Modern vs. contemporary style. What is the difference?

For most people, the terms “modern style” and “modern style” mean
modern style
contemporary may seem the same.
To interior decorating professionals, these two terms are two distinct design styles, which, while sharing some common characteristics, have major differences .

What is modern style?

The modern style is the design and decoration of the modernism movement, which began at the end of the 19th century.


This style arose thanks to the German Bauhaus design schools and the emphasis of Scandinavian design based on simplicity and functionality. Generally speaking, modern decoration is related to the beginning and middle of the 20th century, from 1900 to the 1950s.

Over time, the modern style morphed into mid-century modern (1950s and 1960s) and postmodern (1970s and 1980s).

Postmodernism is bold, breaks all the rules of tradition and has a certain whimsy and irony. It focuses more on form than function, which is the exact opposite of the practical features found in classic modern design.

What is contemporary style?

The so-called contemporary style became popular in the 1970s, around the same time as the rise in popularity of postmodernism.

At first it was a mixture of styles before it was recognized as a style in its own right.


Contemporary design borrowed elements from both modernism and postmodernism. It also incorporated numerous ideas from many other styles, such as art deco, deconstructivism and futurism, among others.

However, the “contemporary” style is always changing. As each decade passes, the decorative trends of the moment will always be considered contemporary. It is not necessarily tied to a specific time period, as is the modern style. Instead, it is a constantly evolving style that reflects what is happening today.

What similarities do these two styles have?

Both styles have some similar characteristics.

In fact, it is from these similarities that most of the confusion arises when trying to distinguish between them.

Both styles tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines and an artistic touch. This creates a sense of comfort and tranquility in any room that is very welcoming.

Neither of these two styles relies on ornate designs or heavy elements. However, contemporary spaces can often break this rule as trends change.

In both styles, the


sofas, the




have their legs uncovered. You can also find a lot of wood on display in both styles, from structural beams to wood side tables with metal bases.

Which style to choose according to your personal tastes

Because modern style focuses on the design elements common to the years between 1900 and 1950, it is an ideal style for those who enjoy the aesthetics of that era, with its preference for highly functional elements and warm, natural colors.

Contemporary design style is a style best suited for those who like to keep up with current trends in decorating, who are willing to change as time goes by.

The contemporary style is best suited for those who like the sharp contrasts and curved lines so often found in this style. It is also ideal for those who consider form and ornamentation more important than functionality.