When I think of contemporary, I think of that modern, open, bright, airy look. Think about the whole "contemporary living" deal and magazines that cater to it. It's a polished look that stays clear of moodiness and strong shadows. Things are glossy, shiny, and happy rather than edgy and dark. Contemporary isn't oversaturated but it isn't undersaturated either. It's crisp and clean. White sheets, not black. Light hardwood floors not dark. Big windows and white walls, not log cabin walls. Crystal glass and a light champagne, not beer in bottles. A glass coffee table rather than a wooden one.