Combining a love for clean lines, monochromatic color choices and stylish sophistication leads to modern style that can provide a retreat to a frenzied and eventful life. Photo: Amisco
So what types of furniture convey the contemporary style? Look for woods like beech, birch and pine and materials such as steel, glass, plastics and stone. Hardware finishes are typically silver, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze and pewter. Photo: Universal Furniture
Contemporary style is often centered on drama—providing an ideal backdrop to bold furnishings or a meaningful art piece. Photo: Matsuoka
Variations on a Theme
While minimalism is the norm when it comes to defining contemporary style, there is wiggle room within the genre. "Sometimes contemporary designers, especially Japanese or Italian designers, incorporate elaborate inlays of exotic wood applied in geometric designs and even mixed in with deep rich lacquered color on cases and tabletops," explains Jenna Hall, executive vice president of merchandising and product development for bedroom, dining and occasional furniture at aspenhome.
Call it Contemporary
Fresh, modern looks to transform your master bedroom.
- by Tracy A. Mozingo
If you’re a fan of contemporary furniture and design, you’ll love today’s latest looks featuring clean lines and cool colors. And one of the best places for this trend is the bedroom, where contemporary décor makes a room look less encumbered and more airy—a true retreat from a busy, hectic life.
Fans of the contemporary aesthetic are at the forefront of what’s current and chic. Carefully chosen neutrals and monochromatic themes are staples in the contemporary color palette. "The contemporary look is all about gray, silver, black and white," explains Wanda Cockrell, interior designer and owner of The Stedman House in Fayetteville, N.C. "Stark contrasts and clean lines can lend a sleek look to bedrooms."
When it comes to fabrics and textiles, the contemporary look is most frequently expressed with large expanses of solid color occasionally punctuated by modern prints and bold graphics.
Contemporary is typically synonymous with uncluttered. Therefore, using fewer accessories is essential to making a bedroom feel open, spacious and airy—a true mark of contemporary design. And what better room to incorporate that feeling than the bedroom?
"Contemporary furniture usually requires a more minimal look in terms of accessories," explains Jena Hall, executive vice president of merchandising and product development for bedroom, dining and occasional furniture at aspenhome. "And rather than making a bold decorative statement, very simple—yet carefully selected—lighting that complements the lines of furniture is essential to complete the contemporary expression."
So what types of furniture convey the contemporary style? Look for woods like beech, birch and pine and materials such as steel, glass, plastics and stone. Hardware finishes are typically silver, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze and pewter.
"Often, contemporary furniture takes its inspiration from the mid-century modern principle that ‘form is less important than function,’” explains Hall. “Contemporary style is usually more about the clean lines, wood and finish and less about details like carving or fancy shapes."
"As with any design category, the bed is the focal point of the bedroom,” says Wesley Sawan, director of operations for Wesley Allen. “The choice of finish can change a bed's appeal considerably. We offer a natural rust finish, which gives our bedroom furniture a more modern edge than a traditional distressed white, and this generates a contemporary feel.”
Executing contemporary style successfully means addressing the bed from top to bottom. "White bedding and linens are a good choice for the contemporary bedroom,” says Cockrell. “The look is crisp and clean—no clutter. And choosing white bedding, making the bed look plump and fluffy, will leave you with the feeling that you're being engulfed and cradled by a cloud."
Contemporary style is often centered on drama—providing an ideal backdrop to bold furnishings or a meaningful art piece. Window treatments are typically minimal or windows are left bare to let in light and highlight the room’s architecture. Mirrors and glass can be used to add sparkle, dimension and reflect light.
"I like to use lots of mirrors in the bedroom because it creates a fluid continuation of the design of the room,” says Cockrell. “There are no disruptions to interfere with the calm the contemporary look can create.”
A modern edge and thoughtful color choices are the platform for creating a contemporary feel. Combining a love for clean lines, monochromatic color choices and stylish sophistication leads to modern style that can provide a retreat to a frenzied and eventful life. So maybe the contemporary look is not so modern after all—perhaps it's actually a reflection of simpler times.