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Modern Vs. Contemporary Design: The Real Differences

Modern and Contemporary are both popular interior design styles. They both have distinctive features that make them different. So, how do we define ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ styles? And what sets them apart?


Keep reading to find out the true differences between these sought-after styles.


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Modern Design

Modern interior design often incorporates a range of different features to create a sleek and elegant atmosphere. The roots of modern design go back to Scandinavian origins, where fine art and architecture were mixed and experimented with shape. From the 1920s to the 1950s, new technologies allowed new materials such as steel, concrete and glass to be used in modern art and architecture.


A few key principles of modern design includes:


● Clean Lines - Clean, straight lines with minimal orientation

● Neutral Colours - Modern designs typically favour more neutral and monochromatic colour schemes

● Minimal Decor - There is a lack of clutter in modern designs, with a priority placed on functionality rather than fashion

● Low & Long Furniture - This is common to modern designs and materials such as leather or wooden veneers can be popular choices

● Open Floor Plan - Using furniture to break up floor plans and substitute walls, or features such as kitchen islands leave spaces open but not empty


Contemporary Design

While modern design is a style defined by certain characteristics, contemporary design reflects the everchanging popular styles of the present day. Contemporary designs are said to revolve around the now and the future. There are some similarities between the modern and contemporary features. The main characteristics of contemporary design are:


● A combination of vibrant and neutral colours - Contrasting colours that work in harmony rather than clashing

● Blending textures and materials - This can sharpen or soften areas of your home, (balancing out the harsh lines with rounded furniture)

● Simple Geometric Shapes & Clean Lines - This can include curvy or angular shapes depending on your home

● Open spaces - Contemporary design favours natural open spaces that will open up your home. Big windows are also a common feature of contemporary design

● Blending Industrial and Natural Elements - bare brickwork, combined with plants and natural light is a key element


Contemporary Vs. Modern

Overall, both design styles create a chic update for your home, with modern styles encapsulating the aesthetic of a period in time. To summarise contemporary design style, it doesn’t try to emulate a particular style or place in time. Instead, it refers to the ever-evolving styles of the present moment.


DTR Customs

Our experienced furniture makers create bespoke interiors to cater to your needs. We are committed to providing excellent service to all of our clients and making sure that their requirements are met. So whether you're looking for modern furniture, contemporary furniture or luxury homeware, we are here to help.


For any further enquiries about our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and speak to one of our team members today!

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