Contemporary furniture is obviously based on modern design trends rather than the styles of the distant past, but strictly modern decor can end up feeling impersonal and cold. The hottest trends for contemporary furniture today rely on small details drawn from the past to give the furnishings a historical connection that makes them feel warmer and more welcoming. Try joining in on these five trends that are currently driving the world of contemporary interior design.

Natural Materials

Remember how tangles of driftwood and polished stumps once served as centerpieces for almost every fashionable 1970s and 1980s living room design? Eye-catching natural materials are making a comeback, but today's contemporary light fixtures and side tables add a lot of polish and luxurious shine to the old-fashioned materials to elevate them to a more modern status. For example, rough mahogany branches are dipped in precious metals or cut and polished to reveal the grain inside to balance out the rustic look with contemporary style.

Wood Platforms

Building on the trend for natural materials, it's not surprising that contemporary furniture designers are dropping the complex sofa designs for simpler looks that involve solid wood platforms topped by thick layers of sumptuous cushions. Platform beds have been popular for decades, but today you can find sofas, chairs, and even dinner tables based around the idea of covering a wood base with a layer of another material. Since the wood platform design itself is instantly recognizable as a standard part of contemporary design, you can experiment more with the wood finishes and fabric topping options without straying too far from the modern aesthetic.

Geometric Shapes

It's common for homeowners to take the mantra of "clean lines" to heart when aiming for a contemporary decor, but not every part of your room has to feature such a straight and narrow focus. Geometric shapes drawn from Asian and Middle Eastern traditional designs are making a big splash in today's modern interior decorating world. Consider adding a more dynamic look to your living room or dining room with geometric elements like

  • Hexagonal light shades, which are reminiscent of classic Moroccan tiles
  • Chairs with triangular backs or seats, which stand out in a room full of rectangles and squares
  • Sectional sofas with diamond or octagonal sections, which give you even more options for rearranging your seating
  • Coffee tables that cluster together thanks to multiple flat sides, which offer the look of an instant collection without so much clutter.

Curves have their place in contemporary design, but they can also be very distracting when you're going for a strictly modern look. Geometric elements are easier to combine with straight lines, whether you're looking at patterned fabrics or the shape of the furniture itself.

Light Woods

For decades, interior designers considered light-colored woods to be the only option for adding natural grain to a room. While modern designers now work plenty of painted and dark wood into their presentations, it's still a link to the past to stick with the usual birch, pine, and bamboo. Light woods tie your design to the ever-inspirational mid-century modern decorating standard, even if you're not investing in molded plastic chairs or curving walls to commit completely to the style.

Single Colors

Finally, pass over the elaborate patterns when choosing upholstery fabrics and stick with a single bold color for each element in the room. This trend dates back to the turn of the century, but it looks decidedly modern when paired with an otherwise monochrome theme. Since contemporary interior design is based on stripping out unnecessary elements for a cleaner look, a bright red or solid black sofa really stands out against the background. Single color furniture is also easier to accent and accessorize since you can save your wild patterns and abstract designs for throw pillows and other small items.

For more information, contact a company specializing in contemporary furniture, such as Modern Home 2 Go.