Trends change periodically, and it’s no different when it comes to contemporary interior design.  The emerging trend of wabi-sabi, with its particularly charming connection of minimalism and natural elements melded into a particular Japanese aesthetic, is one of the latest concepts.


The contemporary design ideas of this new trend are actually not all that new.  Wabi-sabi came from Japan, from the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the foundations of this philosophy is that everything in life is constantly changing and that nothing is eternal. The basis of this teaching is the tendency towards simplicity and modesty.


Minimalism and the harmony of natural materials and shapes are appreciated. The view is expressed that imperfection or incompleteness is not a disadvantage because there is no beginning or end.  It is all part of an endless life cycle. Wabi-sabi can be translated as: raw, unfinished, Ojeda – incomplete, intentionally or accidentally.


What is most characteristic and distinguished by wabi-sabi, is certainly the beauty of imperfection and the celebration of natural elements in the decoration. These interior design tips are precisely the ideal frame for incorporating elements such as hand-made ceramics or rustic wood beams as the emphasis in the arrangement of living space.  Thus, natural and handmade objects such as old wood furniture, textured textiles like linen, exposed brick walls, and imperfectly finished wood floors are the main materials of this new trend.


Another important feature is openness – the transparency of space and the way in which completely rustic elements are combined with those that are modern or can be classified into a generation of modern technical devices.


Integration of rustic with modern and the perfection of imperfect represents an interior that is in the process of creation. Cracks, scratches, scrapes – no need to be afraid of these phenomena because it is part of the beauty of a comfortable living space.


In any case, this unusual trend is undoubtedly on the rise.


For more ways to learn about interior design, visit our Interior Design Community


Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain



Posted in Interior Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Most people don’t think of fabric as a critical design element in a bathroom.  However, fabric can make quite a statement in this room.

When designing your bathroom, there is always the important decision of how to enclose the shower.

Current trend suggests a frameless glass panel or door, which is a clean contemporary look that makes the space feel larger.  This is an option we often recommend to clients with a preference for contemporary interior design.  However, this solution can have its drawbacks. Water streaks, spots, and residue are some of them. Maintenance is required if you want to retain the Pinterest worthy look.

contemporary shower curtain

If you have a stand-alone shower, the frameless glass surround is usually the best option.  However, if you have a shower and bath tub combo, think about a shower curtain.  It is an excellent mix of headache-free functionality and style.

Bathrooms can feel cold with all the hard surfaces – tile, stone, glass, porcelain, mirror, etc. – a contemporary curtain added to the shower can provide much needed softness and texture.  Nothing beats a custom curtain no matter where it is, and a bathroom is just one of those places.  With a good shower liner to protect the fabric, you can create a spectacular shower curtain that will bring in color, texture, or pattern to create a lift to the space.

What about windows in the bathroom?  Consider adding fabric to the windows to create a luxurious, spa-like retreat.  With the investment in a good exhaust fan, there is no longer a need to worry about incorporating textiles into your bathroom.


Custom made curtains allow coordination between the shower curtain, window treatments, and the rest of your home, creating continuity and flow throughout the space. If a home is designed with a color or finish that’s not present in the bathroom, it can be easily corrected with custom curtains to tie spaces together.

Fabric adds softness, texture, color, or pattern, and can create a dramatic or understated design aesthetic in any space.  Textiles can make a huge impact in any space, why not bring that joy into your bathroom as well!
Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain


Posted in Interior Design, Window Treatments | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whether your style is contemporary interior design or traditional, you should always start with a list of what you want when designing your Kitchen.  Before you even get to layout options, think about all the items that go into a Kitchen and what your preferences are.

Cabinets: Do you want wood, metal, laminate?  If wood, do you prefer a stained finish, natural, or painted?  Do you want a contemporary interior design look with a slab door or a traditional raised panel?  What about specialty cabinets such as a bread drawer, knife drawer, or mixer cabinet.  Think about how many drawers, standard base cabinets, and base cabinets with roll-out trays you want.  On your upper cabinets do you want solid doors, glass doors, or open shelves?


Counters: There are many options for counters these days.  Quartz has become very popular.  However, this is on the expensive end.  From plastic laminate, to solid surface, granite, and concrete, there is a counter out there that is right for your style and budget.

Backsplash: From tile to glass to metal the possibilities are endless.  Have some fun here and let your style really show!


Appliances: Everyone knows to think about their refrigerator, cooktop, oven, sink, faucet, and dishwasher.  Don’t forget about a place for your microwave, small appliances like blenders and mixers, as well as specialty appliances such as wine coolers.

Architectural Elements: You will want to consider all surfaces including flooring, baseboard, walls, ceiling, windows, doors, casings, hardware, etc. You will also want to think about the HVAC design.

