What’s difference between modern and contemporary design?

In the world of design, there are two design styles that are often mistaken for each other. Those two design styles are modern and contemporary. When you’re working with a designer to transform the interior and exterior of your home, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two for a path to success. Let’s go over what each of these design styles encompasses.


One of our personal favorites, modern style has a lot to offer and many want a mix of different types of modern design into their spaces. Modern design takes inspiration from the early mid twentieth century. It focuses on clean lines, leather, stone accents, and minimalistic decor. 

From modern design came mid-century modern in the 50’s and 60’s. This encompasses a unique blend of options with chairs, colors, and dimension. Though modern design and mid-century modern have different origins, they are often mixed together in todays world when we say “modern.”


Contrasting modern design, contemporary design does not have a time period to reference. It can also be defined as minimalistic, however with the use of different materials suck as metals, and is more interchangeable with different types of decor options. In contemporary design we often see a very subtle color palette, using mostly whites and strong blacks with touches of pure colors like red or orange. 

Contemporary design can easily be seen as what is “in” today. As the word means, contemporary is the now and is ever changing. 

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