What is contemporary interior design style?

Contemporary interior design style includes styles that were created in the late 20th century. Often confused with modernism, the word “contemporary” means “of the moment.” This means that it is adaptive and changes with the current styles of the time. It is consistently evolving and shifting to fit into a new time period.

Currently, the style is very defined by neutral colors, natural lines, and minimalistic decorative style, but it will likely look very different in the future.

Neutral shades are the cornerstone of contemporary design. If you’re aiming to pay homage to this style, blacks, whites, tans and grays should make up the bulk of your design. Occasionally, bold solids may also be used, but if so, they are typically relegated to the role of an accent shade and used sparingly.Ultimately, you can decide whether you want to include a splash of color or to stick to mixing neutrals. However, if you choose to go the latter route, it’s a good idea to include lots of texture in your design. Remember, in design parlance,  the term “texture” refers to how an item looks like it feels. A variety of textures will help add visual interest into the space.

Elements of contemporary interior design


Form is a very important element in contemporary design. In contrast to modern design, contemporary forms tend to mix straight hard lines with elegant curved lines.

Crisp Furnishings

Any furnishing within the space will have clean, simplified forms with flat, smooth surfaces. Clean lines create bold statements in furniture and accessories. Furniture utilizes steel, molded plywood, and glass as materials. Spaces should be free of clutter.

Cutting Edge Art

Bold art makes contemporary design stand out from modernism in that it breaks away from the stark lines and crisp forms. Art brings in organic shapes and varying colors to create a sense of opulence in the space.

Click here for more inspiration on incorporating a contemporary design style into your space.

However, if contemporary design isn’t quite your thing, find more design styles here.