Lighting:  This is critical in kitchen design.  You want to be sure to include minimally both ambient, which is often recessed lighting, and task, which is typically under cabinet lighting.  For the “wow” effect consider incorporating accent lighting such as lighting inside glass cabinets or above upper cabinets.  To learn more about lighting read  our blog Lighting Your Space.contemporary-kitchen-lightingFurnishings and Accessories: Do you want a table in your Kitchen or maybe just stools at the counter.  How will you dress the windows?  We always recommend that clients bring fabric into the Kitchen.  With all its hard surfaces, fabric adds much needed softness.  Consider custom curtains in the Kitchen for a luxurious look.  Other contemporary window treatments, such as roman shades and upholstered cornice boards, also work well in the Kitchen.  Most of your walls will be covered with cabinets, but any free wall space is the perfect place to hang a beautiful piece of artwork that represents your personal style.

Before you do anything else on your Kitchen design, always start with creating your personal list.  Otherwise the options will become overwhelming.

For other contemporary design ideas and to receive our free Kitchen Design Report visit our Interior Design Community at


Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain



Posted in Interior Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is one of the most common questions our clients ask at the beginning of any project.  “What will it cost?” When it comes to master bathrooms we always start by letting clients know the average cost from low to high.

For a master bathroom on the low end with just basic renovations, essentially replacing what’s there now in the same exact place with minimal construction and using lower end cabinets (particle board boxes and veneer doors), plastic laminate counters, vinyl flooring, a white or almond colored shower surround you are usually at a starting point of $7,000.

The average master bathroom remodel costs $20,000.  For this price range you will be able to make some changes to the layout, go with decent quality cabinets, granite counters, tiled shower, tile floor, and good quality fixtures.

contemporary-bathroomHigh end master bathroom remodels can cost well over $40,000.  When we design high end bathrooms for clients we are specifying top of the line cabinets, such as Wood-Mode, Poggenpohl, Snaidero, or custom-made cabinets.  Counters are often quartz.  High quality porcelain or stone tile is installed on the floor and walls.   There is usually a jetted tub and a large shower with a bench, niches and frameless glass surround/door.  Steam showers are becoming more popular in high-end bathrooms as well.

contemporary-showerWhatever budget range you find yourself in, making smart decisions in layout and selection of materials and finishes will make all the difference.  The master bathroom is an expensive room, be sure to protect your investment by consulting with a professional interior designer to insure you’re making wise choices.

To learn what you need to know about designing your master bathroom, get a complimentary copy of DESIGNING YOUR MASTER BATHROOM – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW at our Interior Design Community at The Contemporary Curtain.


Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain



Posted in Interior Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In a previous blog we discussed the ancient technique of Feng Shui and its modern day use in contemporary Interior Design.  We talked about the five elements of wood, fire, metal, water and earth and how important the balance of Yin and Yang energy is.  The energies of the five elements are balanced by using the energy map, called the Bagua Map, as a practical guide to know where, when and how much of any one element to use in a specific space for the best possible outcome.

The Bagua is a grid like map used in Feng Shui to help analyze the energy of your space.  It has nine different zones that represent different energies and the areas that those energies apply to in a home. Cheryl Grace describes the Bagua this way, “The Bagua map is shaped like a tic-tac-toe board, with three columns and three rows, divided into nine guas, or zones.  Eight guas revolve around the ninth or center gua, and each represents a different life aspect – as well as a life lesson you may need to learn in order to achieve balance. Each contains energy that resonates directly with what’s going on for you in that area.”


The map can be used as a template for your whole home or an individual room.  The center gua represents Health and Well-Being, represented by the Earth element and the eight “guas” surrounding it are: Wealth & Prosperity; Fame & Reputation; Love, Marriage & Relationships; Family & Relationships; Creativity & Children; Wisdom & Knowledge; Career & Life Purpose; and lastly Travel.  The easiest way to use the Bagua map is to line up the entry of your home or room with the bottom of the map, as if you are lying the map over the space.  The bottom of the map should align with the entryway of your space.


So, imagine you were going to Feng Shui your home, let’s say you wanted to focus on Wealth and Prosperity, which is in the left rear corner of the Bagua map and therefore the room that is in the left rear corner of your home.  As you can see in the Bagua Map diagram below, each gua has a color, element and shape that is associated with it.  The Wealth & Prosperity gua is related to the colors purple, green and gold, its element is Wood and its shape is a rectangle.  So, to implement Feng Shui to influence this area of your life, one of the easiest places to start would be to add the colors of purple, green and gold to the room.  You could hang paintings on the wall or add the colors through the use of material in the form of furniture, custom curtains and custom pillows.  What about adding a gold figurine to the space or wood elements, such as books on wood bookshelves or pictures in rectangular wood picture frames?

Using the Bagua map, you can begin to see how easily you could change the energy of your spaces and ultimately the energy of your life.  As always, remember it is your space and by following a few simple interior design tips, you really can have fun creating a home that may just change your life!


Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain


Posted in Interior Design | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment