Design Styles

Lets explore: Contemporary interior design

10th June 2015

Contemporary interior design is often thought of as being cold and modern. The definition itself of contemporary interior design is simply design that is current and new. It raises images of interior fashion slaves who need the latest thing just because it’s ‘new’.  But in recent years, designers have been increasingly paying attention to not only the hard sleek surfaces that used to define contemporary design, but to the use of light and texture to help soften the contemporary look and make it more comfortable.

I believe that the best design solutions are found at the intersection between your personality and the way you live your life, where the two meet, is the sweet spot.  When you figure that out (and I can help you do that, just contact me), you will be able to create a space that works for you both aesthetically and functionally.

It’s worth exploring different design styles and the elements that make them what they are. Pick up ideas from these styles to enhance the way you live.  This week, we are exploring Contemporary interior design elements.

1. Flood your space with natural light

Carefully think about your floor plan and try to get the light to penetrate the building as far as it can. Use large glass windows, skylights and solar tubes to bring as much natural light into your rooms as possible. Natural light makes us feel good, so your job as a designer is to ensure that you maximise the amount of natural light that you bring into the space without compromising privacy of course.

2. Colour: Use a neutral base palette and brighten it up with vibrant accent colours.

A contemporary colour palette is probably the most widely used in interior design and styling today.  Using a neutral base palette offers you a lot of value as you don’t have to change this often.  Use neutral tones of grey, white, black and brown for your flooring, walls, light fixtures and furniture. Introduce metals that will stand out from the neutral tones above, chrome, copper and brass perhaps.  To finish the look, use brightly coloured accessories or highly textured neutral tones in the accessories.  Once you have the base right, accessorising a contemporary space is only defined by your creative limits.

3. Introduce natural materials to the space

Think of creative ways to bring natural materials into the home.  We traditionally use wood, but there is a plethora of materials that we don’t.  Think of using rock, slate, cotton and wool, but not in their traditional uses.  A large rock used as a sculpture perhaps?  A wall covered in slate?  Contemporary interior design is about thinking of new and modern ways of using materials.

4. Open up your space by taking down walls

The way that we live today is a lot more relaxed and informal compared to times gone by.  We don’t sit down in the dining room with the family for dinner anymore as everyones schedules often don’t allow for this.  So it’s important to be able to still share the same space, even if we are all doing different activities. Opening up your living space into one large room that has separate  zones is a great way to create a space where family members can all be doing different activities, but we are still together.

5. Focus on the quality and design aesthetic of the finishes

Contemporary spaces aren’t stark modern boxes, but they certainly aren’t filled with clutter either, this design style sits happily in the middle of the scale.  The key to a contemporary space is using simple high quality well designed finishes as these add a lot of detail to the space.  Think of sleek bannister rails, flush ceiling lighting or sleek chrome pendants. The use of straight or curved lines in the furniture is another great example.

I do hope that looking at these contemporary interior design elements in more detail has given you some ideas that you can take away and use in your own spaces.


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