Contemporary Home Style

Contemporary homes are known for their large windows and unusual shapes.

contemporary home style

Contemporary houses have many of these features:

  • odd, irregular shape
  • lack of ornamentation
  • tall, over-sized windows, some with trapezoid shapes
  • open floor plan
  • natural materials such as cedar or stone
  • harmony with the surrounding landscape

Also look for:

Some contemporary homes have flat roofs. Other contemporary homes have gabled roofs with cathedral ceilings and exposed beams.

About Contemporary House Styles

“Contemporary” describes a catch-all style that can take on many different shapes. A Contemporary home can have the quirkiness of Postmodernism, but it will not express the same kind of irony or humor you find in a Postmodern house. Some Neoeclectic homes are called “Contemporaries,” but a true Contemporary does not use odd mixtures of historic deals the way a Neoeclectic house does.

Confused? Your most important clue is the windows: A Contemporary home will always have expansive, very tall panes of glass.

Interior of contemporary styled home

Contemporary style encompasses a range of styles developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Pieces feature softened and rounded lines, as opposed to the stark lines seen in modern design. Interiors contain neutral elements and bold color and focus on the basics of line, shape and form.

Colors - Contemporary interiors feature tone-on-tone color palettes relying heavily on brown, taupe, cream and pure white. Shots of color are sometimes found on one wall, in a striking floor rug or a special piece of art.

Furniture – Pieces feature clean lines and smooth surfaces without any carving or adornment. Silhouettes are slim without being dainty. Furniture is made of light-colored woods like maple and birch (which also have minimal graining), frosted or clear glass, stainless steel, nickel and chrome.

Furniture - Pieces feature clean lines and smooth surfaces without any carving or adornment. Silhouettes are slim without being dainty. Furniture is made of light-colored woods like maple and birch (which also have minimal graining), frosted or clear glass, stainless steel, nickel and chrome.

Fabrics - Natural fabrics like silk, wool, linen and cotton are used for their textural aspect and inherent neutral hues. However, bold color or geometric pattern may be brought into the design with pillows, a rug or throw.

Lighting - The lighting design is used as an artistic statement in a contemporary interior. Floor and table lamps will have straight lines and sleek metallic finishes; color might be introduced with a special shade. Recessed or track lighting draws attention to well-placed art and accessories.