What does ‘contemporary style’ mean in home design?

Contemporary style in interior design refers to a modern, up-to-date aesthetic that reflects the current design trends and tastes. It typically features clean lines, neutral color palettes, and a focus on simplicity and functionality.

Contemporary interiors may incorporate a range of materials, such as metal, glass, and concrete, and often feature open floor plans that promote a sense of spaciousness and flow. Furniture in contemporary interiors tends to be sleek and minimalistic, with an emphasis on comfort and functionality.

In terms of decor, contemporary interiors may include abstract art, geometric patterns, and bold accents in pops of colour. Lighting is also an important aspect of contemporary design, with a focus on natural light and statement fixtures that add both form and function to the space.

Overall, contemporary style embraces a sense of minimalism and simplicity while still allowing for a sense of warmth and comfort in the space.


What’s the difference between modernism and contemporary design?

Many confuse or conflate the two. However, modernism really doesn’t mean ‘modern’ anymore. That said, it has certainly influenced contemporary design.

Modernism is an early 20th-century design movement that emerged in response to industrialisation and the technological advancements of the time. It emphasised clean lines, simple forms, and a rejection of ornamentation. Modernist interiors often featured materials such as glass, steel, and concrete, and prioritised functionality and efficiency over decorative details. Furniture in modernist interiors tended to be sleek and geometric, and colours were often muted and neutral.

Contemporary design, on the other hand, refers to the current design trends and styles (as opposed to traditional ones). It is a more fluid and flexible style that incorporates elements from various design movements and eras. Contemporary interiors often feature a mix of materials, including wood, metal, and natural stone, and prioritises comfort and liveability over strict minimalism. Colours in contemporary interiors can be bold and vibrant, and decorative accents and accessories are often used to add visual interest.


Tips for creating a contemporary style home

Firstly you can start by creating a physical scrapbook or Pinterest board. As mentioned above, contemporary design is fluid and flexible, so you don’t need to be feel too constrained. However, there are some broad ‘rules’ you can follow:


Painting and decorating

Most contemporary homes will favour neutral mono-colour walls, rather than heavily patterned ones. With that said, you might achieve great results with a simple or geometric patterned wallpaper. Modern homes, much like every other kind of home, will benefit from some thought when it comes to colour-matching. Use an online tool to settle on a palette, using the colours of your existing furniture as a point of reference. 

In terms of colour, there has been a trend to use cool greys, black and white. However, in 2023 the tide is now turning to favour warm neutral tones.



The appliances you fill your home with can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic. If you have old radiators, consider replacing them with something more modern and visually appealing. A modern vertical radiator makes a great talking point – and it’ll maximise floorspace at the same time.

Similarly, if you’re looking to upgrade the kitchen, consider using integrated appliances, hidden behind cabinetry, to give a clean and minimal appearance.



Ideally, you’ll want as much natural light to filter into your interior as possible. Use mirrors to distribute it to every corner. Think about light temperature, too. Warm white gives a more natural ambiance. Cool white/ blue lights are now often considered to be a little dated. 


Keep it minimal and spacious

The more clutter in your home, the more cramped it will feel. A modern home should feel spacious, which means doing away with superfluous things, including larger pieces of furniture that may take up too much room.


Finding a designer for your home extension or renovation

We have hundreds of architects and interior designers all over the UK who we’ll quickly match to your requirements and see who’s interested. After you post your project you can choose up to three interested design professionals for an initial consultation. And it’s all completely free!

  • Quickly see who’s interested in your job.
  • Create a shortlist.
  • Invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation.


Emily  Design for Me

facebook tweet linkedin instagram pinterest

Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…



Comments are closed.