There’s a popular idea that modern equal contemporary in the world of interior design when it’s really two different design styles. Modern and contemporary are very different from one another although a vintage/modern design is timeless, while contemporary can date itself. It’s enough to make you crazy when figuring out if you should use a contemporary style or a modern one when decorating your home. Here’s a look at contemporary vs modern design and determine which one will look best in your home.
Art Deco is considered a modern design style even though it originated in the 1920s. And then there’s Mid-Century Modern which refers to the interior design style associated with the 1950s and the 1960s. Both are modern but are easily recognized and assigned a time period. They’re clearly not contemporary, and they’re not modern in the truest sense of the word. But interior design that features clean lines with minimal clutter gained a connotation of modern after the overstuffed design styles of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It’s enough to make a person feel crazy as they ponder the thought of modern vs contemporary interior design for their home.
Contemporary interior design usually consists of furnishings and decorative items that reflect no one time period and can stay unchanged for decades without falling out of fashion. Unfortunately, a lot of contemporary design is more period-centric than people realize, and they wind up with homes that look out-of-date relatively quickly. Part of the issue is the use of colors. Think of harvest gold and avocado green from the 60s and 70s or pastels and neons of the 80s.
True contemporary design involves using inoffensive colors that don’t go in or out of style, furniture that has simple lines without a lot of detail, and objects that don’t speak to any particular era. Some people consider it boring, but many prefer to go contemporary so they can decorate once in a while instead of redecorating their home every few years.
There really is no right or wrong by going with contemporary or modern design. You might have an argument with yourself when considering contemporary vs modern furniture for the home, but the truth is, they can both work together. A Le Corbusier Barcelona-style chair or couch can flow with a boxy modern sofa from no designer in particular.
Both design styles work in houses from all eras. An American four-square full of oak detailing is cooled off by the silver metal of the modern and contemporary furnishings while a 1950s brick ranch is easily adapted to modern furniture and decor. The key is to stay away from furnishings and decor that date themselves, even if they’re neutral, and stay mindful of the blank canvas that is the home.
Still not sure if you should go contemporary or modern? Contact Perla Lichi today at (954) 726-0899 for a consultation and learn how we can transform your home into the residence of your dreams. Perla Lichi Design has over 30 years of interior design experience and uses that experience to help you showcase your home.
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