If your home lacks the architectural elements of contemporary design don't despair. Even though you lack expansive windows, open floor plans and lots of natural light, you can still have the basic elements that will define your style as contemporary, even if your homes architecture is country or traditional!
The first element of contemporary style is using the proper colors. Neutral colors and black and white are often used as the backdrop for contemporary rooms, but bright colors are also used in certain situations. Most importantly, the backdrop should be clean, and free of busy textures or unnecessary details.
The next element of contemporary design is minimalism. No clutter becomes even more important if your home lacks the wide open spaces of contemporary architecture. Having less in a room makes it appear more open and spacious. Leaving space between furniture promotes a more open feel.
In the toned down backdrop of contemporary style texture and shapes take the front and center of a room. Use natural textiles such linen, jute and bamboo.
The floors of contemporary style should be smooth wood, vinyl or tile. If carpet is a must choose neutral colors. Area rugs can be used to add color and texture in solids or geometric patterns as well as minimalize the effects of non-contemporary carpet.
Avoid use of lace, ruffles, fringe, floral prints or extensively carved woods in contemporary design. Shape, line and color define contemporary style furniture. Black, white and neutral colors with clean, smooth lines are essential. Sofas, loveseats, chairs and ottomans show their legs!
Contemporary leather furniture is the perfect choice for a contemporary room. Choose comfortable seating and neutral colors. An exception to this is if you choose a piece of furniture for your center stage. A red leather couch takes center stage in an all-white or creamy colored room for example.
Therein lies an important element of contemporary style. Many persons complain for example, that the all-white room 'looks washed out'. A vase of a few lovely flowers or bright greenery, a few colored pillows upon the sofa, the reflective light off of a few metal elements, a few brightly colored glass vases of differing size backlit upon a shelf, or the daring red leather couch will bring the room to life. Like the bright red cherry or a sprig of large blueberries set strategically in the center of a white cream cake, the color is all the more lovely for the neutral background.
This supports another key element of contemporary design, allowing furniture or accessories to take center stage.
Metal, stone and glass work very well in contemporary rooms. Window treatments, rugs and pillows can be textured, but keep colors neutral. Two tone fabrics work well but avoid busy prints and patterns. The exception to these rules is if you want your pop of color in a few pillows.
Spotlights and light fixtures will draw the eye to specific elements like furniture or paintings or prints to create a focal point. Use metal finishes, natural wood or matte black frames. Keep light fixtures lines clean with metallic elements. Sculptured light fixtures will work well with your contemporary styled room.
Plants or flowers should be large and dramatic in simple vases or containers as these provide a focal point in color. A large clear vase of lemons is lovely in a dining room, as is a tall vase with a few large, brightly colored flowers in a varient of a single shade.
A sculpture can be displayed on a pedestal, but keep the pedestal simple with clean lines and not overly ornate. Avoid collections, display 1-3 pieces, and keep in mind contemporary style uses the minimalist approach.
Though your architecture may be traditional or country you can 'groom a room' it to complement a more contemporary style. Use neutral colored paint; replace light fixtures and window treatments. Allow natural light to shine through the windows. If carpet can't be replaced and is decidedly not contemporary friendly, use rugs as large as possible that are solid in color or have a geometric pattern to downplay carpet.
Finally, have a plan. Browse magazines and surf the internet for photos of rooms and elements you like in a contemporary room.
For custom, handcrafted contemporary leather furniture check out our website, or visit us at any of our six locations in Texas. The Leather Sofa Company can provide your contemporary room with the comfort and beauty of natural leather furniture.