Interiors: Contemporary design explained


Are you into contemporary design? If you’re unsure how to answer that question, here’s a primer on the design style.

Contemporary design can be described as a modern design that relies on smooth and polished surfaces, clean lines, and a simple and uncluttered look. It is usually spacious in feel and look. It can be beautiful, but if you’re not careful in the design, it can come across as sterile and uninviting. Let’s review some contemporary interior ideas.

GRAY AND BLACK: The monochromatic look always comes across as contemporary. Take a gray and black look as an example. A wood floor that is black, combined with smoky gray upholstery with a soft gray area rug will certainly say “contemporary” to the viewer. The walls painted a soft gray with accessory tables in glass with metal legs will further the style. To soften the design and avoid that unwanted sterile look, you could use wood tables instead of glass. The wood should be either dark gray or black. Soft and simple sheers for the windows will add to the now inviting — and, yes, very contemporary — room. The wall art could continue the monochromatic design or you could punch it up with brightly colored art. Getting back to the upholstered items, sleek lines are contemporary, but be sure it’s comfortable to sit in or it will all seem very uninviting.

WARM BROWNS: Another mono look you could try uses the warmer tones of beiges and browns, which pair perfectly with a bright white. Try a light brown floor with dark brown wood accessory tables, and the upholstery in light beige. Toss a few pillows on the upholstery in geometric patterns with browns being the intense color. The window treatments can be in white or beige shades, but very simple. If you feel you need more color in the mix, you can add rust in the pillows and/or art on the wall.

WHITE AND NAVY: Everything white with the carpet navy blue makes for a clean, crisp look. Add a little of that blue on the walls, perhaps painting one wall the same navy as the floor. Make it a patriotic look with navy and red pillows on the upholstery. Wall hangings can be only blue and white, or you can add red — or another accent color, like kelly green or a bright orange — for a little oomph.

LEATHER: Leather upholstery often is associated with the contemporary look and that’s fine if you like leather, but it’s not imperative. Fabric upholstery is just as good if the right fabric is chosen. Remember you want simple, not cutesy. No paisley and no flowers.

OPEN CONCEPT: The contemporary look begs an open look so uncluttered is the way to go. Another common element is an open concept floor plan, with little or no wall division between spaces.

GEOMETRIC DESIGNS: Geometric patterned rugs, toss pillows and/or wall art also are considered a good contemporary design.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com .

 

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