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Back to Basics: Contemporary Style

As we highlighted previously in our last ‘Back to Basics’ blog, modern and contemporary are often (incorrectly) used interchangeably; in this blog, we clarify what contemporary design actually is.

In its most fundamental form, contemporary style can be defined as ‘of-the-moment’ design, meaning that it’s the most current incarnation of present-day style. Translated into 21st century aesthetics, that means clutter-free, airy and open-plan spaces which are punctuated with personality in the form of a striking colours, a unique furniture piece or cleverly chosen accessories.

So, if you’re contemplating contemporary style for your interiors, read on to discover how to get it right the first time round.

One of the fundamental identifiers of contemporary style is the incorporation of technology; advances in modern appliances truly put the ‘comfort’ in home comforts!

From hidden speakers, to recessed lighting, to integrated extractor fans and built-in worktop grills, contemporary design is centred around making life just that little bit easier. And, as we move steadily further into the 21st century, expect your home to welcome many more connected, ‘smart’ devices – such as fridges which tell you that you’re out of milk – as we embrace artificial intelligence into our homes.
Standing the test of time, neutrals continue to lead the colour palette in a contemporary space, and in this respect, this style does share strong similarities with modern design. However, stark whites are replaced with creams, beige and off-whites, offering more warmth and often complemented with taupe or muslin.

In recent years, there has been a definitive transition towards darker hues, especially on the shadowy spectrum, with plenty of dove greys, charcoal, slate and fog appearing in interiors. For the brave, adding a pop of the colour of the moment is a sophisticated way to incorporate trends.

Geometric shapes are still a strong inspiration for contemporary forms, but are more often used as a springboard for a softer aesthetic. Whereas a modern cabinet would have sharp, 90-degree corners, contemporary cabinets have the scope to welcome curved doors and rounded edges, as well as more angular features. Form is more fluid, with more cohesive transitions between open-plan spaces.

Developments in modern materials mean that you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance, resulting in an interior that is both pretty and practical. Most recently, contemporary design has favoured mixing and matching natural materials with metals, resulting in a striking contrast between textures. As well as ever-popular timber, pairing rougher materials such as concrete with more luxurious, high-shine metals is continually on trend for this decade.

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