The appeal of a contemporary style lies in its ability to reflect the current fashions. With an emphasis on simplicity and functionality, it is inspired by the decorating trends of the moment. It follows, then, that this style has many faces and is constantly evolving, though all contemporary spaces share a predilection for neutral tones and clean lines.
Clean lines take centre stage
Clutter and excess have no place in contemporary design. To create a feeling of openness, spaces need to be pared down to the essential. Perfectly clean lines, whether straight or curved, contribute to the visual flow of the decor. Which isn’t to say that your rooms have to be devoid of personality: artwork (abstract canvases, sculptures) is a great way to add a personal touch.
A neutral palette doesn’t have to be boring
White, grey and black make up the chromatic foundation of a contemporary colour palette. But don’t be afraid to brighten things up by adding pops of bright colour with an accent wall, piece of designer furniture or accessories. If you still aren’t convinced by the idea of a black and white base palette, you can also give your home a contemporary feel with warm colours, like sandy beige (for the walls and floor) and dark brown (for the furniture), with black metal light fixtures as accents.
Comfortable and practical furniture
A sure way to keep up with contemporary style trends is to keep an eye on furniture design. Floating pieces (sinks, television cabinets) are popular because they free up floorspace and create a light and airy look. Multifunctional pieces pull double duty, offering comfort and practicality. The unifying theme is a focus on making life easier while keeping your space streamlined. As for shapes, look for distinctive forms: a low couch with curved lines, a rectangular lamp, a round table… And, lastly, glossy finishes (lacquer, acrylic, etc.), metal and glass can add attractive contrast to your space.
Choosing the right light fixtures
Light fixtures are far from mere utilitarian accessories—they need to reflect the contemporary aesthetic of your space. Simplicity and functionality are the key words here: light fixtures with clean lines, free of embellishments but certainly not personality. For lighting from above, minimalist chandeliers or ceiling lights, single or triple pendants or adjustable wall sconces will provide ambient lighting in the kitchen, dining room or bathroom (on either side of the mirrors above the sink, for example). Slender floor lamps and arc floor lamps are great for specific needs (design, reading light, ambiance, etc.). For materials, think of metals like chrome or nickel in black or dark brown, as well as satin or brushed finishes.