Interior Design Styles: Contemporary

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Updated

The name 'contemporary' interior design style seems to be thrown around with gay abandon! So, let's stop, draw breath and take a look at the fundamental principles and key features needed to make this interior design style a true success.

Clean Lines

What does this actually mean? It means that all aspects of a room or home, furnishings, furniture, lighting are provided using limited colours and there's no fussy, overly ornate furnishings and fittings. You could say that 'clean lines' is the term given to interiors which provide the transition from designer, Zen and minimalistic to culminate into a home which is completely clutter free.


Large open rooms are also a feature of contemporary design; typically walls are plain and colour bought into a room with large pieces of wall art in various mediums, especially those made from natural or recycled materials. The 'less is more' rule presides in contemporary styled homes. Reflective surfaces such as polished chrome and glass are used to make rooms looks and feel open and spacious.


Typically wood or tiles are used, colour and pattern is often introduced with rugs. Buy rugs direct to find bold colours and/or geometric patterns which compliment your chosen accent colour/s.


Colour blocking with bold shades are highlighted against white or steely grey walls. Dramatic navy and black is also used to create a sense of daring and breaking of traditions.


Windows are often left undressed and when this isn't possible due to privacy and decency made to measure blinds, especially vertical blinds are used. This style of window blind is ideal for contemporary interiors as they can be stacked back fully to expose as much of the glass window as possible when required.

Fabric and Textiles

Natural materials or recycled are a 'must' if you want to adopt a contemporary style. An online fabric warehouse is a great place to find a wide variety of materials for soft furnishings. Look for cottons, wool, linen and use plenty of textured fabrics that are within the same colour range, otherwise you run the risk of making your home look modern rather than contemporary. Many contemporary homes also have the latest gadgets and labour saving devices, such as remote controlled Venetian and Velux blinds, lighting and sound systems. Large plasma televisions are discretely hidden until they are used so that they don't spoil the whole uncluttered and clean-lines look. Lighting is usually sunken into the ceiling and is also controlled remotely so that different ambient lighting effects can be achieved.

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