Get the look: Contemporary

The contemporary home is a place of wide open spaces, luxury but not excess, and a freshness and elegance that comes from a clean base furnished with simple pieces. Everything is carefully chosen for maximum effect - yet the effect is one of effortlessness.

While minimalist themes make up a large part of the look, with sleek, light-coloured floor tiles, monochrome colour schemes and high-gloss finishes creating a welcomed feature in any room, the true contemporary home is far more welcoming thanks to its functional edge. So team neutral colours with natural textiles like untreated wood and pure linen, and pick out curved pieces of furniture to counter the harsh lines and geometric appearance of each ultra-modern space. A rounded coffee table stands out beautifully against the regimented lines of a room with both tiled floor and ceiling, for example.

The key to the contemporary look is the sense of openness and space you get from a well-lit property, so maximising daylight is a must. Where possible, windows and French doors should be kept bare, and elements from outside should be reflected in the indoor space. Patio or balcony furniture could mimic the living room suite, or a simple architectural feature indoors could pay tribute to the outdoor environment - be it a city landscape or a countryside expanse.

When windows must be dressed, panel blinds are a sleek, unfussy option. Choose light colours - stone or beige, for example, which are a less clinical alternative to white.

When the sun goes down, contemporary lighting solutions can really steal the show. Low-hanging pendant lights can become a stunning and an unexpected feature in any room, whether they light a kitchen island or shine down on the crisp sheets of an oversized bed. Don't be shy to choose bold dark colours to ensure they stand out - the contemporary home should have commanding features in every room.