It’s easy to get lost on the way to defining contemporary as a style. It borrows elements from lots of other movements and folds them into itself, creating plenty of red herrings and aesthetic dead ends which can lead people astray.
Unlike Mid Century Modern, which ran from the mid 1940s to the late 1960s, contemporary is not so well defined. It’s today, but it’s also influenced by yesterday, and it’s often confused with modern. But fear not, there are some signature aspects to contemporary furniture, specifically: well-defined lines, a reduction of unnecessary detail and ornament, and a focus on function.
Contemporary furniture is a must-have because lets a space speak for itself. It’s the opposite of busy aesthetics, lending itself to stark contrasts that can be softened by color and decor when desired. It’s a constantly-evolving style, which makes it versatile and accessible to everyone.
Cool and Contemporary
The Verona Sofa is a great example of contemporary’s general rules. You can see the definite lines and simple, functional design that allow it to work in any space, along with its strictly neutral color options. This sectional adds function without calling too much attention to itself, but still has a few stylish touches such as the feet, and softens its lines just slightly with its rounded edges. All in all, this sectional perfectly demonstrates the subtlety of the style.
The Icon Dresser and Nightstand also possess a well-defined function that clearly inspires their design. Carefully designed to create a maximum of storage options, both the dresser and nightstand have plentiful surface area as well as drawers, combined with striking lines and simple shapes. Uncomplicated design is a hallmark of both modern and contemporary styles, but in contemporary style there is a tendency to take it as far as possible.
BDI’s Corridor Quad-Wide Media Cabinet is another piece of utility furniture elevated by the contemporary ethos. A simple profile hides a central drawer flanked by two cabinets, covered up by vertical wooden slats which allow remote controls to function. Visually and aesthetically, the Corridor features the stark lines, simple shapes, and unobtrusive presence that’s typical of the contemporary movement.
Contemporary style has benefited greatly from contemporary manufacturing, and nowhere is this more apparent than in upholstery and fabrics. We often refer to Performance Fabrics, which are the new generation of stain-resistant, durable fabrics which have finally overcome the subpar feel of previous materials. They can be as soft as cashmere or cotton, and can convincingly convey leather-like textures as well.
Here and Now
Contemporary style is a powerful and ever-evolving aesthetic that’s supported by new ways of using space and new technologies. We think that contemporary furniture’s emphasis on functionality without overwhelming details is a great way to build personality in a space or leave it intentionally open. As the contemporary style grows, so does its potential to maximize your enjoyment of your home.