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Contemporary design ideas

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
Clarendon Works, Notting Hill, London Modern style bedroom by Moreno Masey Modern
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What do you think of when you hear the words 'contemporary design'? Contemporary, in a broad sense, is anything belonging to a particular moment—not very helpful when applied in a design context! Searching for contemporary interiors is likely to bring up modern interiors, which are often minimalist: white walls, reflective surfaces, clean lines and just a few splashes of colour. Contemporary design does not rigidly have to stick to these conventions, and there is room for creativity and experimentation within this area. You might have already considered implementing the contemporary style into your home; maybe you're stuck for a starting point, or looking for ways to personalise the look so that your personality shines through, as it should. We've compiled a selection of contemporary designs to give you some fresh ideas on how you can transform your home, from the lounge to bedroom, in this popular style:

Contemporary kitchen design

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones Modern kitchen by Harvey Jones Kitchens Modern
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

All of the typical components of a modern kitchen are here: white walls, sky lights for natural light to filter in, and a splash of colour in the form of red and yellow stools. This contemporary kitchen also embraces the trend for black appliances with the black tiled background framing a stainless steel oven and fridge freezer. 

Islands are also becoming more and more popular in contemporary kitchens. This sleek, white kitchen island sitting proudly in the centre of the room is used as a breakfast bar, with a 360 degree view of the stylish interiors. The line of vision is uninterrupted, all thanks to smart storage solutions. Folding corner cupboards and inconspicuous drawers are another key feature that prevent the kitchen from looking crowded, which would go against all the rules of contemporary design!

Contemporary bathroom

Stylish white bathroom with rustic textures Modern bathroom by ZazuDesigns Modern

Stylish white bathroom with rustic textures


This contemporary bathroom could also be considered classic because the timeless features will never be off trend. The large free-standing bath is inspired by Victorian tubs, but has been given a modern twist with a smooth and simple form. The floating Hanx shelf with counter top basins is another example of how, in a contemporary bathroom, you don't want to see any unnecessary features. Everything should be stripped back to basics but finished to a beautifully high standard. 

The ceramic floorboard tiles give the bathroom a Scandinavian feel, and fit perfectly with the fresh and understated design. Add in the patterned blinds to break up the white colour scheme slightly, as well as underfloor heating for that touch of modern luxury we all wish for, and you have a very contemporary (and relaxing) bathroom. 

Contemporary with a twist

English Rose_Purple Haze: modern  by Knots Rugs, Modern
Knots Rugs

English Rose_Purple Haze

Knots Rugs

You can have a living room filled with neutral shades and minimalist features, like the modest wicker basket and simple, timeless mirror you can see here. The cream, beige and white shades work well together to create a contemporary look, but with a few unusual, eclectic style pieces, you can transform the room and express the more colourful side of your personality. Just take this handmade rug from London based Knots Rugs as an example. Made from Tibetan wool and Chinese silk, it grabs your attention on entering the room and steals the show, without throwing the contemporary modern theme out of balance. 

Lighting for a contemporary home

Vitamin Knot Lamp: modern  by Vitamin, Modern

Vitamin Knot Lamp


Lighting in a contemporary home is an important consideration that can't be overlooked. The lighting effects the ambience and general mood, and you need to consider whether you want a cosy, intimate space or a clean, bright space that wakes you up as soon as you walk in. Obviously, this will depend on the function of your room, and there are many funky lighting options available for an easily achievable modern look. 

These fun and original 'Knot Lamps' would look right at home in a contemporary style lounge or dining room.  The knots are tied in brightly coloured cable for a simple look with a big impact. Choose as many as you like to display in an illuminating line if you have a larger room to decorate, or alternatively, choose one lamp if you want to keep things to the bare minimum. 

Creative and contemporary

This kooky set up is contemporary with an eclectic touch in the form of the unusual ornaments and retro zebra art work. However, what we're interested in most here is the adorable yet cool penguin wallpaper! The 'cosy colony' of penguins have been drawn in sketchy lines to avoid a cartoony look—the wallpaper works in any animal lovers contemporary home, and is perfect if you don't want your space to look sterile or stern. If you're decorating your kids room, this gender neutral wallpaper will be an instant favourite with your little ones. 

Contemporary bedroom

Clarendon Works, Notting Hill, London Modern style bedroom by Moreno Masey Modern
Moreno Masey

Clarendon Works, Notting Hill, London

Moreno Masey

Last but not least is the bedroom. It's the place where you retire after a long day to unwind and get some well deserved sleep, and the interiors should reflect this. Calming, neutral shades are the best choice for this chilled out space. Though we often keep everything we can't place elsewhere in the home in our personal rooms, don't be tempted to clutter your bedroom with too many trinkets and prints. White cotton sheets, minimalist units or bedside tables, and some chic wooden floorboards, are the essentials when designing your contemporary bedroom. 

To explore contemporary style some more, check out this idea book on contemporary cottage style

Have you been inspired by these contemporary designs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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