Contemporary Design 101
Contemporary styled designs and living spaces draw upon various styles that have come to define the second half of the twentieth century. Quite often, furniture styles feature softer lines than what is traditionally seen in Modern design, but still maintain a sleek, clean and economic aesthetic., economic referring to efficiently designed pieces that are free from unnecessary elements or gaudy ornamentation. Spaces incorporate a single bold color against neutral bases of white and tan earth tones, usually with black accents. A room or property that is designed in the Contemporary style is well organized, open, and features a limited color palette.
Contemporary design encompasses and expands upon minimalism, Frank Lloyd Wright's revolutionary modern living designs, Asian and European aesthetic and often incorporates older furniture or objects. Contemporary design usually involves technological elements as well. It is the style of the twenty-first century and while it is multicultural and simplified, there are some tricks to getting that look.
- Architectural Terms: These terms help consumers on the same page as designers. Learn the lingo used by industry professionals to improve design outcomes.
- Modern and Contemporary Interiors: A visual resource of great examples of Modern and Contemporary Designs.
Contemporary interior colour is recognisable for its simple tone on tone palettes. Whites and earth tones, specifically browns dominate the space. Bursts of bright colour liven up a room in limited capacities. Often specific elements or objects are in colour, such as a lighting fixture, a rug, and art pieces. A single wall may even be painted an accent colour, given that there isn't too much of the colour in the rest of the room. Colour is not the main focus of Contemporary design. It is an important aspect, but keep in mind not to overdo it.
- Decorator Secrets: A guide to choosing colours that will help any space achieve the right mood. Colour not only affects the furniture and rugs that are chosen, but it can affect pulse rate, and energy levels.
- Universal Color Language: Colour index with corresponding numerical codes established by the United States Department of Commerce's National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and the Inter-Society Colour Council (ISCC).
Slim yet strong silhouettes are a main feature of furniture for this style. Pieces should be free of adornment or carving, the stress being on the expertly crafted design of each piece. Furniture is made of wood, stainless steel, nickel, chrome or even glass. Typical woods tend to be light, and are quite often birch or maple. These woods tend to have less grain than oak or pine, and this is essential for keeping the attention on the design and not on the wood grain. Plastics should be avoided unless another alternative is not possible.
- Apartment Spacing: Choosing furniture is one thing, figuring out where to put it is another. This guide provides ideas for effective furniture placement.
- What is Contemporary Decorating: Take a look at furniture designs that are considered contemporary.
Staying in line with the furniture, the fabrics in the space should be made of natural fibers. Wool, silk, cotton and linen are great decisions because they have naturally neutral tones. Geometric patterns or bold colours can be brought in with a coordinating rug, pillows, window treatments or blankets.
- Choosing Fabrics: This guide describes different types of fabrics and their uses. It gives advice on how to choose fabrics.
- A Guide to Manufactured Fabrics: A comprehensive list of man-made fabrics.
Lighting design in Contemporary style is often approached as if the light and fixtures themselves are art. Sleek lines and elegant metals are used as the fixtures. Lamp shades can be stained glass (keep it within the modern aesthetic) or may even be a coloured shade. Creative placement of lights will accent the lines of the architecture and furniture, as well as provide light to work by. Recessed lighting maintains the overall simplicity to the room.
- LED Colour Calculator: Sylvania provides tools and resources for choosing the best lighting possible.
- Bedroom Lighting Guide: Tips and tricks for lighting the comfiest part of the house. Elle magazine offers creative ideas for lighting this essential room.
- Centre for the Domestic Interior: This is a great resource for interior design and decorating ideas. Stay up to date on topics such as research, publications as well as current events in design.
- Simon Fraser Domestic Spaces Page: An interesting resource that examines theories of domestic spaces. Homes and gardens are analysed and explored.
- Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture: Moda is a great place to reference when considering incorporating a vintage aspect into a room. Browse great designs and pieces of the past.
- Architecture and Interior Design of the 20th Century: The Library of Congress has a collection of over 29,000 images that comprise the look and feel of Modern design.
- Association of Lighting Designers: This comprehensive site is a central hub for lighting designers of all types.
- Upgrading to Efficient Lighting: Energy Star's guide to making the upgrade that will save energy and money.
- Decorating Tips for Interior Lighting: Martha Stewart's' perspective on achieving that special look.
- The City of Seattle's Guide to Lighting: Choosing the right lighting can affect your mood. Choose wisely and get the look you are looking for.
- Gender Matters: Choosing the right colour for a space is very important. When men and women choose calming colours, they often choose different colours. This may be due to more than just the traditional blue and pink upbringing.
- Kids Rooms: Interesting ideas for sprucing up any kids space. A great kids space keeps the kids happy and stimulated, which in turn keeps adult spaces cleaner and more relaxing.