How do you define your interior design style? Modern? Traditional? Shabby chic? Bohemian? From contemporary to Feng shui, there are several interior design styles out there, and they are often confused and misunderstood by homeowners. At Signature Homes, we often incorporate contemporary interior design into the custom homes we build. 

To demystify contemporary design, let’s take a look at the definition, how it differs from modern design and descriptions of common design elements. 

Defining contemporary design

The dictionary defines the word contemporary as “marked by characteristics of the present period.” Elle Design defines contemporary design as “what’s happening in design at this very moment in time.” HGTV takes it a step further and explains, “contemporary design marries the best of modern and traditional styles while incorporating the latest looks.” 

With such a vague and fluid definition, it’s no wonder homeowners get confused! Let’s discuss the differences between contemporary interior design and modern design for clarification. 

Modern vs. contemporary interior design

Modern design is more distinct and refers to a specific period of time–the early to mid-twentieth century. By definition, modern interior design refers to the reflection of the modern art movement on the interiors of the home. Common design elements include crisp lines, minimalism, the use of metal, and bold accent colors. Built-in shelves and open floor plans are examples of modern interior design. 

Contemporary design came about after modern design and does not refer to a specific period of time because it’s constantly evolving and borrows from other styles. Understanding the elements of contemporary interior design is the next step.  

Elements of contemporary interior design

Minimalistic forms, tasteful textures, muted hues, colorful accents, artistic lighting, and trendy technology are crucial to contemporary interior design. Incorporate these key design elements to create a contemporary space in your home: 

  1. Neutral colors: Colors like white, taupe, beige, brown, cream, black and gray are the foundation of contemporary design, but pops of color can be brought in with artwork, upholstery or a focal wall.
  2. Fabrics with texture: Adding texture and interest with solid fabrics like linen, silk, wool, and cotton is common in contemporary spaces.
  3. Impressive lighting: In contemporary interiors, lamps should make an artistic statement with angles, arches, and straight lines. Simple chandeliers or pendants and recessed light fixtures are often used.
  4. Hard floors: Hard flooring surfaces, like natural stone tile, dark wood planks or stained concrete are often favored over carpeting in contemporary home design.  
  5. Green design: Eco-friendly design elements and materials, such as sustainable bamboo flooring, recycled glass countertops, skylights, solar panels, and other energy-saving features are popular in contemporary home design.
  6. Free-of-fuss furnishings: Less is more when it comes to furnishing contemporary spaces. The furniture should reinforce the clean lines and smooth surfaces inherent in contemporary design. Stay away from loose slipcovers and over-ornamentation. 

Design your dream home with Signature Homes

Signature Homes offers a comprehensive design catalog to all of our homeowners, which features everything from appliances to wall treatments. Plus, each community has an onsite design center where you can check out samples of cabinets, tiles, countertops, paint colors, and more. We offer beautiful, on-trend features and designs so that you can easily create a custom home with contemporary interior design elements. 

The first step in your custom home journey with Signature Homes is meeting with a Sales Agent. Once you’ve signed your contract, you’ll work with one of our experienced designers to create your dream home. 

About Signature Homes: 

At Signature Homes, we know that home is more than just the place where you lay your head. Together, we’ll build your dream home in your dream community. For the past 20 years, we’ve been helping homebuyers build not just their homes, but their lives. Want to experience the Signature Homes difference for yourself? Call 888-339-6051 to schedule a visit to one of our communities in Birmingham or Nashville today.

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