Contemporary vs. Modern Design: The Differences

Contemporary vs. Modern Design: The Differences

In regular vernacular, people use the terms “contemporary” and “modern” interchangeably. This is fine for common speech, but it does cause some confusion when interior designers talk about contemporary and modern home styles. For décor, these two terms define distinct aesthetics. We compare contemporary vs. modern design and the differences between them to bring you clarity on this subject.

Contemporary Design

Unlike most other decorating categories, contemporary design isn’t based on a set combination of pieces and artistic choices. In the strictest sense, contemporary design includes whatever happens to be popular right now. Due to this, it’s fluid and subject to change as time passes. With that said, today’s style is understated yet refined because of its orderly nature. You can achieve a contemporary arrangement in your home by going with neutral tones and minimalistic furnishings and fixtures. Materials such as metal, glass, and stone fit in the style perfectly. Wood and woven plant fibers also make appearances, though to a lesser extent. Don’t be afraid accessorize modestly with green plants and small hints of brighter colors or patterns to keep spaces from becoming too cold.

Modern Design

Modern design’s name is somewhat misleading, as it’s actually an aesthetic that’s firmly rooted in the first half of the 20th century. Its main guiding principles are functionality and simplicity, and it therefore features clean lines in both furniture and architecture. There’s a lot of symmetry and an upfront sense of balance in modern design. Colors are mostly neutral, but you can also incorporate earthier and more saturated primary hues than with contemporary design. Think olive, light brown, red, blue, and yellow. This can give modern homes a warmer mood overall and a bolder contrast among their decorations.

With materials, modern design includes stone, metal, leather, wood, and plastic. You may want to add some molded plastic chairs in rounded forms and bring in chrome elements to speak to the style’s retro-futuristic origins.

Whether you go with contemporary or modern design after better understanding their differences, you can find area rugs online to complete your home’s look at Boutique Rugs. Call us today or browse our website directly.


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