Style & Design
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Minimal. Sleek. Neutral. These are a few of the words that come to mind when you think of contemporary style. It is all of these things—and much more! Contemporary design and style are sometimes confused with modern style, but the two are actually quite different. Modern style refers to design from a specific time period from the early to mid-twentieth century. On the contrary, contemporary does not refer to any specific era or time period. Rather, it is the changing styles that define design that is popular now. This can make it a little more difficult to pin down the specifics of contemporary style. However, there are some hallmarks that help distinguish it.
A few of the clues that you might be looking at contemporary design are:
- A minimalistic feel
- Clean colors, often neutrals
- Hidden or integrated appliances and features
- An emphasis on natural light
- Flat-panel cabinetry
- European cabinet pulls or no hardware
- Stainless steel
- Recessed and pendant lighting
- Artistic elements
Accessories can go a long way towards establishing a contemporary theme in your space. The furniture, decor
This design style is somewhat unique in that not only can tiles be worked into your contemporary design, but tiles can display contemporary style in and of themselves.
Some characteristics of contemporary tiles are:
- Large format
- Straight stack vs. brick layout
- Stainless steel (like in a mixed-materials mosaic)
- Simple profiles with clean edges
- Art-inspired elements
- Geometric shapes
Myriad different tiles can facilitate contemporary style, and this is just a short list. Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to view some of our favorite contemporary tiles.
Along with a sleek, contemporary chandelier and tub, these wall tiles are perfect examples of this style. They are sculptural, artistic and bold.
There are a few contemporary elements to note in this space: the artwork, sleek furniture, an unadorned fireplace and a geometric patterned rug.
Just like tile and lighting, furniture can display contemporary characteristics all on its own. If you are thinking of decorating in this style, consider items like the below.
The shower above is an embellished and glamorous take on contemporary. The large-format tiles, squared-off trim pieces and sleek hardware are all indicators that it is contemporary. In the close-up below, the square and straight edges of the trim pieces are more visible. As opposed to an ornate or rounded piece of trim, these finish the installation without adding any extra adornment, keeping the look minimal and sleek.
Here are a few more contemporary trim pieces with squared-off edges and clean lines that work well in this design style. Read more about layering and trims on our blog post.
Below, neutrals and unadorned cabinetry make this space contemporary. A honed finish on the marble-look tiles and bright wood vanity warm the room up.
From the minimal, artistic decor to the sculptural, monochromatic wall tiles, this fireplace is thoroughly contemporary from top to bottom.
Sculptural tiles are not only perfect for contemporary design, but they’re also a big trend right now. Explore some of our favorites below.
Below, tones of tan and beige running through the veins of the floor tile add warmth to an all-white bathroom.
The painterly effect created by gold brush strokes turns your walls into a work of art.
Over the all-white kitchen trend? This one features crisp white tile but is also injected with lots of warm tones, balancing the best of both worlds and making this space cozy and welcoming. The flat-front cabinets, minimal (almost hidden!) hardware and sleek, clean lines are all very contemporary.
While contemporary style can be warm and inviting like in the kitchen above, it can also be dramatic and moody, as seen with the 3-D geometric tile below. That’s one thing we love about this style—it’s so versatile!
Coziness and warmth are the words that come to mind when we see the bathroom below. While maintaining contemporary style, the designers have seamlessly combined multiple different shades of warm tans and browns.
Ready to give contemporary a try? Browse the style on our website and start dreaming.
Shop The Look
- Decor Flow Grey12 x 25 in. | Porcelain | 680769
- Decor Flow White12 x 25 in. | Porcelain | 680772
- Decor Flow Sand12 x 25 in. | Porcelain | 680771
- Decor Flow Dark Grey12 x 25 in. | Porcelain | 680770
- Norwich13 x 13 in. | Porcelain | 680701
- Plisse White15 x 29 in. | Ceramic | 495807
- Aqua AC12 x 35 in. | Ceramic | 496062
- Origami AC12 x 35 in. | Ceramic | 496061
- Connect Tri Blue Lux7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495819
- Connect Tri Steel Lux7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495815
- Connect Tri Off-White Lux7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495820
- Connect Tri Sgr Matte7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495817
- Connect Tri White Matte7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495816
- Connect Tri Grey Matte7 x 7 in. | Porcelain | 495818
- Tangram Asas Branco 3-D8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 494499
- Tangram Rampa Branco 3-D8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 494500
- Tangram Asas Metal8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 495899
- Tangram Rampa Metal8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 495901
- Tangram Asas Cimento8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 495902
- Tangram Rampa Cimento8 x 8 in. | Ceramic | 495904
- Taurus Black Combed HexagonsMarble | 650506
- Bianco Puro Combed Hexagons HonedMarble | 650499
- Usak ChevronMarble | 650504
- Glass Snow Reflection with Firenze Carrara MosaicMarble and Glass | 616024
- Sherborne Shimmer Athens MosaicGlass and Metal | 616003
- Brick Black Mix MosaicMetal | 616180
- Brick Brown Mix MosaicMetal | 616181
- Shipley Stainless MosaicMetal and Glass | 616138
- Shipley Antique Bronze MosaicMetal and Glass | 616137
- Harmony Silverleaf Mosaic12 x 12 in. | Travertine | 650250
- Snow Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616014
- Platinum Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616016
- Beach Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616018
- Black Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616017
- Sterling Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616015
- Silver Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616021
- Dark Brown Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616019
- Gold Liner Pencil.375 x 12 x .25 in. | Glass | 616020
- Hampton Carrara Polished HixtonMarble | 650037
- Noir Honed HixtonTravertine | 650039
- Bianco Puro Honed HixtonMarble | 650736
- Milas Lilac Polished HixtonMarble | 650754