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Modern vs. Contemporary Design: What's the Difference?

Modern vs. Contemporary Design: What's the Difference?

Whether you’ve moved into a new home or are remodeling your space, it’s difficult to decide on a decor style. Two that are easily confused are modern and contemporary decor. The difference between modern and contemporary design is in the colors and materials you’ll use. Find out more about these styles.

Defining Modern vs. Contemporary

Many people believe modern and contemporary design are the same due to their similarities. Still, the definitions help categorize them and influence a designer’s approach. Modern decor follows modernism, which was an art movement that gained popularity in the mid-1900s. Pieces typically represent this time while contemporary decor sticks with the current times.

Color Scheme

One of the main differences between modern decor and contemporary is the colors you’ll use. Contemporary decor often sticks to neutrals, like gray, black, and white, which are always in style. On the other hand, modern style involves more bold colors, like turquoise and olive, though neutral shades appear too. For instance, you can add rust and brown area rugs to your modern decor to improve the look of your floors.

Popular Materials

Another huge difference between these decor styles is the types of materials used. For instance, modern furniture often uses wood or other natural materials, while contemporary features glass and metals. This gives the contemporary design its elegance and modern decor its casual feel.

Time Period

An easy way to remember the difference between modern and contemporary decor is the period they represent. Consider popular styles of the late 1960s and 1970s to inform how you decorate for modern. For contemporary, you’ll pull inspiration from the most popular styles trending today.

Modern and Contemporary Similarities

Though these decor styles have distinct differences, they share some qualities too. For instance, they’re both minimal when it comes to accent decorations. Both styles feature straight lines, clean architecture, and open space.

When considering modern vs. contemporary design, the difference between them is subtle. Still, you should know the properties of each style so you can aim for your decor dreams. Shop at Decor Market to find furniture and more for any style.

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