Contemporary style and design are everywhere and can be a foundation for many new homes built today.
But what exactly does that mean and how can it be incorporated into existing homes?
"Contemporary style is really about reduction - reducing things to their essence and having really clean lines and uncluttered spaces," says Alan Pickett, Pella Corporation's resident architect.
Current contemporary design offers a softer take on modern - it has the same simple, clean lines, but with decoration that is naturally minimalistic. Light, color, and fabrics all play a part in gaining a contemporary look for your home.
Today's contemporary-style dwellings will have asymmetrical shapes, windows with minimal trim in a contrasting or dark color, and a lot of glass and other textures.
The following tips from Iowa-based Pella Windows can help you find just the right design to accent your home:
* Add neutrals with color - One clear sign of contemporary design is neutral tones, but that doesn't mean it's boring.
Shades of gray and blue are particularly prevalent in contemporary style, and white and taupe color palettes allow for simple, bold colors to take center stage as in favorite wall photos or a definitive area rug.
*Let the light in - Light and shadow in a space are key to contemporary style and are much less about decoration. Not only do the light fixtures need to have straight lines and sleek metallic finishes, but even the windows in your home can outline its contemporary design. Windows with a vast expanse of glass and thin frames, such as Pella's Architect Series Contemporary line of wood windows, can engulf a room in light and be the foundation for achieving contemporary style.
* Use textiles - In reducing things to the essence, silk, wool, linen and cotton - all natural fabrics - are typically used to highlight the clean lines of contemporary design.
This also means having furniture with less ornamentation and using natural materials such as wood with less grain. The natural textiles also offer the option of adding bold color into a minimalist space.
* Mix it up - Most homes today are going to have some existing traditional elements - such as crown molding - but don't let that stand in your way. Paint the existing design features in the previously mentioned neutral colors - shades of gray and blue, white and taupe. Then add an accent color and some contemporary furniture that will pull the traditional and contemporary vision together.
You can find more contemporary trend tips at Pella.com.