The commonly misunderstood design styles: Modern vs Contemporary

Image credits to: Addision Interior Design


‘Modern and Contemporary’ have been used interchangeably in the design scene. More than often, they are used to describe architecture, furniture, and overall home style. Take note: they are vastly different.


Contemporary architecture is dynamic and can be eclectic for several reasons, being it isn’t tied down to one specific style. Its one with the moment and is rather a mix and match of various styles and eras. Modern style, in contrast, is a static design style describing pre-industrial revolution traditional styles. It is connected to the age of machination and describe styles derived from the early to mid 20th Century.


Modern architecture has several distinct factors that makes it distinct, for example it’s clean-lined architecture and interiors, use of natural materials, and signature white walls. It is born from a vantage point of breaking away from tradition.  It embraces simplicity in adornment. If it matters, modern furniture tends to be raised off the floor, giving a feeling of airiness!  Furniture lines of modern designs are generally clean and simple. Be it wood, stone, leather, or other natural materials, these are used in tandem with white furniture & carpentry to quietly provide warm and texture to a space without detracting from the style. White walls, or wooden floorings are often used to add-on a magical touch to your home.


Image credits to: Yang’s Inspiration Design


Contemporary styles are several key contrasts, for example a sense of openness, unique forms, large & wide windows, as well as an emphasis on comfort. The contemporary style carries a desire for an inherent feeling of spaciousness, through the use of open floor plans. This creates an airy and livable effect. Unique forms are created through designer items, allowing homeowner to showcase individuality and personal style.


In most contemporary homes, clean-lined furniture are often used to blend key elements together. In this aspect, there is a cross between contemporary and modern designs, where basic forms and simple shapes blend to come as one. One reason as to why these two terms are used interchangeably, and perhaps confusingly, is because many characteristics and elements of modern design is incredibly popular at the moment. Perhaps in 20 years, we’ll be seeing modern design as contemporary design of the moment.



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