Modern and contemporary: which design should you choose?


A lot of people think that they can use the words modern design and contemporary design in place of one another. That is a common mistake. They may be synonymous when used to describe several things, but in design, they are different.

Modern design

It refers to an era that has passed. It focuses on a specific period from the early to mid-twentieth century. The birth of modern design started at the peak of the modern art movement. Simple form and function became the equal focus of this distinct style. Modern design colors have an earthier hue and feature shades like rust and brown. Turquoise and olive greens are also famous in modern design colors. People associate modern design with natural materials, such as wood, leather, and stone.

Contemporary design

It is all about the now and the future. It evolves to reflect the popular style so present-day design. It adopts qualities from modernism, minimalism, Art Deco, and other global styles. The contemporary design mixes those characteristics and owns them. This design sticks to a more strict palette of black, white, and gray. You can only add a pure, saturated tone, like true red or orange. This design uses materials such as nickel, steel, and chrome. Natural textures like hemp or jute are great additions to contemporary design. In the 1970s, it became famous as a blend of styles,


Both modern design and contemporary design have three general elements in common. These make them an excellent option to create your signature look. The design styles are perfect to mix and match.

Minimalist aesthetics

The word minimal means the least amount, so the basic idea is to have the fewest items to achieve what you want.

Clean architectural lines

A clean line indicates a robust and sharp contrast between the various elements of the space. A fresh, clean line reduces decoration and clutter in favor of a sleek, functional design.

Open-space feel

Both designs let people spend more time together. Modern and contemporary kitchens have an open-space feel. It stops the feeling of isolation while cooking meals, and allows you to a quick serving of food.

Main differences

The two designs may look the same to most people, but there are several differences between the two.


Modern design has a distinct aesthetic emphasizing crisp lines, warm neutrals, and balance. Contemporary design has a more fluid definition that makes it hard to pin down. It refers to what is happening in design at this very moment in time.


Modern pieces of decor focus on functionality. Meanwhile, contemporary pieces concentrate more on the form itself. It is more evident when you look at modern and contemporary furniture. Modern design favors sharp lines, and contemporary design loves curves.

Choosing between the two designs is a matter of preference. You can even combine the two and make a unique look for your place.

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