What’s Contemporary Style in Interior Design?

Contemporary style furniture

What’s Contemporary Style in Interior Design?


Contemporary interior design has captured the imaginations of homeowners and designers alike, becoming increasingly popular in recent years. This style, known for its clean lines and minimalistic elegance, offers a fresh take on interior aesthetics. It brings together the best of modern sensibilities with timeless design elements, creating spaces that are both stylish and comfortable.

Defining Contemporary Style

At its core, contemporary style is characterized by a sleek, uncluttered look that focuses on simplicity and sophistication. It’s a blend of comfortable, livable elements that create a serene and inviting space. This design philosophy emphasizes clean lines, a subtle use of textures, and a restrained color palette, often featuring neutrals accented with bold colors. The style is defined by its timeless elegance, steering away from the whims of transient trends.

In contemporary design, the choice of materials and color schemes also play a pivotal role. Materials commonly used include:

  • Metals: Chrome, steel, and nickel are often used for their sleek finish and modern feel. They’re commonly found in furniture frames, lighting fixtures, and decorative elements.
  • Glass: Used for its ability to create a sense of openness and lightness. Glass is often used in table tops, decorative pieces, and as part of the architecture in windows and doors.
  • Wood: While contemporary design leans towards a more industrial look, wood is used to add warmth and natural texture. Lighter woods are preferred for their ability to keep spaces looking bright and airy.
  • Stone: Elements like granite or marble are used in countertops, flooring, and sometimes as architectural features, adding a touch of luxury and solidity.

Color schemes in contemporary design are typically grounded in a neutral palette. This includes:

  • Whites and creams, for a clean and crisp look.
  • Soft grays, as a contemporary alternative to white.
  • Black, used sparingly, for dramatic contrast.
  • Accent colors are used to add vibrancy and depth. These could be bold shades like royal blue, emerald green, or even metallic tones.

Characteristics of a Contemporary Home

A contemporary home is marked by specific design elements that distinguish it from other styles. These include open floor plans that encourage flow and connectivity between spaces. Large windows are another hallmark, allowing for ample natural light and a feeling of openness. Materials play a crucial role, with contemporary homes often featuring a mix of natural and industrial elements like wood, metal, and glass. The furnishings are typically sleek and unadorned, focusing on functionality without sacrificing style.

Distinguishing Contemporary from Modern

Understanding the difference between contemporary and modern design is key. While both styles embrace clean lines and minimalism, modern design refers to a historical design movement that began in the early 20th century. It features specific design elements such as mid-century modern furniture and a color palette rooted in that era. Contemporary design, on the other hand, is more fluid, reflecting the design trends of the present day. It’s an evolving style that incorporates current trends while maintaining a minimalistic approach.

Contemporary Interior Design Ideas

Incorporating contemporary style into your home can be both exciting and rewarding. Focus on creating a neutral backdrop with colors like white, beige, or gray, and then add depth with colorful accents. Choose furniture with clean lines and minimal detailing. American Freight is an excellent place to find contemporary furniture at everyday low prices, offering a range of options to suit any taste. 

When searching for living room furniture that exemplifies contemporary design, American Freight has several options that fit the bill perfectly:

  • Sleek Sectional Sofas: Look for sectional sofas with clean lines and neutral colors. A piece like the “Tide Anchor 3-Piece Sectional,” with its streamlined shape and subtle grey fabric, would be an excellent choice for a contemporary living room.
  • Modern Accent Chairs: Accent chairs like the “Groovy Grey Swivel Chair” with a unique, minimalistic design can add a contemporary flair. These chairs not only provide additional seating but also serve as a stylish focal point.
  • Minimalist Coffee Tables: Consider a coffee table with a simple, geometric design, such as the “Gyro 3-Piece Coffee Table.” Its clean lines and combination of glass and metal embody contemporary design.
  • Contemporary Rugs and Accessories: Accessories such as area rugs, lamps, and wall art can tie the room together. Choose items with minimal patterns and a modern look to complement the contemporary furniture.


Contemporary interior design offers a blend of comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal that stands the test of time. Its emphasis on clean lines, minimalism, and a harmonious blend of materials creates spaces that are both modern and timeless. By understanding the key elements of contemporary design and how it differs from modern style, you can create a home that is both current and enduring. With retailers like American Freight, achieving this look is more accessible than ever, making contemporary style a smart choice for anyone looking to update their home.

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