered current next year or the year after that.  As more materials that are used in design are created and developed, these then become the new footprint upon which design is formed.

Contemporary living room

Contemporary design reflects the values of today’s society.  So you’ll find the materials are often eco-friendly or sustainable and often characterised by sleek lines and a minimalist look.  Architectural elements tie the outdoors with the indoors with large windows to let in as much natural light as possible, high ceilings and large expanses are unadorned with fussy or ornamental detail.  Sustainable wood, natural materials, polished concrete that reflects light and furniture in organic shapes are common.

Contemporary kitchen

Colour is often kept to a minimum with black, white and neutrals providing a calming atmosphere while textures like natural linen, cotton and wool warm up what otherwise could be considered a cold space.  However, bright pops of colour can sometimes be found in contemporary interiors and provide a means of expressing the personality of the owner.

Contemporary dining room

The most important element of Contemporary design, however, is what is called ‘line’.  Straight, geometric angles and soft curves are left in their purest form and the empty spaces between the elements become as important as the elements themselves.  This means that care is taken in choosing every finish and every object and piece of furniture placed as each becomes a part of the whole.  There is no room for tiny pieces or fussy embellishments – think bold, structural shapes that add gravatas to a room.

Here are a number of pieces we carry in our Mantis range that lend well to an Contemporary interior – strong lines, unfussy shapes and natural textures are key when choosing furniture.

Oak Furnitureland Mantis range

I hope delving into the elements of what makes Contemporary style work has helped you today in making a decision if this style is right for you.  Do you find yourself drawn to contemporary style?  Are there elements of contemporary style in your home?  If so, let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.