Interior Decor Styles We Love: Contemporary

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We began our mission to help our clients visualize their interior decor options last month with a feature on French country decor. This month, we’re switching gears to present you contemporary decor in all its simplicity and sophistication. Read on to learn about the elements of contemporary decor.

Strong Lines

The most distinctive aspect of contemporary decor is the use of strong lines. Whereas French country focuses on flowing lines, and modern design prioritizes boxy shapes, contemporary design incorporates both straight and curved edges. What’s important is that these lines stand out.

In this contemporary bathroom, strong lines are evident in the freestanding bathtub, metal showerhead, diamond mirror, countertop, and tiled back wall. Unsurprisingly, geometric shapes figure prominently in contemporary decor, which you can see in the hexagon tiles on the floor.


Contemporary decor relies heavily on texture to soften up its trademark strong lines. This room combines various textures with curtains, carpet, an area rug, an upholstered velvet chaise lounge, a knitted throw blanket, and a throw pillow.  

Fabric window treatments and linen wallpaper are also great options to add texture to a space. Just remember to avoid intricate patterns when choosing fabrics, as they’ll upset the clean look of contemporary decor.


If you haven’t noticed already, neutrals are the cornerstone of contemporary homes. While white and cream are generally used for wall color, brown, tan, gray, and even black can be seen throughout most contemporary spaces.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use any bright or bold colors — just use them sparingly, for accent items such as armchairs, pillows, lighting fixtures, or artwork.

Keep in mind: We can reupholster your furniture to give it the right color for your new contemporary space. Request an estimate to get started.

Wood Tones

Wood surfaces are typical of contemporary decor, and particularly those with very light and very dark colors, such as the wall panels and side table seen above. Remember that strong lines are important, so you’ll want to stick with simpler wood pieces rather than ornate woodwork.

Do you have the perfect wood piece, but in the wrong color? We can refinish it for you in the custom color of your choice! Contact us to learn more about our refinishing services.

Metal Accents

Metals accent spaces with contemporary style, adding to the sleek and clean look. Metal lighting fixtures taken from midcentury modern design are particularly popular.

Furniture with metal legs and metal lamps, shelves, and frames are additional opportunities to add this staple accent.


Lighting is key to illuminating any space, but with contemporary decor, it takes on even more importance. Contemporary spaces layer natural light with ambient (general), accent, and task lighting. Windowed walls like the ones seen above are common, as are pendant lights.

Notice the other contemporary decor elements in this living room: furniture with strong lines, a textured area rug, upholstered furniture, neutral colors, wood coffee tables, and metal light fixtures. Everything combines to create a clean and contemporary space.

Is contemporary decor calling you? Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing can help you create this look in your home with a number of different services: Reupholster or refinish your existing furniture to give it a contemporary look, work with us to custom-design the perfect pieces, or shop our premade furniture ready for purchase at our showrooms. Whatever route you take, one of our in-house custom interior decorators will be happy to make recommendations and even visit your home to help you cultivate a contemporary look.

Not sure if contemporary decor is right for you? Check out these other interior decor styles: