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Contemporary furniture designs

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
MESH by Bowles & Bowles
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What do you think of when you hear the words ‘contemporary furniture' or ‘modern furniture design'? Bold, colourful chairs and tables spring to mind, as do minimalist units in various shades of white that look very much the same as one another. Yes, these designs can be found in many contemporary displays or modern homes, but they aren't the be all and end all when it comes to contemporary style furniture. Contemporary is far from boring: you can go modern without having to say goodbye to solid oak or soft tones, and just because your furniture is à la mode, doesn't mean it can't be comfy too! 

If you need to see it to believe it, check out this selection of contemporary furniture chosen for it's elegance, accessibility and charm, and have a read through our suggestions on how to achieve a chic, contemporary style home. 

Be different

Mollusque by Marc Fish
Marc Fish


Marc Fish

As you may be able to distinguish, this 'Mollusque' design, like many of Marc Fish's contemporary furniture, is inspired by natural forms. This piece, made from glass and copper, is so pretty that it doesn't need to be about practicality. Having one stand alone piece of furniture in your home can set it apart and make it unique. When choosing your furniture, you should of course always consider what it is you need, the dimensions, the design, and so on. However, where would the fun in life be if we only ever settled for what we needed!

Let there be light

Frederik Molenschot - CL Silverliner by Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Frederik Molenschot—CL Silverliner

Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Keep it light and have some fun with a quirky fitting like this woven cast bronze structure. It's epic in size, and while we are all about thinking big, it's possible that your living area has slightly smaller demands. 

Making your light fittings a focal feature in the lounge or kitchen is very much in keeping with contemporary design. Consider a fixture  made from metal or industrial materials, and choose something with an unusual shape to create a cool, offbeat vibe with one simple piece.

Achieve a golden glow

You can achieve a modern look with garden furniture, too. Easy to maintain areas are all the rage, and this illuminated garden stool looks great on the decking. Imagine it's a warm summer's evening, sitting in the garden with friends when the light begins to wane: no need to bother with candles, just sit and continue to enjoy as you let these chairs provide all the light you need. 

Attractive, contemporary, and practical: an easy way to transform your garden into a modern paradise, without having to get your gardening gloves on.

Box it up

Snug Chest: modern  by Snug, Modern

Snug Chest


Here is that bold, primary colour you were expecting all along. However, it's kept to a minimum and so isn't overwhelming. The hard lines are a million miles away from the fanciful swirling designs of previous eras, and functionality is a key feature. The raised platform even makes it easier to clean underneath: who ever said contemporary wasn't convenient? 

Go back to basics

Eames Molded Plastic Chairs by Herman Miller
Herman Miller

Eames Molded Plastic Chairs

Herman Miller

Primary colours are a great way to update the look of your home, but be careful, as if done badly they can turn a lovely lounge into a garish nursery room. Use bright colours sparsely, and don't get carried away with the red or yellow colour scheme. Too many bold accessories can turn the room into an eyesore and really give you a headache, but on the other hand, if you nail the trend, primary colours will add personality and fun to any room in the house. 

This chair, with it's pylon-esque legs, is simple but certainly not plain. The detailed metal design balances out the use of plastic, and so this chair safely belongs in the ‘art gallery' rather than ‘playgroup' zone. 

Make it mesh

This mesh coffee table is made using steel wire bent into form using antique tools in Bowles and Bowles' Birmingham factory. The design is inspired by school lockers which are made at the company's metal works proving that inspiration can come from anywhere! If you're a fan of clean lines and minimalist furniture you can also find bathroom cabinets and desks as part of this range. 

The benefits of stripped back, purposeful pieces such as this, is that you don't need to over think the decoration of your room in line with the furniture. Light tones for the walls and curtains leave open the opportunities when you want to introduce colours or prints through soft furnishings, wall hangings and similar decoration.

Be contrary

Furniture by Atkin & Thyme
Atkin & Thyme


Atkin & Thyme

Contemporary furniture doesn't have to have a regulated, symmetrical design. Quirky drawer handles and different coloured, but complimentary panels transform what would otherwise be a traditional desk. This is something you can try yourself at home. If you're trying to find a way to get your vintage wooden furniture to appear at home in your contemporary living room or office, take whatever mixed door or drawer handles catch your eye and fit your colour scheme, and consider using adhesive sheets with a lively pattern for one or two of the draws. 

If you want to see what a contemporary style home looks like when it all comes together, then check out this prime example. Additionally,  if you're looking for ways to bring character to a modern home then take a look at these modern art designs for some more ideas.

Are you inspired by this selection of contemporary furniture? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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