Contemporary/Modern Interior Design

by Marcus Pickett

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Hiring an interior designer doesn't mean giving up control of decorating your home, but these professionals can introduce you to ideas and decorating options you wouldn't have otherwise considered or knew were possible. Modern interior design has come into its own and promises to turn your home into a masterpiece of aesthetic beauty without sacrificing one moment of practicality or function.

Modern and contemporary, while seemingly synonymous, can often mean quite different things in certain contexts. One of these contexts is interior design. Contemporary interior design means essentially the latest interior design fashions. Modern interior design will often refer to "mid-century" design. Even with these different meanings they will still easily converge. You and your interior designer may decide to borrow elements of 60s or 70s interior design, but this doesn't mean you're going to go out and find the most hideous wallpaper and upholstery simply for nostalgia. In any event, whether you're talking about contemporary or modern interior design, there are some things you should keep in mind while deciding your home's decor.

Take Some Risks, but Don't Go Overboard
Play it too safe and your house will lack a distinctive quality that can wow guests. Take too many ill-advised chances and you may lose your footing with your own home and, possibly, some of its functionality. A good interior decorating scheme should always include your lifestyle and how you will use each and every room. It can be a dangerous idea to "experiment" with decorating schemes and things can quickly go out of fashion. You should look for an interior designer who's eager to incorporate new things into your home but whose sincere intent is always to create a timeless effect. For new construction, begin thinking about interior design right away. Again, too many risks with structural design can be off-putting to potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home, but distinctive installations and design can also make buyers fall in love with your home.

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New Materials, New Techniques
A large part of contemporary interior design is utilizing new materials and techniques. The most common decorative installations include metal, blown-glass, and concrete. Metal, obviously, isn't new, but contemporary lifestyles have begun to emphasize the need for simplicity. Metal creates a sleek, no-nonsense feel to a home. Most often metal is used for accents and fixtures. The purpose of metal isn't to create a cold or detached feeling but to enhance the warmth of other, nearby decorative elements.

Blown glass is a great way to create that elusive distinctiveness for your home. It brings the same kind of artistic element as wall hanging or sculpture but can often double as a lighting fixture or other functional element in your home. Colored glass can fit any decorative scheme, and blown glass is about as close as you can come to a can't miss decorative element.

Concrete has arrived. Decorative concrete can be finished to create any number of modern effects. Floors, countertops, and furniture are great places for concrete installations that will really show off your decorative chops. Many homeowners are still unaware of just how versatile and beautiful concrete can be, and this type of information and specific guidance for still largely untested waters is the perfect reason to hire a designer for all your modern interior design needs.

Color and Lighting
It's difficult to underestimate these elements in any interior design, but especially for modern interior design. Continuing with the trend toward simplicity, neutral beiges, whites, and browns are common but are also often complemented with a more vibrant accent wall. Simple, but not boring, is the mantra here. Lighting is often used to highlight specific areas of interest. Track lighting and floor lamps are the most popular, but any lighting fixture that creates clean lines and emphasizes the featured decorative elements will meet the contemporary design model.

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.