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5 Rules of Contemporary Home Design


Written by
Sunday, April 05, 2020
Contemporary Home Design Photo from @neonbrand of unsplash.com

There’s a certain kind of satisfaction that can be achieved from looking at photos of homes before and after they’ve been redecorated and revamped. It’s like getting to quietly cheer for the lucky homeowner from the comforts of the other side of the screen as you gawk at each well-lit and expertly-composed photo. You watch the drear and drab of an old, dark living room transform into high ceilings, sleek and smooth lines, and floor-to-ceiling windows; you marvel as the tiredness of a damp tiled kitchen transforms into the freshness of modern textures and contemporary countertops. You may even scratch your head at the possibility of the fact that plants indoors (when they should’ve been outdoors) just works so well.

And somehow, you start thinking, “How can I get that kind of home?”

The combination of alluring simplicity, classic and timeless furniture pieces, ingenious indoor-outdoor-element integration, and the overall sleek and modern freshness that we love so much can only be attributed to contemporary home design. The contemporary home design puts more focus on the harmonious feel of the space as a whole, placing heavy importance on comfort and efficiency on top of striking interior design. And while it all sounds simple and straightforward enough to do, here are some rules to go by to successfully incorporate contemporary design into your home.

Be Deliberate with Mixing Colour and Texture

Begin your revamp by choosing muted color palettes for the larger portions of your house like the floor and ceiling. Neutral shades like black, white, and grey work well for starters. Then purposefully incorporate textural elements and pops of color to give an air of sophistication to your space. For instance, the clean lines and neutral shades of an all-white-walled living room can be broken up by matte black lighting fixtures or a colorful painting. Adding throw pillows of varied complimenting colors and prints, and throw rugs of a variety of textures (fur, microfiber, etc) to otherwise plain colored couches create a cozier and more liveable feel to your space, too. On the flip side, keeping your walls or ceilings bare and exposed can serve as your textured base (as in industrial design), while your contemporary home accessories can be super sleek and smooth in contrast.

Go with Minimal Lighting

Generally, contemporary home design strongly espouses natural light. Floor to ceiling windows is a defining quality of this design discipline, letting natural light flood in to compliment all the contemporary home accessories present. There aren’t usually any drapes, either, but if you’re more comfortable incorporating curtains, make sure the material is thin, light, and airy, and is in more or less the same color palette as another design element in your space. That being said, don’t be afraid to incorporate one or two striking home lighting pieces, as these can set the tone for the entire theme of your room and can significantly liven up space.

Choose Contemporary Home Accessories

It’s time to choose contemporary home accessories. Handpicking your furnishings can sometimes be the best part of redecorating, but it can also get overwhelming fast. To make sure everything you pick outstays harmonious with your space’s base, go for sleek furniture pieces with rounded edges and complementing colors to neutralize and strong and clean lines already present back home. Iconic pieces with pops of color or texture fit in nicely into all-brown or all-white spaces, and plants give a more liveable feel to your abode. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a centerpiece or two – large paintings or other interesting wall hangings can be a great conversation starter!

Incorporate Negative Space

Maximize the use of shared space, not just horizontally but vertically as well. Open floor plans are another defining quality of contemporary home design, so keeping that in mind can help you arrange your contemporary home accessories better too! Open spaces not only make it more efficient to move around, but it can encourage more interaction between housemates and guests, too. If your space is small, to begin with, create the illusion of negative space with simple, gold or chrome-trimmed wide, long, or round mirrors flush against your walls. If your space is more on the tall side than wide, making use of unusual but stylish home lighting pieces will round off your space nicely.

Be Flexible

At the heart of it all, contemporary home design is meant to be changed around, just as the tastes and whims of the people living in the space do. So keep your space ‘moveable’ and liveable, as you never know when you’ll feel the need to add in another painting or throw pillow or change the colour (or texture) of your walls. It all boils down to striking the perfect balance of clean and quirky and finding the perfect combination of styles that suit your exact taste. That’s the beauty of contemporary home design – it will always adhere to what your style is.

Home design inspiration is a dime a dozen in the whimsical world of the internet, so one bonus piece of advice – and this may be the best one out of all of them, to be honest – is to take the rules you’ve learned here and go out there and decorate! Get your hands dirty with familiarizing yourself with shades, textures, fixtures, furnishings, and everything in between, because only then can you apply these rules on contemporary home design, and maybe even bend and break them for a truly contemporary masterpiece right in your own living space.



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