Living Spaces by Design: Contemporary Style

Living Spaces by Design: Contemporary Style

Here at Zinus, we are proud to work with a savvy team of product strategists with a perceptive eye for design. In this series, we'll dive deeper into our expertise on the different design aesthetics we lean on when creating furniture and statement pieces that resonate with various personal styles. After all, designing your home in a way that speaks to your individual taste and preferences is an art in itself.

By taking a closer a look at each of the four design pillars that make up our expansive catalog, we hope this series will allow you to draw inspiration when creating your own perfect living space that best reflects you.

So what sets contemporary design apart from other styles? Below are some design tips and tricks to help you create a contemporary look and feel in both your living room and bedrooms.

What is contemporary design?

If there was ever an interior design style that embodied the term, “less is more”, contemporary design certainly fits the bill. With a focus on showcasing space rather than things, this 20th century style is marked by simplicity, subtle and understated sophistication, and intentional uses of clean lines and varied textures. Emphasizing space, colors, and shapes, the goal of contemporary interiors is a sleek and fresh aesthetic that also encourages playful adaptations to personalize your space to your liking.

By keeping some basic components in mind, you can easily achieve the contemporary style in any room of your home.

Look and Feel

With a focus on space rather than things, the desired look and feel of a contemporary home should be minimalistic, functional, and uncluttered. The goal should be to have an inviting space that is open, light, and airy. Simplicity is key, as less is truly more in contemporary design.

Use of Colors

The main colors used within contemporary design are typically neutrals, black, white, and other muted tones, like pastels. This creates an understated canvas for you to jazz up the color palette with bright and bold accents and decorative touches like accessories, artwork, and even an accent wall that will both contrast and complement the neutrals at the same time.

Lines and Space

Another distinctive element of contemporary design is the use of defined, visible lines. Whether straight or curved, strong lines are found in furniture shapes, artwork, windows, and even architectural details like vaulted ceilings or wall paneling.


Each piece of contemporary style furniture should stand out as individual and make its own unique statement. Again, the desired aesthetic is simple, clean-lined, and uncluttered. Smooth and defined geometric shapes and lines are essential in contemporary style.

Couches, chairs, bed frames, and even ottomans all generally have exposed legs—so skip the skirts, trims, ruffles, and fringe. Less is more with color as well, so it’s best to avoid busy patterns or loud prints.


Having a variety of materials throughout your contemporary space is a great way to express your personal taste. Using natural wood tones, metals like iron, steel, or chrome, an array of different textured fabrics like linen, wool, and silk—or better yet, an eclectic mix of all the above—will surely add tasteful embellishments throughout your room.  

Decorative Details

As mentioned, by keeping staple pieces and elements streamlined and versatile, you’re allowed the creative freedom to express yourself with decorative touches, such as colorful accent pillows, woven area rugs, florals and plants, and artwork with simple frames. The best part is these decorative elements can be swapped out as often as you like whenever it’s time for a change.

Contemporary design components

Contemporary Living Room Design

If you’ve been wanting to freshen up your living room with a new on-trend aesthetic, you’re in luck. There are several tried-and-true living room décor ideas to give it a contemporary makeover by keeping the key components above in mind. The idea is to keep staple pieces neutral and versatile—like furniture and wall colors—to keep the aesthetic flexible enough to let you convey your personal style with fun and expressive decorative elements.

At the center of this contemporary styled living room is our Jamison Reversible Chaise Sectional Sofa, donning a clean-lined silhouette in a neutral light grey, dressed in pops of copper and white accent pillows and a textured throw. Ample bare wall space is bordered with defined lines and adorned with simple geometric framed art. The large windows give the room a light and airy feel, while the light wood grain of the coffee table adds a natural element to a clean, uncluttered, and welcoming space.

 jamison modular sectional sofa in light grey

Photo: @callmedarii10

In this living room, a muted pastel accent wall with lots of bare space and simple framed wall art sets a calm and inviting tone. From below, natural wood floors with a herringbone pattern create some dimension with subtle lines. Both the Logan Reversible Chaise Sectional and Logan Armchair sport a clean, structural build with exposed legs on top of a bold color-blocked area rug. Tasteful natural elements are seen in the wood coffee table and potted plant, while the accent pillows and blanket add some bright pops of contrast.

Logan modular sofa collection with armchair in dark grey


Contemporary Bedroom Design

Your bedroom is arguably the room that is most expressive of your personality. While “less is more” is the overarching premise of the contemporary style, by no means do you need to show less of your personality within your bedroom design. By leveraging streamlined elements like a muted wall color or simple structural furniture, you should be able to swap out accent pieces as often as you like to reflect changes in seasons, trends, and your personal taste.

This bedroom fits the contemporary style to a tee—light and airy with an open and inviting look and feel. Its neutral white wall has an ever-so-subtle chevron pattern, which creates an attractive yet modest backdrop for the room. The beige upholstered fabric of our Lottie Upholstered Platform Bed Frame With Short Headboard blends in seamlessly, while the black exposed legs add some subtle variance on top of an understated area rug. Decorative elements like a bold red quilt, throw pillows with colorful prints, and a metallic gold head lamp shine some personality throughout the room. The wood grain of the dresser along with the greenery of the plants add some nice natural touches as well.

lottie short headboard platform bed frame in beige

Photo: @almafied13

A bright white wall with some modest floating shelves creates an inviting openness about this bedroom. Our Suzanne Metal and Bamboo Platform Bed Frame showcases black metal framework and natural bamboo—a stunning combo of complementary materials and colors. On the bed, the crisp white comforter offsets the bright blue throws and accent pillow, while the woven area rug with distinct line work adds some attractive dimension underneath. Most notably, this bedroom is minimalistic, clean, and uncluttered—very much displaying a tasteful “less is more” aesthetic.

Suzanne bamboo and metal platform bed frame in brown

Final Thoughts: Is Contemporary Design for You?

If you’re somebody that likes to switch up your home décor often, then contemporary design is absolutely for you. The goal of decorating any contemporary space is to keep the overall atmosphere clean and understated, allowing you the creative freedom to add thoughtful touches, such as artwork, décor, and other accessories. Likewise, you have the flexibility to switch it up whenever you’d like to reflect your ever-changing taste and personality. For this reason, having a contemporary style living space is ideal for those that like to keep things fresh and new.