Contemporary Decorating Styles

Photo Credit: kaconnors@yahoo.com | Morguefile.com

Contemporary decorating is about creating spaces that feature trends and themes that are on the cutting edge of innovation. It is also a rejection of more traditional style choices. Rather than focusing on the ornate, or the exotic, this discipline instead advises people to work to create empty spaces, which are then accented with a few, tastefully chosen dramatic pieces. The contrast between emptiness and form creates a powerful interaction which can give your home a sense of energy.

The interplay of colors is very important in a contemporary style. Generally you want the walls to be subdued, neutral tones, featuring mostly white and off white colors, mixed occasionally with black to ground the entire space. This can be coupled with dramatic and colorful accents throughout the area to contrast the reserved colors. If you do want to paint your walls in a soft pastel, or some other light hue, than the furnishings in the space should balance this by being more subdued as well.


Another major element of contemporary decorating is its linear nature. Architecturally, rooms will be built using quadrilaterals, with straight ceilings and windows, and lines running logically from one area to another. Furnishings are often boxy, built unadorned with designs that utilize square angles and simple lines.

You also want to pay close attention to space. Less is more in contemporary styles, and the spaces between objects are almost as important as the features themselves. The idea is to try and create a room which is a relative blank canvas. This should be filled with just a few, dramatic accent pieces. This minimalist strategy ensures that each furnishing which you do choose to use in the room will draw attention and make a dramatic impact.

You can spice up the relatively subdued nature of these features by choosing pieces which have a rich, lustrous texture. Even if the colors found in a certain piece are subdued and blasé, an interesting texture can help to give them more visual interest, while also allowing your space to engage the tactile sense of touch.

You also have to choose accent pieces carefully. Since you are doing away with clutter, every piece that you use in the home is going to get more attention. Items such as contemporary works of art and sculpture are often a good choice. You can also use interesting linear furniture pieces. As you develop the space use lighting fixtures to highlight your focal points and give them even more attention.

You can add warmth to the space using a variety of cloth items. While windows are often bare in a contemporary style, curtains are acceptable as a way of adding personality to the space. You can also use things such as throws and pillows on otherwise neutral and subdued couches.

The most important thing to remember when striving to achieve a contemporary style is that you do not want to clutter up the space. Rather you should have a fairly subdued room, which is sharply contrasted with a few focal points. This can create a kind of dynamic tension between the various elements in the space, adding energy and excitement to the environment.

The Author:

This article is provided courtesy of PebbleZ – the rustic stone home décor and a drink coaster store, which features a unique collection of natural stone marble, onyx, and slate home furnishings. The article itself was written by artist and stone designer Joey Pebble.

Photo Credit: Kevin Connors

Article Published: July 18, 2011

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