Stunning Home Interiors: Contemporary Designs for Today’s Lifestyles

With their sleek lines, innovative use of materials, and a focus on clean, uncluttered spaces, contemporary designs are like a breath of fresh air. These designs are a testament to how you can enjoy both beauty and function, enhancing the way we experience the world within our own four walls. 

Let’s explore what contemporary design is and highlight the current trends that shape the way we live, work, and relax in our homes today. 


What is Contemporary Design?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first define what it is and what it isn’t. 

Contemporary design embraces what feels right at the moment. It’s versatile, spontaneous, and always evolving. That said, contemporary design has a few constants, including clean lines, a lack of clutter, and a blend of styles. 

At first glance, it’s easy to mistake contemporary design for modern design, but the two styles vary in many ways. Modern style became popular starting in the 1930s and tends to lean on a monochromatic palette with minimal decoration. 

Contemporary design gained traction in the 1970s and plays with function and simplicity, taking an “everything in its place” approach. While modern is a style that technically already came and went, contemporary design continues to blend trends to stay new and remain relevant.

Here are a few of the design elements in greater detail:


Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans have been trending for a while, and they are not going out of style anytime soon. These layouts are characterized by their lack of interior walls and partitions, making your space feel larger and more inviting.

Since the boundaries between rooms disappear, open floor plans are excellent for social interaction. Without barriers, you can foster a sense of togetherness when you have loved ones over for dinner, games, or a movie night. 

Open floor plans also welcome an abundance of natural light, which can have transformational effects on your space. Maximizing daylight improves energy efficiency in your home and can even boost your mood! Air circulates more efficiently in open spaces, which means that heating and cooling them becomes easier and more cost-effective. 

These floor plans also allow for improved flow and traffic, collaborative work environments, and multifunctional living. There’s no limit to how you can interact and update your space — just see where your mind takes you!


Clean, Straight Lines

Straight lines convey a sense of power, stability, and organization. They command our attention and guide our eyes toward an intended focal point, whether it’s a kitchen backsplash or a captivating piece of art. 

These lines also create the illusion of space. When parallel, lines appear to converge at a vanishing point, which gives you a sense of depth and distance. The orderliness of straight lines also promotes a feeling of peace and tranquility, which is why you’ll commonly see them used in bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Clean lines aren’t all alike, either. They convey different feelings based on their directions:

  • Vertical lines make spaces appear higher than they are, so they work great for rooms with lower ceilings.
  • Horizontal lines evoke a sense of calm and harmony. They can visually expand your space, making it appear wider and longer. If you have a high ceiling, horizontal lines can make it feel lower. 
  • Diagonal lines convey movement and give your space a boost of energy. These were great in spaces where you’ll be active, like in your kitchen or a playroom. 

Think about how you interact with each of your rooms. This will give you an idea of what types of clean, straight lines you should have in them. 


Geometric Shapes and Patterns

Not everything in your home needs to be linear. Playing with shapes and patterns is another key element in contemporary design, and squares, triangles, hexagons, and circles all have a role to play. 

Geometry is synonymous with balance and symmetry. Like clean, straight lines, shapes and patterns help achieve a sense of proportion and equilibrium. They serve as eye-catching focal points, drawing attention from other parts of your space. 

When you look throughout your home, you can easily identify squares and rectangles all throughout your home, including your cabinets, nightstands, mirrors, coffee tables, etc. Each of these can make your space taller, wider, smaller, or longer. Meanwhile, other angular shapes like triangles, circles, and chevrons, infuse a sense of creativity, vibrance, and vitality into your home. 


Layered Textures

The most exciting aspect of contemporary design is that you’re encouraged to play around with different styles to discover what best suits your personal aesthetic. Not only do you get to experiment with different lines, shapes, and patterns, but textures as well! 

Textures appeal to your senses and create a more immersive experience within a room. They encourage you to look and touch and evoke a connection between you and your surroundings. For example, soft, plush textures like rugs and cushions create a warm and cozy ambiance, while rooms with wood, stone, and lots of plants can make you feel more connected with nature

Layered textures let you play with light and shadow, which can add drama and movement to your space. They also let you play with the acoustics of a room. For instance, soft textures, like curtains or upholstered furniture, can absorb sounds and reduce echoes. 


Material Variety

Another aspect of contemporary design worth experimenting with is the diversity of materials. Like layered textures, different materials can enrich the sensory experience of your space. Combining materials that are soft and hard, smooth and rough, shiny and matte provide a tactile variety that engages both your eyes and your sense of touch.

Varying materials also offer a wide range of functionalities. Hard, durable materials like metal and stone are great for high-traffic areas, like your kitchen. In contrast, softer materials work great for when you’re trying to relax in your space. The types of materials you use all come down to your sense of personal expression, because that’s what contemporary design is all about: playing with trends, lines, shapes, textures, and materials to find something that’s uniquely you. 


Contemporary Designs With Pathway

At Pathway, we don’t just prioritize your self-expression — we also focus on your home’s health and functionality. Whether you want a home you can enjoy living in long into your senior years, or a space that blurs the lines between your interior and the outside world, we’re dedicated to prioritizing green build solutions and sustainable construction practices that are eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

Are you ready to create a home that’s aligned with your personal tastes? Send us a message!

About Paul Kocharhook

Paul Kocharhook, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, (CAPS), MCGP and Owner of Pathway Design & Construction, based in SODO Seattle. Download your Remodel Reality Check quick sheet and walk through the main points in a remodel project.