How to Decorate Your Tabletop in Contemporary Style

March 16, 2023

Nothing adds more character to your living room space than a well-designed centerpiece. Most homes make it a point to have an “apple of the eye” in the room. It can be a painting, a modern sofa, or a center table.

Contemporary design has been getting much attention lately, including tabletop decor ideas. It’s a trendsetter in interior spaces but is still often interchanged with “modern style.”

Here’s what you need to know about contemporary style.

What Is Contemporary Style?

There’s a plethora of ways to describe the contemporary style. Its bookish definition would define “contemporary” as the emerging time or the present.

In other words, contemporary style comprises what’s popular or trending at the moment. However, there’s more to it than its time bracket.

You can differentiate “contemporary” from “modern” when it comes to interior design in several ways. Modern design leans more toward mid-century styles of simplicity and function. Contemporary isn’t far from modern, either, but you can say this style is more futuristic.

To best paint a picture, this style is far along traditional, with defining features of minimalist space. Generally, it includes 21st-century art and the following designs:

  • Clean, curved lines
  • Mixed styles
  • Simple, neutral colors
  • Cool tones
  • Natural materials
  • Sharp contrasts

Overall, the contemporary design reflects a simple, clean look with a subtle color palette and texture. This style is everywhere – in buildings, homes, crafts, and furniture.

This article particularly tackles contemporary tabletop decor and how you can do it yourself.

From Scandinavian designs, bold colors, and geometric shapes, to metals, lighting, and functionality, here are some tips to follow when decorating your tabletop.

Decorating a Contemporary Style Tabletop

Depending on the mood and function, the ways in which you can decorate your tabletop in a contemporary style can vary. Your living room’s center table can have a different tabletop decor as with your console table. So can your coffee, kitchen, and dining tabletop decor.

The fun part is you can decorate your contemporary tabletop according to your tastes. Improve your tabletop decor ideas with the following recommendations.

Declutter and Keep an Open Space.

The spaces between objects are just as important to consider as the objects themselves. This is how contemporary style reflects its minimalist nature.

When discussing minimalism, it is commonly associated with “less is more.” It’s not exactly wrong when thinking about modern tabletop decor ideas, either. You can be simple but powerful without stripping away the essence of natural statement elements.

At the same time, there should not be much going on on your tabletop. Simple pieces like a sculptured vase or wooden bowl would make for a great contemporary design. You can commit to white walls with simple framed art as your background.

Having little clutter within your space enriches openness and tranquility,with good visuals. Incorporating earthy tones helps reduce clutter, bringing together a polished, unified look.

With minimalism, you can make a bold statement without needing to go over the top.

Play With Colors

Contemporary style does embrace the “less is more” concept, but don’t get it wrong. Color is still your key element and edge when decorating. Although there's a high chance of mismatching, contemporary-style spaces can go beyond using just white.

Whether bold and bright or subtle-colored, you can apply different colors confidently to your home decor tabletop.. High-contrast colors like orange and blue tones complementing black, white, and charcoal shades are pretty standard.

You can still achieve a contemporary look with sophisticated neutrals like taupe, ivory, or dove gray. Additionally, bold accent hues like teal, red, navy, and pops of pastel-colored pieces can level up your tabletop decor.

Monochromatic pieces like glassware can take center stage without being unpleasant, too. While the classic white color and warm tones offer a contemporary vibe, it doesn’t mean you can’t play with the other color palettes.

Use Strong Sculptural Shapes and Consider Lighting.

Besides colors, you must consider shapes and lighting when choosing accent pieces for your center table. A contemporary approach to tabletop decor evokes thoughts and is inspired by the future.

An assortment of modern tabletop decor sculptures with a strong but sleek shape makes one see through details.

For instance, modern metal tabletop decor is more future-inspired than basic bowls or vases. Metal sculptures or other geometric shapes add personality not only to your table but to the room in general. Without you even noticing, they create a welcoming atmosphere in the room.

Moreover, unique but simple shapes and patterns are also catchy with the right illumination. When hit with the appropriate lighting, it creates stunning silhouettes highlighting the profiles of the pieces.

Whether it's natural or ultra-functional lighting, it complements shapes and edges. A designer once said, “lighting is the cheapest and most influential tool that we can use to tap into the subconscious of a person…”

Adding something unexpected and unique invites conversation and encourages connection between guests. And by looking towards the future when designing, you are sure to make your tabletop decor stand out from the rest.

Add Finishing Touches.

Being detail-oriented is very crucial when creating the perfect tabletop decor. You can incorporate Scandinavian or retro touches, and it still would look traditional if not done right.

Tabletop decor in contemporary spaces is simple overall but detailed. Clean and simple accessories like a sculptural lamp are pretty common mid-century modern tabletop decor. Adding modern-style candlesticks and brightly-colored vases will liven up the whole look.

Your tabletop arrangement could use a little vibrance and life by adding some natural elements. Setting up a contemporary-style tabletop decor takes minimal effort but huge impact. Furthermore, embracing the magic of technology and trends is essential in creating modern classy tabletop decor.


Just because contemporary styles are defined by simplistic details doesn’t mean you only lean toward the basics. There are certain areas where you can go beyond that and be adventurous with shapes and colors.

You can think simple and clutter-free while evoking creative table decor ideas. As with the other decor in your home, make your tabletop decor as functional as you can.

Last but not least, you can go towards perfection but make sure not to overwhelm yourself with mundane ideas. Decorating your space, including your tabletop, must be a fun leisure activity rather than a stressful chore.


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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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