Contemporary house plans call for clean, smooth surfaces and an uncluttered appearance. Contemporary flair is minimalist in design and features an asymmetrical balance of linear, angular, and geometric themes. The modern look is worlds away from the busy interiors beloved by our forebears; however, contemporary design doesn't imply cold, sterile rooms people are afraid to live in. Colors should be cool and muted, unlike the clashing and garish patterns of yesteryear. Modern color schemes feature lots of whites and creams, with darker shades including browns, taupes, and mauves. But this doesn't mean that contemporary design is boring: you can add a splash of color to white walls with a vibrant painting; or add brightly-colored chairs and sofas to draw the eye. Other color accents can come from rugs, throws, cushions, and ornaments which add special interest to an otherwise plain-looking room. The textures in modern home plans are shiny metal, cool tile, and polished wood. Floors are usually tile, granite, slate, or woods with delicate grains such as birch, ash, and maple; with rugs used to add both color and warmth to a room. Chrome finish on furniture and fixtures, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, helps to create a modern look. Glass is also used to great effect by many contemporary interior designers. This hard textural feel can be softened by adding other textures such as velvet throws, faux fur cushions, or silk drapes which provide an interesting contrast to the overall look. Wall and furniture surfaces are uncluttered and clear; and a very few well-chosen ornaments or pictures in striking colors can make considerable impact against the smooth lines and clean walls of a modern home. Contemporary kitchens use up to date man-made materials such as stainless steel, linoleum, plastic, molded plywood, and laminates, which are easy to clean, require little maintenance, and can serve to warm up the color scheme and create an inviting kitchen. Modern kitchens use universal design principles to create spaces which are flexible, orderly, intuitively easy to use, and which minimize fatigue and prevent accidents. Contemporary home plans designs do not have a "lived in" look. In fact, sometimes they look more like showpieces than like family homes. Contemporary interior design can present a challenge to the homeowner; but remember that the underlying idea is to be functional. Wooden floors don't just look pretty - they also are much cleaner than wall-to-wall carpeting. Lighting, such as track lighting, is abundant and adjustable and can be designed to create intimate, nook-like areas for privacy or entertaining. And, while all the uncluttered space can be a nightmare when it comes to finding enough storage space for your family's belongings, under-bed storage, closet organizers, stackable storage containers, and other wonders can help create a minimal look while still providing enough storage space. Contemporary house plans are designed with practicality and convenience in mind. To avoid the sterile look associated with modern home plans, you can add touches which enhance the original home plans designs without breaking the clean, uncluttered lines.