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Topics: Home Remodeling, Living Rooms | March 28, 2018

Contemporary Design 101

Contemporary and modern design are often used interchangeably. While some similarities are present, the two design styles aren’t the same. Modern design actually comes from a specific time period while contemporary design is ever-changing. Contemporary design often incorporates modern elements but also includes new and trendy pieces from “the now.”

Contemporary Living Room Remodel in Northern VA

Unlike modern design, which has stark straight lines, contemporary design often incorporates soft and rounded lines. In a contemporary living room, you see rounded lines particularly in the furniture and decor.

Our first favorite contemporary living room is from this remodel in Arlington, Virginia.


As noted above, you immediately see a living room full of rounded, soft lines. The furniture, center coffee table, and light fixture all play up the rounded lines in this remodel. The bold red and blue are used in this contemporary space, really creating a “wow” look.

The use of geometrical shapes is also a common element in contemporary design. This living room incorporates many geometrical shapes from the pattern on the chairs and pillows to the shape of the light fixture.

Contemporary Living Room Design

This gorgeous contemporary living room takes a much different approach than the remodel in Arlington, Virginia. The monochromatic scheme is very different from the bold pops of color in the first living room, but it’s still beautiful in its own way.

You notice the symmetry in this living room almost immediately. Modern elements in this space include the clean, straight lines, but they’re offset by the addition of rounded lines. The side tables and lamps all add softer lines to the design.

While this space is organized and clean, you notice a bit more decor here than what you typically find in modern design. A cozy element is in this space as opposed to the starkness that’s found in modern design.

Our Final Favorite Contemporary Living Room

Our final favorite contemporary living room incorporates natural elements and maintains a neutral color scheme. The fireplace, made from natural stone, goes from floor to ceiling and makes the room more dramatic.

If you look past the living room, you see that it’s not the only room in the home to use wood. From the hardwood floors to the sliding doors, many wooden elements are in this home. In addition to straight lines, rounded lines are also found in the decor on the shelves and table behind the sofa. The neutral color palette is very contemporary.

Home Remodeling with Contemporary Design

Contemporary design is tricky to spot since it’s an ever-changing design style, but, by process of elimination, you should be able to spot a contemporary room. Our design blog series is a resource for you to learn more about each design style:


Unsure of which design style you prefer? Take our design quiz to find out!

If you’re considering changes to your home, give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions that you have about design and home remodeling. Call 703-961-7707 or email us at Hello@MossBuildingandDesign.com.

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