When it comes to design and décor ideas, most people think traditional versus modern. While it is fairly easy to distinguish traditional styles from modern styles, the problem lies in differentiating contemporary and modern styles.
Most people think that contemporary style is completely synonymous with modern style. For most people, including many designers and interior decorators, these words are interchangeable as well as self-explanatory. However, this is not exactly true. While both modern and contemporary designs describe the style of today, they have their nuances and distinct traits.
Don’t worry if you too don’t know the difference between modern and contemporary styles. We’re here to help you out. So, continue reading this post to discover everything you need to know about the differences between these two design styles.

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What is modern design?

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You may be somewhat surprised to know that modern design does not mean the design and style of today. Rather, modern design refers to the designs and styles that were made popular during the early to the mid-twentieth century. The modern design draws heavily from German Bauhaus as well as Scandinavian designs of this specific period.

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While the modern design has branched into mid-century modern (the designs of the 50s and 60s) and beyond, the interior design world still classifies everything under the modern category. In the world of interior design, modern design refers to the styles that were popular through the 1920s to the 1960s.
Modern design marks a departure from the intricate and elaborate classical and traditional design styles. In fact, the very essence of modern design was to create a distinct style based on the simplicity of function and form. While the late 19th century designs were overly cluttered, ornate and fancy, modern design broke away from all these trends. The typical modern design makes use of elements like warm and neutral colours, crisp and clear lines and a balance between all elements.

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What is contemporary design?


While the modern design is based on the designs and styles of a specific period, contemporary design does not refer to any specific period. Rather, contemporary design is a term used to describe the styles and designs that are popular to the present day. As such, contemporary design and style is ever changing.
The reason many people confuse contemporary with modern design is that contemporary design heavily borrows from other design styles, including modern design. Contemporary design makes use of styles and elements from all over the world, ranging from minimal to modern. However, the contemporary design never focuses on any one particular style. Rather, it tries to balance out influences to create something new and fresh.
Because contemporary design is fluid and ever-changing, it’s very difficult to pin down this style. Contemporary design styles heavily borrow from the latest trends and trends keep changing over the years.
The basic differences between modern and contemporary designs.

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Now that you have a better understanding of modern and contemporary designs let’s consider their differences.
The biggest and most important difference between the two is that contemporary designs change all the time, but modern designs do not. Modern design is a well-defined style, and it will remain so forever.
Another difference between the two design styles is that modern design does not borrow from any other styles, but the contemporary design does. With regards to this, contemporary design can be thought of as more eclectic when compared to modern design.
Also, modern design is typically limited to the use of clear and crisp lines, warm and neutral colours and overall balance. However, contemporary design is not limited by any of these elements. Many people view modern design as cold or stark, while they view contemporary design as fluid and bold.

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Modern design styles were created to mark a departure from traditional styles. However, contemporary designs were never created to replace existing designs and styles. In fact, the contemporary design may also draw influences from classical and traditional styles, provided that they are trending in the present. Contemporary design is all about what’s popular in the present world.

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So, there you go – these are the basic differences between contemporary and modern design. This holds true in every area of design, ranging from interior décor to architecture. I hope that you have a better understanding of what contemporary design and modern design is.
Which design style, contemporary or modern is your favourite? Have you knowingly or unknowingly made use of either of these design styles?


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