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Contemporary and Modern Design Styles, Did You Know There is a Difference?

I thought I would cover both of these design styles together. Often people use these styles interchangeably, but in fact these two styles are actually quite different.

I think that a big part of the confusion is that right now, many elements of mid-century modern design are very popular and are being incorporated into contemporary designs.

Let’s dig into what defines these styles.

Contemporary- is more about what is happening currently in home décor styles and designs. Contemporary Design is ever-changing and of the moment.

Modern- Modern pieces of decor tend to have a function and pieces are rarely viewed as stark or cold. Modern design favors strong lines and in fact most components of modern design, from the furniture to the shape of the rooms, includes clean, straight lines with no additional detail

Biggest difference between the two is that Contemporary style can look dated in a few years and is based on what is new and available. Modern has its own style that does not change.

Why do these styles often get confused?

Many similarities can be found in both styles. This is likely where much of the confusion stems from when trying to distinguish them.

Both styles tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, and clean lines. This imparts a comfortable and calming feeling in a room.

Neither style prefers ornate designs or heavy elements. Contemporary spaces can, however, bend this rule frequently as the trends change.

How to know when it’s Modern?

  • Furnishings are all about function.

  • Clean lines

  • Natural wood

  • Open Spaces

  • Color used in moderation

How to know when it’s Contemporary?

  • Always evolving

  • Some use of curves and sweeping lines

  • Incorporating styles that are of the moment.

Now that we have that cleared up!

Let’s get started with some simple design tips to create a Modern look in your home.

  • Most important step is to declutter.

  • Utilize furnishings with multi-functions like hidden storage.

  • Add furniture with clean lines and geometric shapes.

  • Embrace empty space (Walls)

  • Furniture with chrome and stainless steel detail

  • Built in furnishings

  • Color used sparingly one bold accent color

  • Open Floorplan

Some tips to create a Contemporary look in your home.

  • Once again less is more- declutter

  • Bold basic pieces with a sophisticated feel

  • Neutral color scheme with lots of textures in fabrics

  • Mix chrome, metallic, glass and mirror to visually open up the space.

  • Emphasize high ceilings if you have them.

  • Mostly neutral palette

  • Trendy of the moment furnishings

Examples of Modern furnishings

Examples of Contemporary furnishings