If you prefer simple, clean lines, and see interior design with a “form follows function” mindset, you will probably fall in love with some of this year’s top contemporary home design ideas. But before you can understand and appreciate the hottest trends, you must understand what qualifies as contemporary design and common elements that come with it. Let’s take a look!

What Is Contemporary Design?

The first thing to understand about this type of interior design style is that while it can be referred to as modern, contemporary and modern are two very distinct styles. Contemporary design uses glass, metal, and state-of-the-art materials, while modern design tends to focus on more earthy elements. While both focus on minimalism and clean, simple lines, contemporary design focuses more on the trends of today and tomorrow, while modern design focuses on patterns of the past.

Common Interior Design Features

Contemporary home design typically combines an irregular, asymmetrical facade with strong geometrical shapes, as well as a focus on the use of natural light. To make the best use of outdoor space, most floor plans are either the L, H, T, or U shape. But many designers allow for a flexible layout that can be changed and adjusted easily. Large windows are usually a focal point, and the use of eco-friendly and reusable materials is a common trend. It is common to see bamboo flooring, granite counters, and “green” systems such as heating, AC and plumbing designed to conserve energy.

Contemporary design leans toward simple, clean lines and away from busy prints and patterns. It is common to see materials such as opaque or transparent glass, stone and metal, to create a modern and sometimes industrial feel. Contemporary style may also embrace structural elements, such as molding and exposed brick, to add character to a room in a simple way.

Common Exterior Design Features

You can often spot a contemporary home without stepping foot in the door. These homes will almost always feature sustainable and eco-friendly elements, both inside and out. An animated and asymmetrical exterior adds character, and the use of both straight and curved lines give the exterior of the home depth and texture.

Flat overhanging roofs and the use of plants on the walls and roofs brighten up the exterior and add to the green feel of the home. It can be hard to truly define the contemporary style, but one thing it is not is “cookie cutter.” Contemporary homes are always changing and evolving to keep up with and push beyond current housing trends.

This Year’s Top Contemporary Home Design Ideas

Here are some of the top contemporary home design ideas for 2019:

Simplified Form

Form is foundational when exploring contemporary design. While most design styles embrace “function over form,” contemporary styles take form and function and make them equal. In this style, there is no push to fill a large room with unnecessary furniture to make the room feel full. Large, open spaces are left alone to make transiting through the home seamless. Simple transitions from indoor to outdoor spaces is another common feature, as the contemporary style combines natural and earthy elements with modern elements. Less is more.

Muted Tones with Pops of Color

When it comes to color, the trend is calm, muted and neutral. This style leans more toward blacks, whites, greys and muted tones—using accents to bring color to the space. Subtle backgrounds let artwork and furniture make a bolder statement. The contemporary design embraces minimalism, even when it comes to color.

Contemporary Art

A contemporary home is not complete without a few staple art pieces. Whether it’s an abstract sculpture in the middle the living room or a bold, locally-inspired piece hanging in the master bedroom, art can make a significant statement in home. Some designers choose to stick with the minimalist approach when it comes to art, while others break out of the mold and use artwork to add character and personality to a room.

Statement Lighting

While natural lighting and large windows are a must throughout a contemporary home, a few choice light fixtures can add warmth to a space while also serving as an artistic element. It is common to find an oversized standing lamp, an elegant chandelier, and a row of simple Edison bulbs in the same home. Sculptural lighting is a popular trend, and it can dramatically change the look and feel of any room.


Because contemporary style is meant to reflect the current time, it would not be complete without the latest technology. Architects and designers are finding innovative ways to work technology into their design ideas and to create a space catered to the modern family (and all of their devices).

The Anderson Studio Knows Contemporary Design

The Anderson Studio of Architecture and Design has recently added quite a few contemporary home designs to our interior design portfolio. We’ve worked with clients to create spaces that combine minimalism and sustainability with artistic expression and style. The Low Country Wharf House is a prime example of clean, simple lines, regional influences, and the dramatic effect that natural and organic elements can have on a space.

Build Your Dream Home

Leaders in both architecture and interior design, The Anderson Studio has a reputation for innovative home designs that genuinely reflect the families who live in them. Contact us today to take the first step toward building the contemporary home of your dreams.