Decorating a Home in Contemporary Style

  • Two violet and one gray pillow decorate an oversized cream-colored sofa. The room’s walls are a medium shade of gray.
It’s common for people to confuse the terms modern and contemporary, but there is one very important distinction: Contemporary means of the moment, so it’s whatever is in style right now.

Obviously, that means contemporary style is always changing.

It’s also open to a lot of interpretation. Farmhouse style is hot right now (thanks Chip and Joanna). But so is mid-century modern (read more about that here) and of course traditional décor is always appropriate.

For those of you who are still asking, “but what is contemporary style?”, there are a few themes that seem to be consistent in contemporary décor. Let’s take a look.

Pops of Bold Color

Pantone is considered to be a worldwide authority on color trends. Every February, the company announces its Color of the Year. This year, it’s ultra violet—a deep, yet energetic hue that you can see here.

Ultra violet would be a bit much to paint an entire room, but it’s ideal for throw pillows and other accessories. Keep the rest of the room neutral, which means shades of white, cream, beige, and gray.

Clean Lines and Strong Shapes

Dainty has been out of style since your grandmother dusted her Hummel collection and laid out doilies. In general, contemporary décor favors fewer pieces that make a big impact—a look that works well with today’s open floor plans and abundance of windows.

That could mean an oversized piece of art above a sofa, a floor lamp with a dramatic arch, or a sturdy coffee table with straight iron legs (never carved) and a wood top.

Comfortable and Natural

Is it any surprise that a generation of people who wear athleisure clothes 90 percent of the time would want to be comfortable at home?

Back in the ’80s, we had living rooms that were uncomfortable but stylish and family rooms (or dens) where you were allowed to put your feet up and eat snacks.

These days, we’re more likely to have great rooms and sunrooms—and they’re expected to be stylish, comfortable, and hold up to real life.

That means big comfy sofas or sectionals, end tables that don’t require coasters, ottomans for putting your feet up, and chairs that swivel (so you can face either the fireplace or the TV).

While you won’t see a ton of color (other than a few pops here or there), you will find a plethora of textures. Imagine a stone hearth, faux fur throw, jute area rug, leather ottoman, or a vase filled with branches.

Often times, when someone feels that a room is missing something, but they can’t quite put their finger on what that something is, the answer is texture.

About StorageMart

If you’re like us, the biggest problem you have with your home isn’t your design; it’s all the clutter that messes it up. If you have little ones, there may be baskets overflowing with toys. If you’re an empty nester, your challenge might be all of the things you’re saving to give to your children once they buy a house. Either way, clutter can really get you down (read more about the science of clutter here.)

What you may not realize is that there’s a solution. And it’s not getting a bigger house or getting rid of all your stuff. At StorageMart, we offer affordable self-storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Just like home, they’re always clean and well lit. Not sure what size you’d need? Check out our storage unit guide.

Lastly, there’s no long-term commitment. You could rent a unit online today and cancel it once you feel the extra space is no longer needed. At the end of the day, your home is your refuge—and keeping it up-to-date and organized may have more of an impact than you’d think.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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