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Contemporary Design - The Major Elements

Written By Unknown on Friday, June 15, 2012 | 5:02 AM


The clean sleek lines, reflecting surfaces, monochromatic color schemes and minimalistic décor of typical contemporary interiors have captured the imagination of present day homeowners. This form of interior design blends style, functionality and comfort. Also, the scope for designing a house in this pattern is immense. If you like spacious rooms with lots of light and a warm ambiance, contemporary house design is just for you.

Key Differences

Contemporary and modern interior designs are often confused with one another. However, in several aspects, they are two different designs. Contemporary design is very dynamic. Designers incorporate the latest trends when they plan these interiors. All designs are characterized by sleek clean lines and minimalism. Modern design is also characterized by a clean uncluttered look, but then, designers do not have to bring in latest designs. They can incorporate elements of old Victorian designs or antique furniture and upholstery.

Typical characteristics of contemporary interiors

Minimalism is the word that best describes contemporary interiors. These houses are devoid of intricacy. Furniture and upholstery have clean and plain surfaces with minimal detailing. There are five main elements that are incorporated into these designs - metal (typically stainless steel, chrome and nickel), glass, wood, neutral monochromatic colors and lighting. Various permutations and combinations with these elements, in keeping with the basic theme of minimalism, give you a perfect minimal space.

Another very important aspect of contemporary designs is creation of space. Owing to minimalist décor and uncluttered look, the place naturally looks spacious. Smart placement of metal accessories, reflecting surfaces and lighting add more space. Colors used are neutral pastel shades. However, bright highlights are added at strategic places for effect.

Furniture, upholstery and fabrics

Furniture used in contemporary design is also designed in keeping with minimalistic theme and is not bulky. However, they are accented with textured fabrics such as silks, wool or crushed linen. Upholstery is kept in tune with the monochromatic scheme but can be a few shades darker. A lot of liveliness can be infused with the use of contrasting and bright colored accent cushions and rugs. Drapes are also matched with the monochromatic theme but designers play around with layering and borders. So, the curtains look interesting while still being homogeneous with the space.

Importance of lighting

Lighting is what brings out the true beauty of a space. Pendant lighting, wall lighting, roof lighting, track lighting and floor lamps are used to highlight certain areas of the room and create depth and space. Natural lighting is given a lot of prominence. Elements such as glass, full length windows and skylights are used for the purpose.

Flooring is usually done with wood, although marble and granite are also used. Combination floors, which combine two or more flooring materials, blend in beautifully with this decor. For fixtures, metals are used almost always. Ornamentation is minimal as well with most of it coming in the form of metal and wood articles. Indoor plants can be used with great effect.

Maintenance is a very important part of contemporary interiors. You need to make sure that the surfaces are spotlessly clean. However, since the surfaces are not intricate and carved, cleaning and maintenance is not a big deal.

The author, Vishal Saraf has been dealing with contemporary design and modern upholstery and fabrics for quite some time now. He has a good experience and expertise in interior design. On his site you can explore many different ideas on house designs too.



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