The hallmarks of the contemporary aesthetic are the use of neutral tones and clean, sleek lines paired with little to no excess details. This doesn’t, however, mean that you have to deck your room out with all the sterility of a hospital. Going overboard with the contemporary look almost always ends up with a room that looks and feels cold and aloof. With enough variety and a few homey touches, you should be able to achieve a space that looks modern and feels comfortable enough to live in.
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Make color your first factor to consider. The palette for the contemporary aesthetic is made up of neutrals, which means you’ll work with blacks, whites, creams and beiges. But don’t stop there, else the room will have all the appeal of a blank sheet of paper. Because your room’s primary colors are neutral, you can be bolder with the color choices for the rest of the room. A distinctive accessory or an area rug in some deep color will really stand out in a neutral room. At the same time, don’t be too bold; going for the contemporary look is all about maintaining balance.
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Accessories made of different metals are another important design element. Materials like stainless steel and nickel yield design items with the signature sleekness of the contemporary look, yet still stand out on their own. Combined with glass or used as lighting fixtures, metal accessories can make a truly bold statement.
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You don’t have to go all futuristic with metals, though. Wood is still a good option for decorating a contemporary room, as long as you pick the right kinds. Instead of going with the old-style oak, go for very light woods like cherry or dark ones like mahogany so that they’ll stand out in their own respect. Aside from the flooring, you could infuse wood materials through your accessories (such as with frames) and furniture (such as a desk). Even if the piece is unusually shaped, it’ll fit in as long as it’s consistent with all the clean lines in the room.
Because you’ll be working with very few colors, play around with different textures to add life to the room. A texture that breaks up the typical uniform sleekness of a contemporary space will make just about any room feel like part of a home. Fabrics are very useful for adding texture to a room; a brightly colored throw here and there will have a huge impact in the overall visual effect of the decor.
Contemporary spaces are either helped or harmed a lot by the kind of lighting in the room. Track lighting is a good idea, as you can move the spotlight around and thus give emphasis to different areas in the room. Floor lamps and recessed lights are also very popular for contemporary rooms because they help soften the sleekness and the hard edges of the decor pieces.
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Last but not the least, pick out an interesting rug to help pull the whole room together. A good rug will add more dimension and depth to your room because it gives another texture and color to the overall look. Designers often go for modern designs and geometric prints to give the rug even more contrast against the rest of the room. A rug will be just one piece, but it gives you a quick way to establish the focal point of your space.
There’s no ‘right’ way to put the six elements above in a room to create a contemporary look. It’s all a matter of keeping lines clean, all your visual elements balanced and the atmosphere sophisticated. At the same time, you shouldn’t be giving up comfort and livability just to make the room look good. Even when going for that picture perfect room, always remember that you are decorating for your comfort and pleasure and for yours alone.