Contemporary style is, by its very definition, of the moment. It is constantly evolving and changing, drawing most heavily on late-20th and 21st-century design to create something totally unique. Contemporary design is in many ways the culmination of all that has gone before, using an esoteric range of influences to create an ever-changing style. However, contemporary design is generally characterised by a muted and often monochrome colour palette plus the sleek and sparse lines of minimalism, in addition to cosy layering, colour blocking and quirky art pieces and accessories.
Although contemporary style is heavily influenced by minimalism, it also pulls in more comfortable elements of Scandinavian style like Danish hygge. Mid-century modernism shows its influence in the eclectic mix of materials and strongly geometric furniture styles. Contemporary style is essentially sleek and masculine with a softer edge, layering in luxury textiles like Egyptian cotton, cashmere and pure wool.
Clean and sparse lines, clever storage, a lack of clutter and a muted colour palette
Clever combinations of materials - wood against metal, concrete against natural stone
Quirky styling - word art posters, carefully curated collections of objects
Luxury layers of cashmere, cotton and wool
Upcycling - repurposing and remodelling furniture
Tips & tricks
Ceramic - a sleek and minimal freestanding bath is the centrepiece of this look, often situated in the bedroom with a screen for privacy. Ceramics feature clean, uncluttered lines while free standing sinks add a particularly contemporary look. Opt for bold and geometric, or more organic and curvaceous pieces. A large walk-in shower or wet room is also key to a contemporary bathroom.
Furniture - be eclectic, mixing different materials and aiming for one striking piece, usually the bath. For example, a stone wash basin on a wooden slab or a trough sink with open shelves beneath. Another staple is recessed storage for a clutter-free and streamlined look.
Floor - underfloor heating is a must with ceramic or stone tiles, engineered wood or luxury vinyl tile. Sheet vinyl flooring provides a surprisingly clean and modern look. Polished concrete or terrazzo can look stunning.
Colour schemes - a popular palette is monochrome black and white, with the white predominant. Natural stone and tone on tone neutrals are also key.
Lighting - incorporate a clever blend of task lighting for mirrors, a general wash achieved with subtle downlighters and a statement fixture like a chandelier.
Walls - background colouring is often white or tiled, often floor to ceiling. White metro tiles have characterised contemporary style bathrooms but natural stone like marble or travertine are also popular. You could even consider metallics and mosaics.
Accessories - copper, chrome or brass for minimalist yet quality bathroom taps, floor standing or overflow bath fillers, eclectic global finds and upcycled chic all add contemporary character. Candles and beautifully designed bath products, carefully displayed, are also a must.