The Differences Between Modern and Contemporary Design

If you ever asked yourself about the dissimilarities between modern and contemporary design – you’ve got to the right place. While many people may use these terms interchangeably, they actually refer to different styles of design. Once you understand these distinctions, you’ll be better equipped to create your own interior design plan and impress your design-savvy friends. Here’s what you need to know.

Modern design originated during the early to mid-twentieth century and is associated with prominent designers such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, and Florence Knoll. It was inspired by Scandinavian and German Bauhaus design and emphasized simple form and function. Modern design features earthy colors, natural materials like wood, leather, and stone, and streamlined shapes.

Mid-century modern design developed in the 1950s and 1960s and is often included under the umbrella of modern design in interior design.

Contemporary design, on the other hand, is constantly evolving and doesn’t refer to a specific time period. It incorporates elements from various design styles, including modernism, minimalism, and Art Deco. Contemporary design is characterized by neutral colors, minimalist design, clean lines, and organic shapes. Materials such as nickel, steel, and chrome are often combined with natural textures like hemp or jute.

The main difference between the two styles is that contemporary design is defined by what is currently popular in design, making it more fluid and less easily defined. Modern design, on the other hand, has a more distinct aesthetic characterized by crisp lines, warm neutrals, and balance.