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Modern vs. Contemporary Design: do you know what’s the difference?

difference modern contemporary style, modern versus contemporary,. italianbark interior design blog

|| A guest post by James Andrews

Your hope is personal, every item you place in it will have been chosen by you. There are many reasons why people choose specific items but the overriding factor is simply that you like it.

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Of course, this can lead to debates regarding your personal style and the furniture you choose. In fact, this can be your opportunity to shine!

The truth is that most people assume modern furniture is the same as contemporary. However, this is not actually true! It’s time to discover the difference between modern and contemporary design; then if you need to label your furnishing choices at least you can do so correctly!


What is Modern Design

Despite having the word modern in its title this actually refers to furniture made in the past. But, only in the recent past; older items are generally antiques but you’ll need to learn to date them correctly.

Anything from the 1920’s onwards can be considered modern. This covers the Art Deco period, the classical look of the 50’s and 60’S and the vintage look of the 70’s. In any ways modern can also be referred to as retro although retro is more of a contemporary twist on a modern style!

The most commonly used materials in modern furniture are wood and natural elements from the places surrounding where the item was made.

It is worth noting that modern furniture and antiques are generally made by hand. The results illustrate why every piece is unique. You can locate the right tools in this article on Kayu Connection and replicate the item; but not the hand built quality.


Design Milk

What is Contemporary Design

In contrast contemporary furniture use metal, glass and any other materials that is new to the industry. It embraces everything that is positive about now and the future.

Contemporary designs tend to be purer and often utilize paler colors; the lines are generally clean and crisp.


 INT2 Architecture via


Choosing Between Modern and Contemporary Design

This is a matter of personal preference. Modern furniture tends to have an earthy feel, favoring colors that are found in nature. This includes rust and the autumnal leaves. In contrast contemporary will be mainly pale but may have a splash of bright color.

It could be said that modern will give you hoe a more rustic and warm feel while contemporary is cutting edge, sleek and sometimes a little cold. The surfaces will need to gleam without an imperfection in sight.

You’ll already know which style you prefer!

|| To know what’s your interior style do this quiz !


My Paradissi

Mixing It Up

Perhaps the greatest thing about these two styles is that they can be mixed. Although this may seem unlikely the warmth of wood can help to balance the sharp lines of your contemporary furnishings.

This works particularly well if you have an open plan home and a minimalistic approach. The difference in furniture styles will then complement each other instead of looking like a jumble of different items.

But, the bottom line is that you need to create the home that works for you on a practical and aesthetic level. There is no right or wrong answer to the modern vs. contemporary furniture argument; just what suits you best.


Alexander White