Contemporary and Modern design styles are often used interchangeably by most people, but these designs have distinguishing factors and origins which have developed them into what they are today. The contemporary style was established in the late 20th century and is ever-changing, whereas, mid-century modern (modern style) came about early in the middle 20th century. While contemporary may borrow some elements from modern design, it has enough specific details that give it a clear, distinctive difference from modern style. Here are four things different between contemporary design versus modern design:
Colors and Materials.
Modern design has become very welcoming to a sizeable hued color palette by not excusing any color from being functional in the room. Contemporary may allow colors; however, it is usually a more neutral color palette using browns, whites, and creams to warm the environment. Modern also will use bold plastics to make a statement where contemporary may take a more modest approach and use more natural elements like woods or metals.
The modern design will use hard, sleek lines to amplify the rooms floor plan and make deliberate flow. When it comes to contemporary, you will notice more rounded edges with no hard cuts or distinct carvings. Modern style was created in the mid-century and does not fluctuate much from its original design; however, contemporary is living in the moment. What is in now is incorporated into the design is always changing. It can give a contemporary room a more eclectic style where mid-century modern will stay very grounded towards a minimalist approach.
Functionality Versus Design
A critical factor in deciphering the difference between these to styles is the functionality of architecture and interior design. A functional design will be incorporated in windows, walls, floor plan, and even lighting in a mid-century modern home. When it comes to a contemporary home, though, you will notice design and style are adapted in the design to make sure it flows with the latest trends. A unique sculpture or lamp may be in a contemporary room solely because how it looks where the modern design will always choose functionality over style.
Seeing the essential elements that separate these rooms can be challenging at first but the more you look at the key factors to these styles, the easier you can identify them. Pay attention to the geometrical layout of the room, the lines incorporated in the furniture, and the functionality of everything. These will be the easiest way interpret the style of the space.