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Tag Archives: Contemporary

  • Contemporary vs. Modern: What is the difference?


    Contemporary and modern are two design terms that are often used interchangeably, making it confusing to differentiate between the two different styles. In fact, modern design refers to the time period when the design style was created: 1920s-1950s, making modern design a defined and particular style. On the other hand, contemporary design references elements that are changing. Contemporary design is evolving with the time.

    The key term for modern interior refers to "Mid-Century Modern", which is easily recognizable by the sleek and clean interiors. Modern interiors include an extensive use of natural materials, such as wood, linen, or leather; and also a high use of neutral colors. Brighter colors are usually used very occasionally in modern interiors. If any color were added to a modern kitchen, it would be a small pop of color, rather than being a large part of the interior. Modern interiors are focused on making a space look larger and more expansive. Therefore, walls are often white, floors are generally bare, and furniture is open and raised to give a more airy look. In a modern kitchen, open shelves are often seen, as they are minimalistic and create an expansive illusion. Area rugs are occasionally added to the modern interiors. The rugs are usually in wool and of solid neutral colors.

    Modern Kitchen Image Credit: Houzz
    Modern Kitchen Image Credit: Houzz

    On the other hand, contemporary design refers to anything that is popular or being used right now. There is no defined design elements for the contemporary style, as it borrows and blends from other styles to make its own style. It is every evolving and constantly changing. In a contemporary interior, the kitchen cabinetry can be sleek and minimalistic just like a modern interior, but it can include traditional moldings in the decor. The contemporary home mixes and matches elements of various decorative styles, creating a unique and more individualistic look to the home.

    Contemporary kitchen: mixing colors and classic elements with neutrals and raised platforms Image Credit: Zillow
    Contemporary Kitchen Design: Sleek, clean lines of the modern design with bold color statement Image Credit: Home Decor Ideas

    At the moment, contemporary includes a lot modern elements, with the sleek and clean lines and minimalistic appearance. The open homes and airy appeal is also inspired by modern interior style. However, today's contemporary homes also include bright flashes and bursts of color to create that visual interest. Contemporary interiors refer to the style and trend homeowners are moving towards today. The terms "modern" and "contemporary" are often being confused because contemporary includes a lot of modern design elements. However, while modern is a defined style, contemporary is an ever-evolving style. In 5-10 years from now, contemporary can mean something completely different!

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