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Contemporary Design for the Home - Demanes Interiors

Contemporary Design for the Home

- January 22, 2018

Put your home in a whole new light with contemporary updates.

Contemporary design is an ever changing style characterized by things that are of the moment reflecting life trends of the current times.

Previously thought of as a sterile, cold, and off-putting style. However, today these interiors are sleek and fresh, while offering a welcoming and comfortably livable environments with a minimalist approach focusing on simplicity, subtle sophistication, texture and clean lines.

This versatile style can be utilized for many applications from corporate offices, restaurants, stores, and hotels to homes.

Though it may seem a daunting project to create a contemporary space, it is easily attainable if you keep in mind some important, yet basic key elements of contemporary design.

Incorporating Textures and Materials

To really pull off a contemporary décor, think texture. Plush, rough, soft, nubby, and more are just a few textures that can be incorporated to form contrast and interest for visual and tactile sensations. Below, these materials are used in contemporary design bringing an array of textures to the playing field:

  • Luxurious Upholstery?
  • Opaque or Clear Glass
  • Heavily textured fabrics in solid colors
  • Two-tone prints, but avoid colorful, over-excited prints
  • Natural elements such as leather, wool, cotton, stainless steel, nickel or chrome metal finishes, wood, and stone

When thinking about texture, don’t forget many of these textures and materials are versatile and can be incorporated in many ways. Consider stainless steel kitchen appliances, or nickel and chrome faucets while using marble, slate, or concrete for countertops and backsplashes. Accents are another outlet to incorporate stone, metal, or glass through furniture pieces, lamps, shelves and artwork to help keep a cohesive flow throughout your home.

Use of Color

Neutral colors such as brown, taupe, cream, warm or cool grays, and white, are the foundation of contemporary design. These should be the primary color when painting walls, and accented with bright and bold colors through use of accent walls, furnishings, and dramatically colorful accent pieces and artwork. Black is a key color that grounds a room providing strong contrast between the other elements in the space.

If you’re a daring and adventurous individual those bold hues can be used as the primary wall or ceiling color, but remember that if your walls are bright neutrals and coordinating colors should be used everywhere else. Check out the rooms below for examples of color use.



Contemporary living room with a mix of colors

Aboriginal design and color in a living room

Flooring Options

Hard wood, ceramic and porcelain tile, or stained and polished concrete floors are characteristic of a contemporary style home. The smooth sleek look of these materials gives the space a refined appearance.  Floors are kept bare aiding in the minimalistic feel of contemporary design, as well as showing the beauty of the materials used. Area rugs in seating areas, dining rooms, and bedrooms are utilized to define a space and tie the elements in the room together. This is also another great way to add a warm touch to the room through color and texture, and an easy way to use two-toned or geometric patterns.

Importance of Light and Architectural Details

Natural light and placement of lighting fixtures is a vital part in obtaining a contemporary home, because it illuminates the design of each room. Open floorplans and large bare windows allow natural light to flood the home creating a fresh, open, and spacious feeling atmosphere. Try these strategies for heightening natural light in your home:

  • Move large furniture away from windows to avoid blocking the natural light
  • Replace heavy curtains with Roman Shades or Roller Shades
  • Choose matte finishes rather than semi-glosses to create a soft glow instead of a glare
  • Use lighter neutral tones such as, whites, creams, and beiges, or pastels like sky-blues, blushes, or lilacs to paint ceilings. High ceilings are characteristic of contemporary homes. Don’t have high or vaulted ceilings? Not to worry, ceilings painted in lighter hues than the walls feel higher than those that are darker.

Architectural details of the home are just as important as natural light. Taking advantage of these elements will provide intriguing focal points, by using bold contrasting paint colors, textured wallcoverings, and lighting. Track lighting and recessed lighting help to wash a wall in light drawing the eye to these details. Direct spotlights or can lighting at paintings, prints, wall and freestanding sculptures. Light fixtures such as pendants, sconces, and even floor lamps can act as functional pieces of art.

Living room with contemporary lighting

Ceiling design is too, important in this style ranging from Tray, Exposed Plenum and Beams, or  ceiling designs. Various lighting techniques can be used to highlight the design of the ceiling as well as filling the room with ambient light.

Light hanging in staircase

Living room lighting

Picking Furniture

 Contemporary furniture, also referred to as modern furniture, is any furniture style that was introduced after the 19th century, and is characterized by ideas and materials that are popular and used today. Finding furniture that is appropriate for the style of your home is important, just as much as ensuring these pieces are of excellent quality. Furniture is an investment, quality pieces will ensure you won’t have something that will end up in your basement after only a few years. Modern and traditional materials like plastics, resins, molded plywood, metal composites, laminates, stone, and fiberglass are combined in furniture designs creating elegant and stylish, yet functional pieces to fit any theme of modern homes. Important elements to look for when choosing modern furniture are clean and clearly defined lines, natural materials, tufted cushions, and open pieces that allow for an airy feeling.



Contemporary Furniture options

Well lit living-room with contemporary furnishings

Contemporary dining room options

Reserve a Retreat

This style develops homes that are beautiful and functionally comfortable, but it is still a good idea to set aside a retreat where you can relax and recenter yourself. This can be any space in the home from the master bedroom, an office, to a window seat. Ideally, this would be isolated from high traffic areas of the home and devoid of electronics. Choose furniture and materials that are comfortable and soothing while staying consist with the theme throughout the home. If there is not a separate room for a retreat, consider a sheer curtain or decorative screen divider to partition your retreat from the rest of the world and a plush area carpet you can sink your toes into.

Adding Personal Touches

When it comes to accessorizing, less is more in contemporary design. Look for accent pieces and art that is striking and bold that speak to you. Keep it simple though, simplicity and minimalism define this style and you don’t want to overwhelm other elements in the space. Include accessory pieces that have personal meaning, such as mementos into the mix, but remember not to over clutter! Most importantly, don’t be afraid and think outside the box. This design style is all about uniqueness and creativity allowing for boundless possibilities.

Central Illinois’ Source for All Things Contemporary

Visit Demanes Galleries in Peoria, IL for great ideas and product choices for decorating in the contemporary style. Speak with our professionals about design services and how we can help you select the perfect pieces to give your home that WOW factor. Call or stop by today!


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