Modern or Contemporary?

First blog post! Whoohoo! To start out on the right note, I’m going to address a very controversial issue in today’s society.

Naaah. Maybe I’ll just talk about interior design. Or chocolate. That’s a tough call, because I love both.


Think about the word “modern” and the word “contemporary”. Do they mean the same thing to you? When talking about style preferences, people tend to use the terms “modern design” and “contemporary design” interchangeably. If it’s modern, it’s also contemporary, right?

Well, not really. At least not in interior design.

Modern design is a specific style that was created in the mid-twentieth century emphasizing clean lines, simple decor, and natural materials like wood, linen, and leather. Modern homes often have open floor plans and airy rooms with unadorned furniture that is raised off the floor. When we refer to modern design, we’re really talking about mid-century modern (think retro).

Contemporary design, on the other hand, refers to whatever is popular right now. It doesn’t have to be what is created right now, just what is used right now. This can get tricky because what’s popular right now is undoubtedly from a different era or design style. So when you see a room with farmhouse furniture and décor (which is very popular at the moment), is it technically farmhouse design or contemporary design? Personally, I’d call it farmhouse design if the majority of the room has farmhouse elements, but if there’s just a farmhouse sink or a farmhouse dining set, it’s probably contemporary. You’ll get different answers from different people. But the point is, modern design ≠ contemporary design.

Thanks for reading! Now go eat some chocolate. In fact, I think I will too.

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