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Refresh Your Home With These Contemporary-Style Decor Ideas

Looking for the latest contemporary ideas for your home? Take a break from rustic farmhouse and consider a modern refresh for your home.

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Contemporary Gray Wood AccentsPlusONE/Shutterstock

Gray Wood Accents

A growing trend in contemporary design is the use of graying woods in floors and paneling. The quiet, elegant gray tones and the natural aesthetic of the wood are perfect in a contemporary house. Some gray paneling is created from carefully stained white oak or other aged woods. Naturally beautiful driftwood serves as a statement piece.

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Open-Plan Living modern living room kitchenBondRocketImages/Shutterstock

The Open Floor Plan

Nothing says contemporary like an open floor plan. While not everyone can start knocking down walls in their house, think about how open your décor can be: Avoid high tables, floor lamps, and partitions that block your view from one area to the next.

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Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

If your design plans include new windows, consider installing full-sized floor-to-ceiling windows on a wall in your home. This popular contemporary element shines natural light on your interior spaces and brings the outside in. It’s also great for your indoor plants.

Photo: Courtesy of JELD-WEN

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Low-Profile and Floor-Hugging Furniture contemporary living room fireplacePlusONE/Shutterstock

Low-Profile and Floor-Hugging Furniture

When choosing sofas, chairs and other seating, stay low and close to the ground. Contemporary rooms avoid high-backed furniture to encourage an airy, open environment. Some contemporary homes move even closer to the floor with artful beanbags or other floor-based seating.

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minimalist fireplace

The Minimalist Fireplace

Sometimes called a “ribbon” fireplace, this new trend in home heating is perfect for a contemporary home. The fireplace sits low and tends to have a longer, more rectangular profile than a traditional fireplace. These fireplaces work well with low-back furniture. The minimalist mantel often follows these lines with strips of stone, wood or tile.

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Concrete and Natural Gray Stone living roomPlusONE/Shutterstock

Concrete and Natural Gray Stone

Concrete remains a mainstay in contemporary homes. Its clean, gray lines are perfectly matched with wood and other natural materials. You can use concrete wall panels, concrete flooring, and even concrete accent furniture to get this modern look. Marble, slate and other natural stones are also right at home in a contemporary room.

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Glass and Steel living roomangelo sarnacchiaro/Shutterstock

Glass and Steel

Adding glass and steel to a room is sure to give it a contemporary vibe. Try using glass as a focal point, with a glass coffee table or glass panes used as partitions (and keep good maintenance tips in mind). Stainless steel accents also feel crisp and modern.

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Color and Art as a Focal Point

What role does art play in contemporary style? An important role—but don’t go overboard. Contemporary rooms a free of knickknacks and crowded shelves. Instead, choose a bright color for a chair, a rug or a pillow and use that as a focal point. Or hang a colorful piece of contemporary art on the wall.

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Suspended BookshelvesFamily Handyman

Contemporary Shelves

These suspended shelves work beautifully in a contemporary home. They are easy to install, look great and are strong enough to hold heavy objects. This dark wood against the light wall looks striking, but you can choose a more subtle gray stain, if you prefer.

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basement living

Bright Lighting for Big Spaces

If your contemporary renovation extends to lighting, keep in mind that light should fill and brighten those open spaces, rather than being focused on just one area. Use recessed lighting, simple pendant lights and column or sweeping arc floor lamps.

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cork floors sunroomFamily Handyman

Natural Materials

Natural materials also have an important place in contemporary design. Smooth, eco-friendly cork and bamboo are excellent flooring choices.

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Suede and Velvet living room couchSvet_Feo/Shutterstock

Suede and Velvet

When it comes to fabrics, suede and velvet are popular contemporary choices. Real and faux leather are also on-trend choices. These “look smooth, feel soft” materials fit in perfectly with contemporary decor.

Photo: Svet_Feo/Shutterstock

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Wood and Stone decorationslevente imre takacs/Shutterstock

Wood and Stone

An increasingly popular contemporary trend embraces carved stone and wood, especially for large platters, coasters, dishes and vases. Create your own art gallery to showcase the pieces you love.

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living room pallet coffee

Contemporary Upcycling

Upcycling has found a place in contemporary homes. When painted or left with a gray patina, repurposed wood accent pieces fit right in to a modern room.