Top tips for making your home look more contemporary

Natural lighting, expansive windows, glass and sleek lines are some of the core elements of contemporary design. PHOTOs/

What you need to know:

Lines are one of the most crucial element of any contemporary design. Whether building a new home or renovating an existing one, ensure that your lines are visible in the design

In its evolution, the contemporary design has integrated the different design styles such as retro, urban, mid-century modern, industrial with art décor, soft and casual. In a bid to meet the aesthetics of a contemporary home look, spatial designers are now including factors such as cleanliness, minimalism and natural lighting.

George William Ntanzi a civil engineer notes that designing a contemporary look in residential spaces requires adding distinctive features and elements that define modern living. 

 “Making your home look contemporary requires you to create a harmonious blend of modern structural elements and tasteful design considerations that culminate in a space that feels simultaneously current and comfortable. You need to look out for current designs in order to make your home to look contemporary,” he advises.

Open space concept

The concept of open space has become a common feature in today’s homes. It involves an interplay of natural lighting, improved sightlines, expanded space and elimination of wasted space. By considering to phase-out the style of dividing walls a style that featured the old housing structures to separate spaces, as a home owner, you can cultivate a seamless, multifunctional living space that promotes unity and social interaction.

For instance, the use of walls to divide the living room, kitchen and dining space has become obsolete because having a single space that links the rooms makes supervision easier, allows for improved communication and a good connection among the occupants.

“The absence of partitions in open floor plans, coupled with the use of light-reflective surfaces and strategically placed skylights and a raised ceiling contributes to a heightened sense of expansiveness and luminosity. It also allows more light in the house which can make your small house look bigger,” Ntanzi says.

Natural light

Additionally, using the open space concept can be enhanced through natural light provision. This involves aligning living spaces with the sun’s trajectory through thoughtfully placing windows for both optimal views and sunlight while flawlessly incorporating glass features to establish a fluid connection between indoor and outdoor realms.

Ntanzi says that the integration of expansive windows and an emphasis on natural light not only brightens your interior, but also blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces that drives a harmonious connection with nature.

This intentional integration of outdoor spaces as extensions of the interior, combined with sustainable design choices such as energy-efficient windows, enhances the overall contemporary living experience that make your home look more current.

“In essence, a holistic approach to these considerations ensures that your residential space not only embodies a modern aesthetic but also prioritises functionality and a harmonious connection with the surrounding environment.” Ntanzi adds.


Minimialism is a critical feature of contemporary design. It focuses on organisation, simplicity, cleanliness and clutter-free living.  Emphasis is put on the things that matter the most to home users, anything that creates a distraction such as excess possessions is removed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, people came to a realisation that staying healthy required one to be clean. Homes are thus being built with the idea of hygiene more in mind.

More to that, while minimalistic home design is characterised with sleekness, components in contemporary homes are almost invisible. For example using flooring over carpets has become the new normal and likewise fittings are being hidden to give the home a more luxurious look such as hiding lights into walls to provide illumination to the walls that gives your home a current look.

Innovative materials

In the present home designs, playing with textures has become common for creating a contemporary home look while adding sophistication and a sleek profile to your home.

As a home owner, the inclusion of materials such as wood, metal, glass and natural stone within minimalist frameworks adds layers of warmth and luxury, contributing to a sleek, modern contrast with a sophisticated design narrative that perfectly chimes with the entire environment.

“When looking into making your home contemporary, you can incorporate flat glass elements against rough stone or concrete, steel and flat or low-pitched roofs as this will introduce a sleek and industrial edge. Additionally, having distinct rooflines adds an architectural intrigue to the overall design,” Ntanzi advises.

Energy-efficient features

These are features that seek to reduce the negative impact on the environment and health of occupants while using less energy to perform tasks. Incorporating features such as solar panels, energy-efficient windows, and smart thermostats not only contribute to reduced energy consumption but also showcase sleek and modern designs. Other elements such as green roofs, recycled materials and rainwater harvesting systems introduce eco-conscious aspects that complement the overall modern appearance of your home.

Technology integration

At the core of contemporary design is the implementation of comprehensive home automation systems. Incorporating innovative technology and smart home features within residential projects creates a contemporary home look.

 Joseph Mwanje, an administrator at Tech Crunch Liability Limited says, “As innovative technology solutions continually evolve, these improve efficiency, collaboration and enable a stress-free experience for the home owner.”

For instance, the accessibility of these systems through smartphones or voice commands not only streamlines daily tasks but also imparts a sense of sophistication which aligns seamlessly with the preferences of modern living.

Additionally, as most of the contemporary homes today have embraced smart lighting features this takes illumination to new heights by integrating LED systems with customisable colours, and intensities offering a homeowner the ability to craft dynamic atmospheres that contribute to both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

“These smart lighting systems use sensors to adjust lighting based on occupancy needs and natural light coming into the home, which reduces on energy consumption,” Mwanje adds.


Contemporary homes feature exuberant colour palettes with vibrant colour choices. As a home owner curating a contemporary look requires you to choose a mixture of both dark and light colours that make neutrals like grey purple, brown, cream and pearl, among others.  Whereas the choice of neutrals creates a non-distracting, stable, bold and balanced atmosphere, using art décor designs of your choices such as nature or African art that matches with your colour choice makes your home look more current.