Contemporary Interior Design: Everything You Need to Know About… – Architectural Digest

When it comes to interior design styles , contemporary interior design may be the most future-thinking. “What distinguishes it so much is that it is an ever-evolving style, versus some of the ones in history where they have a very set time period and a very specific set of rules that they’re referring back to, ” says Erin Sander, an interior designer based in Dallas, Texas, and founder of  Erin Sander Design . Defined by clean lines, decorated minimalism, and current trends, modern interiors are distinctly of-the-moment—even when the moment changes. Found throughout homes, offices, and retail settings, below  AD dives into just what makes this versatile style and how you can bring it in to your space.  

History of contemporary interior design

“Contemporary design came out after the midcentury-modern movement, ” Sander says. Starting in the 1970s, the style was first seen as more of an amalgamation of various popular aesthetics of the particular time, like modernism, postmodernism, and Art Deco. Slowly the term contemporary started to take on a meaning of its own.  

This contemporary home designed by Erin Sander features a concrete console paired against natural elements like wood and greenery.  

Photo: James Nathan Schroder

What is contemporary inside home design?

“From the 1972s forward, this has continued to grow just as the very present, very on-trend way in order to define a style that is moving forward, ” Sander says. It could be understood as a design style that will pulls from many popular styles associated with a given moment, creating an unique look that is undeniably “in. ” This also means, however, that a contemporary home may look different at different times. “Other designs that frequently recirculate have many distinct correlations, ” Sander says. A midcentury-modern aesthetic will almost always make use of walnut-toned wood, for example , in the same way a farmhouse aesthetic will frequently include rustic decor. “With modern, there aren’t as many reference points, ” she continues, “and I think what you’ll see is contemporary borrows through so many different styles and combines them all together. ” 

What does modern design style mean?

“Typically I would define contemporary more as a blending of designs, ” says  Brad Ramsey , an interior designer based in Nashville. “It’s a little more eclectic, but it’s trend-forward, so contemporary is usually what’s on trend right now. ” Ramsey grew up in the contemporary house outside of Atlanta that was often well-liked simply by visitors for its uniqueness. “It had tall pitched ceilings that are all cedar slats inside with skylights at the particular top, ” he states. “And when I was growing up, everybody always loved coming over to my house. ” Even though his parents purchased the home in the ’80s, it’s kept the contemporary status through thoughtful upgrades and changes throughout the years. “If it stays in the particular trends of when they bought it, then it no longer really remains in that modern feel; you have to keep updating it, ” he says.  

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