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How to Decorate Your Flat the Contemporary Way

How to Decorate Your Flat the Contemporary Way

In magazines, lifestyle shows, blogs, and social media, the term "contemporary" is always mentioned to describe a certain interior style.

This interior design is widely loved by Singaporeans. Why not? The contemporary style boasts a functional and sophisticated charm. This theme presents a warm and welcoming feel with its uncluttered look and functional design. When it comes to contemporary design, you are free to add personal elements in addition to "what's in" and incorporate accent colours into your palette to beautify your area.

What is Contemporary Interior Style?

What is Contemporary Interior Style

Contemporary style focuses on functional aesthetics. It presents clean silhouettes and carefully curated furniture on top of the neutral palette. 

This style is often associated with modern design. Before we start with this styling guide, let us clear up the confusion between the two exquisite themes. 

It is true that they have some common elements, but while the modern style focuses on minimalism and a neutral or monochromatic sophistication, contemporary interior style makes use of this simplicity to create a remarkable, sometimes bold focal point where you can play with your colours, textures, and home decorations. When it comes to the choice of furniture, modern style features more natural elements like wood, leather, and marble, while contemporary style welcomes glass finishes, metal, chrome, and a mixture of various materials. Modern furniture pieces are mostly made of straight lines, like rectangular dining tables and TV consoles. Contemporary style welcomes curves and more playful configurations.

When creating a contemporary home, you must maintain a minimal and uncluttered look while embracing the design elements that you love.

Modern vs Contemporary Interior Designs

Modern Interior Design Contemporary Interior Design

Focuses on functional minimalism

Focuses on functional minimalism

Follows the less is more approach

Follows the less is more approach

Presents an uncluttered and airy feel

Presents an uncluttered and airy feel

Was a part of a design era that is loved by interior designers and homeowners until today

Features what’s in. Contemporary design follows the current trend while still keeping some elements like minimalism and cleanliness 

Features more natural and earthy tones

Welcomes darker and bolder colours on top of its neutral base

Loves natural elements like wood, jute, wicker, leather and marble

Combines different materials including metal, chrome, brass and reflective surfaces like glass

Modern furniture pieces are mostly made up of straight, clean-lined and edgy configurations

Contemporary furniture welcome soft, curvy patterns and playful textures

Contemporary and modern interior designs are both warm and remarkable. In contrast to what others feel about these minimalist styles, both designs are more than their monochromatic reputations. Now, let’s turn your flat into a cosy contemporary home.

Contemporary Colour Palette

Contemporary Colour Palette

Contemporary style is known for following a neutral palette. White, cream, beige, and black colours are commonly used as bases. These are usually used for painting and flooring.

Dark hues like black make a good base for a smart contemporary home. A lighter palette of white and cream makes a small space look bigger. These minimalist colours are accentuated with bolder hues; think accent walls, furniture, drapes, and ornaments.

To make a dark neutral wall more noticeable, lighter furniture or design elements like an accent rug are needed. If you want a furniture piece that needs less maintenance, you can also pair neutral furniture with bolder accent decorations. 

Contemporary Textures and Patterns

Contemporary Textures and Patterns

The contemporary style uses clean and minimalist lines with lots of vertical and horizontal patterns, some curved shapes, and geometrical elements. Unlike the traditional design, contemporary patterns are less intricate and are more focused on creating an open area. Enrich this simple design with textures that you can incorporate into your architectural design, furniture, and even the simplest accessories. 

Here are some ways you can incorporate patterns and textures into your contemporary design:

  1. Play with your kitchen backsplash. Aside from protecting your kitchen from accumulating dirt, smoke, and grease, your backsplash can be a good focal point for your kitchen design. A sleek white tiled backsplash or a neutral mosaic can level up the look of your minimalist kitchen. Ceramic tiles are stylish and easy to clean.
  2. Choose an upholstered sofa for your living room. You will never run out of good choices when it comes to upholstered furniture. Linens, genuine leather, or faux leather sofas provide an effortless texture to your living room without overwhelming the whole space.
  3. Use accessories to add texture to your design. Accessorize your floor with patterned rugs like wicker or soft mats, or use throw pillows and blankets. Use contrasting fabrics to create depth and variation. You can layer various textures as long as they make for a cohesive overall look.

    Contemporary Furniture Designs

    Your furniture choice plays a big role in creating a stylish contemporary home. Contemporary style furniture focuses on a streamlined silhouette, clean lines, and a combination of straight, curvy, and geometric shapes. Most contemporary furniture pieces involve neutral colours. Some accent items can come in bolder colours based on your design needs. When it comes to furniture, you do not have to fill your home with so much. Focus on functional furniture pieces that serve multiple functions. If you are buying contemporary furniture in Singapore, here are some furniture ideas that you can incorporate into your home:

    Contemporary Living Room Furniture

    Contemporary Living room Furniture

    • Choose a Dark coloured fabric sofa with subtle texture, exposed legs for an illusion of space, and a playful configuration
    • or a Neutral sofa with a remarkable build and various layers. The tapered legs make this piece look chic and spacial
    • Make a smart design with a long, genuine leather sofa
    • Anchor your living room furniture pieces together with a geometric coffee table
    Read More: 25 Living Room Furniture Collections for a Stunning HDB Flat

    Contemporary Bedroom Furniture

    Contemporary Bedroom Furniture

    • Opt for a multi-purpose storage bed to save as much space as possible
    • Keep an uncluttered bedroom with an elegant wardrobe. A sliding door wardrobe is clean and easy to open if you want a smoother traffic flow in your bedroom
    • Maximise your vertical area with a closed chest of drawers. If you have a small room, go for a legless drawer to expose your floor. To stick with a clean minimalist style with no obstructions, go for a flat chest of drawers for a faux built-in look

    Kitchen and Dining Room Furniture

    Kitchen and Dining Room Furniture

    • Kitchen cabinets with simple hardware work well with a contemporary kitchen design. You can also go for handleless cabinetry
    • Curvy chairs and textured bar stools make up a welcoming kitchen and dining area
    • dining table with smooth or reflective surface can be the star of your dining space

    Contemporary Outdoor Furniture

    Contemporary Outdoor Furniture

    • Incorporate textures and various materials to give your outdoor area character. An outdoor furniture set made with wicker and tempered glass creates a refreshing outdoor space.

    Contemporary Decorations

    Contemporary Decorations

    When you have the major elements and furniture ready, you can easily play with other accessories like more lighting, display units, storage, and decorations. 

    Light is an essential element to beautify a minimalist space. Using minimal furniture in your contemporary home, the use of warm or cool light can instantly change the ambiance of your flat. To highlight a specific area or make your wall paint more alive, you may instal additional light fixtures. To make your bedroom warm, place a lamp on top of your nightstand.

    Plain-colored fabrics work well in a contemporary home if they come in heavy textures. If you want to include bolder patterns on top of your neutral palette, use the patterns and colours in minimum amounts to not overwhelm your design.

    Minimalist wall art pieces are perfect for creating a contemporary accent wall. If a piece of furniture—your storage unit or bed frame, for example, is pushed through the wall, hanging wall art pieces can help anchor your minimalist furniture.

    Your choice of appliances, such as chrome for the larger ones and a splash of colour for the smaller ones, can make your busy kitchen feel more alive.


    Building a contemporary home is not as complicated as it looks. You just have to know the basics and add your personal touches to make a home that you can be proud of.

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