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How To Decorate In A Contemporary Style 20 Steps With Pictures

How To Decorate In A Contemporary Style 20 Steps With Pictures How To Decorate In A Contemporary Style 20 Steps With Pictures

Favor light woods over dark. Maple and birch are favored choices, as long as the wood does not have any heavy or distracting graining. Dark woods can weigh a room down, while light woods can give the room that light, natural look that most contemporary themes lean toward.

Select furnishings with smooth, glossy finishes. Wood should be polished until it shines or coated in a glossy lacquer. Handles, hardware, and table legs are often made with metals like stainless steel and nickel, and glass table tops are equally common.

Gravitate toward pieces that are low to the ground. Beds and lounge seating—couches and living room chairs—are often low to the ground, concealing short, simple legs. Low contemporary furniture either has thin yet sturdy legs or rests on top of a solid platform.

You do not need to choose low pieces for other types of seating, such as dining room or desk chairs. These pieces should stick with thin, sturdy legs instead of solid platforms, however.

Keep your furniture free of adornments. Steer clear of details like scroll-style arms, engravings, excessive graining, and trims. The legs and surfaces of your furnishing should remain clean and tidy.

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Free your space from excess clutter. Contemporary areas should look open and inviting. Do not fill a room with more furniture than you have space for, and do not clutter tables, counters, and walls with too many accessories.

Limit your accessories to one or two statement pieces for best results.

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Introduce a few brighter colors, but not in a jarring way. Instead of throwing a fiery red rug into a black-and-white room, weave color into the space a little more naturally. Toss a few teal or violet pillows onto a cream couch, or match a brightly colored rug with a modern painting that contains the same hue.

By using varying neutrals within the space, you also create a sense of harmony and contrast that you cannot get by sticking with simple black and white, which makes brighter accent colors seem more harmonious with the rest of the room.

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If some elements of contemporary style appeal to you but others don’t, try decorating your room in a transitional style. Transitional style blends together contemporary and traditional styles, borrowing from the color scheme and simplicity of contemporary design and weaving in softer, warmer touches from traditional principles.

Opt for natural fabrics. Leather, cotton, and canvas are popular choices for upholstery, but many contemporary spaces introduce silk, wool, and linen into the mix in the form of pillows, drapes, throws, and other fabric accessories.

Mix and match materials. Instead of relying on patterns, colors, and accessories to add visual interest to a room, contemporary style is more likely to introduce various materials and textures into a space.

Pair silk throw pillows with a canvas couch, or introduce marble flooring into a bathroom with white tile walls and metallic faucets.

Let there be light. A smart contemporary room uses lighting to make a statement. Ideally, a contemporary space will have a large window that lets in plenty of natural light. The room should also have plenty of floor and/or ceiling lights.

Ceiling lights that can be directed onto artwork or other statement pieces are especially desirable.

Install industrial-style hardware and appliances, especially in the contemporary kitchen. These pieces have a no-fuss ambiance that coordinates well with the simplicity of contemporary design. Stoves and other kitchen appliances should be made of stainless steel and have an industrial look.

Sinks should have slick, metallic faucets, and cabinets should have doors with smooth fronts.

Stick with clean lines, especially those with rounded edges. Look for furnishings with solid, well-defined lines instead of over-stuffed or floppy pieces. Unlike modern style, contemporary style usually includes rectangles with slightly rounded edges over those with sharp corners, but the lines must remain just as smooth.

Look for metallic lamps with straight lines. Steel, chrome, or nickel lamps are more fitting than lamps made with wood, ceramic, painted metal, or gold finishing. Floor and desk lamps with straight, hard lines are also preferable to soft, curvy designs.

Design Style Guide: Modern Interior Decor Styles BHG: Contemporary Decorating for Real Life

Add a few simple accessories. Paintings, vases, a stack of books, and sculptures are all fair game. If you opt for a painting, look for a simple one with minimal colors, and avoid pictures of elaborate scenes.

Similarly, vases and sculptures should use very few colors.

Fill your space with neutral colors. Warmer neutrals like tan and cream are more common than stark white, and light to medium shades tend to be more dominant than dark. Dark brown, gray, and black are often used as secondary colors, however.

Avoid patterns. Contemporary style is all about simplicity. Zebra and leopard print, polka dots, floral, or other patterns add busy details that clash with the no-fuss nature of a contemporary space, even when used as accents.

Contemporary style is defined by its simplicity. Smooth lines, neutral colors, and furnishings free from embellishment keep the space looking fuss-free and open. While contemporary style shares many design elements with modern style, warmer neutrals, softer edges, and the introduction of natural materials separate it from its parent style, making it look more comfortable and inviting.

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