Nowadays you’ll find these two words used interchangeably by professionals. Since contemporary design is what is popular at this moment you can find that modern or “mid-century modern” could be considered contemporary since contemporary design is always changing with the times and can’t be tied to one specific time period design. It’s very much of the moment which means it borrows from multiple time periods to create a design and style from a variety of eras.
Contemporary style is currently trending and popular today. Homes designed with a contemporary design are usually more casual than a modern or traditional home style ( Futuristic home design ). This design gives a feeling of spaciousness or an open floor plan. For example, the living room or dining room merges with the kitchen making it one simultaneous comfortable living area. Contemporary design usually focus mainly on neutral tones while adding dashes of color through accent pieces throughout the rooms. For example, adding accent pillows or chairs with colors that pop or have bold patterns. Furniture that use clean lines and smooth surfaces without any adornment or carving is considered contemporary. Several of the materials used in this design are clear or frosted glass, chrome, nickel or stainless steel. Typically you’ll find furniture made out of cotton, linen, silk, or wool to add a textual aspect to your design. Also, popular with this design are natural elements like cedar, fir wood, or stone. When adding contemporary lighting to your room you’ll find straight lines and metallic finishes will be accompanied by colorful shades.
Modern or “Mid-Century Modern” Design
Modern Design also known as “mid-century modern” is a design style from a specific time frame that is inclusive, clean, and sophisticated. Modern spaces embrace simplicity. Furniture design reflects clean, smooth curves, and geometric shapes replacing any busy design details. Using a “modern” design typically makes the space feels open with large windows and seamless design from the indoors to the outdoors. Furniture will show off the natural wood and metal to allow the look of nature to show through. More frequent material used in this design is plastic and plywood along with polished metal. Saturated colors with warm earthy tones are mainly show cased with the woods used in this furniture. When dealing with flooring mainly you’ll find clean floors with an added area rug to add color and design. Most modern furniture is very minimalistic and you want to give ample space between your room pieces.
Lately, you’ll notice that these two design terms have often been interchangeable and mingled together with the help of popular TV shows and such. More and more people are watching design shows and TV shows set in the late 1950’s to 1960’s which is bringing that style and sophistication back. In the end each design is up to each individual’s interpretation. Honestly, I find that a healthy balance of the two designs lends to a very comfortable spacious room and looks great and inviting. These designs are very relaxing and comfortable and make any space feel like home. At times I’ve even heard mid-century modern design coined as vintage.