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How To Customize Your Contemporary Furniture Design

In Blog, Design Resource by Amos Kober

Contemporary furniture design is chimeric. It takes on new forms over time, evolving as trends and preferences change. As a result, it’s tricky to define.

In this fourth installment in our series on residence hall furniture design, we pick up where our last article on contemporary design left off.

Contemporary Furniture Design

In that article, we explored the essence of what defines contemporary furniture design today. Still heavily influenced by the elegant minimalism of mid-century modern, contemporary furniture features clean lines and soft edges.

At the same time, it responds to the spartan asceticism of modernism’s machine-inspired esthetic with urban chic-infused comfort.

In this article, we explore how these principles of contemporary design inform different pieces of DCI furniture.

And we don’t stop there. We also take a look at DCI’s product customizer, an online tool that enables residence halls to stay up to date with changes in contemporary design.

Customize Your Furniture With The Product Customizer

Customize Your Furniture For Your Residence HallLet’s start with our evolutionary tool: the product customizer.

We’re committed to staying abreast of emerging iterations in style, and we’ve developed an online tool to help you do that.

We call it our product customizer. It allows you to customize your furniture with new elements like finish and style.

Let me explain.

Our base design is core contemporary. A minimal look with strong modern influences. To embrace the true essence of contemporary design—an evolving esthetic to be sure—we developed a product customizer which features a menu of modern style options that you can configure to achieve your desired esthetic.

In essence to embrace the ever-evolving nature of contemporary furniture, the customizer serves as a platform to integrate new styles, design trends, materials, and looks.

The result is that you’re afforded incredible freedom of choice to customize your furniture to match different spaces and contexts. It provides you with room for interpretation.

And the beautiful thing is that we can continually upgrade the customizer. As styles change, we can modify the options to keep it continually current with the lated trends in the market.

So let’s take a look at a few examples of contemporary furniture through the fluid lens of the product customizer.

Three Variations, One Chest

We start by taking a look at one of our most popular products. It’s called the Campus 3-Drawer Chest.

This chest is made from sustainable FSC-COC certified hardwood and features an attractive wood grain with subtle horizontal and vertical lines.

We’re going to apply three different stains and fittings to the chest to give you a sense of the versatility of the furniture as we look at it in three different styles.

Customize Your Furniture with different finishes1. Dark Stain with Berkeley Pull

We begin by applying a dark stain. Darker stains are one of the latest trends in design.

Then we add the minimalist brushed metal Berkeley pull to create a very distinctive and contemporary look.

2. Oak Stain with Crescent Drawer Pull

Oak is a timeless favorite. And we’re not talking about that caramel colored oak that screams 1975. This oak finish highlights amazing and distinguished grain patterns.

The recessed crescent pull is as minimal as it gets and adds an elegant and subtle compliment, highlighting the oak finish.


3. Maple Stain with Milan Drawer Pull

Similar to the crescent pull in the previous example, the Milan pull adds economic style to the idea of the recessed drawer pull by combining the middle drawer with the top and bottom drawers.

And notice the profound effect of the maple finish, which combines the solid hardwood strength of maple with visual brightness and levity.


Upholstered Furniture

I also wanted to feature another great contemporary item of furniture. It’s part of our Martinez line which we installed at UC Berkeley.

You can appreciate the modern influences in the Martinez with it’s minimalist bent plywood arms and legs which give it a floating look.

This sectional couch with chair also features a subtle vertical striated background pattern reminiscent of the matrix.

At the same time, it’s got a deep firm cushion to add plenty of comfort for the student looking to study or relax.

That’s a super quick look at contemporary style in the design of our residence hall furniture. If you want to explore more products and pieces, I encourage you to visit our product customizer page and start experimenting.

Testing the different styles can help you develop your own vision. And if you already have a clear vision, the product customizer will help you zero in on the furniture you need to make that vision a reality,

And if you liked this article, check out our previous articles on residence hall furniture design:

1. The Evolution of Modern Furniture Design

2. Why Modern Design Is Perfect For Residence Halls

3. What Is Contemporary Furniture Design?


To set up an order today or to talk with one of our representatives, you can write to us here or call: (800) 552-8286.

You can also learn more about our industry-leading FSC CoC certification, our MAS certification, and our green materials sourcing, sustainable manufacturing, and our unique zero waste Vertical Integration Process (VIP).

Download the DCI Sustainability overview here.