Ever sit on your couch on a snowy day and think, “goodness, I need to do something with this room to bring it into, oh let’s say, this decade,” but then you get overwhelmed thinking about interior design rules and the time redecorating takes and so you fall asleep? Happens to the best of us.

Good News

Contemporary design – the sort that comes to us from Sweden – think IKEA, is the biggest design trend of the moment. Everyone is doing it! But here’s the thing, contemporary design is mostly about letting go of formal design rules and becoming a bit of a minimalist. That’s right, less stuff and no rules!

It’s actually pretty fun and easy to incorporate into your home no matter what current “look” you have.

Four Easy Contemporary Design Tips

Use Neutral Tones

Whites, ivory, grays, sages, browns and black for flooring, furnishings, lighting fixtures and textiles are a universal contemporary statement. These colors leave the details to shine. You can start by painting one wall of a room a contemporary color to see just how much it opens the room up. Then, add a simple black light fixture to complete the look.

Lighten-Up Furniture

What you’re looking for in contemporary design is a simplified and lighter room. The stuffy and heavy is replaced with clean and straight lines.

The easiest way to achieve this is to replace overstuffed couches and chairs that have patterned slipcovers with tailored square shaped furniture. But, replacing furniture is expensive, so I suggest getting some simple neutral slip covers to create that cleaner look.

Use Bold Accent Colors

My favorite is blue because it brings home the feeling of the beach. Blues coordinate easily with other tones of the contemporary color palette, so after you paint the wall white and put the new gray slipcover on the couch, toss some bright blue pillows on it. You can also switch up this look with oranges and reds in the fall and winter.

Mix Traditional and Modern Period Accessories

Here is what makes contemporary design so cool – it includes items that fit the period of your home with modern pieces. See- it’s like there are no rules.

Say you have a 100-year-old farm house, here is how you could completely incorporate contemporary design: Find a Victorian couch and hang a modern painting over it. Whitewash all your walls, install black matte fixtures and cap it off with an antique rug.

Market Update

We are moving into the spring real estate market and the best way to predict how strong the market will be is to look back at the previous season. My estimate – this spring is going to be a record breaking year for home sales! According to data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR):

  • December 2016 had the fourth highest sales volume of record for the month, and remains comfortably above the historical monthly sales average of 980.
  • Greater Boston saw record-high prices in condos and single family homes for the month of December. The single-family market saw a 9.4 percent increase in median sales price to $547,000 up from $500,001 in December 2015. The condo market experienced a modest increase from $465,000 in December 2015 to $547,000 2016, an increase of 4.8 percent. This is the fifth consecutive December that the median sales price has increased.
  • Inventory for 2016 bottomed out at a year-low 1,557 single-family homes on the market and 994 condos. These totals also reflect substantial decreases from December 2015, as single-family inventory fell 35 percent from 2,394 and condo inventory took a 28.6 percent fall from 1,392.
  • Average days on market was down last month, as single-family homes averaged 55 days between listing and accepted offer, and condos averaged 45 days. This was a 21 percent decrease, from 70 days in December 2015, for the single-family market and a 13.5 percent decrease for condos, down from 52 days in December 2015.

Whether you are redecorating or looking to sell your home, contact me for honest and helpful advice!