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The Difference Between Modern and Contemporary Interior Design

Many people think modern and contemporary design are the same. But there’s a world of difference. They may be synonyms when describing many things, but in design, modern vs. contemporary are quite different.

Contemporary design refers to an era that has passed, while modern design is all about the now and the future.Modern design often features wood and earthier elements, while Contemporary design features state-of-the-art materials, glass and metals.

The differences between contemporary vs modern design

Here are the essential looks, elements, and hallmarks tips defining the differences between contemporary vs modern design.


1.Modern design features wooden and earth-friendly elements

Modern interior design techniques tend to utilize a considerable mix of natural materials to retain a streamlined appearance and feel and to keep the area from becoming clinical. Stone, wood, and leather — whether fake or real – are among them. While modern interior design trends appreciate the use of natural materials, they are frequently mixed with concrete, steel, and other industrial-inspired components. For example, with wooden accent walls, it look cosy and warm, as if they are giving the bedroom a hug.

2.Contemporary style concept is more fluid

Since the term “contemporary” refers to “living at the moment,” this style is a more fluid and is constantly evolving. These designs air on the eclectic since it tends to take inspiration and styling cues from different eras. On the other hand, contemporary spaces do not need to be bold and dramatic. Instead, opt for a sleek, neutral look that offers a sense of calm and serenity. For example, when decorating your bedroom, think about your favorite classic hotel and how nice it feels to slip away from reality when you visit. 

3.Modern spaces are not usually stark or cold

Despite the fact that modern design focuses on minimalism, most modern spaces don’t require cold or stark hues. Instead, they are filled with plenty of natural and warm neutrals. Contemporary interior design styles, on the other hand, have a bold starkness in them, such as monochromatic black and white, although it may also swing from one extreme to the other on the color wheel.

4.Contemporary furniture designs are a bit curvier

Color palettes are one of the most distinct elements in contemporary vs modern design. Contemporary interior design styles tend to stick to a stricter palate of black & white and grey. Other colors can be brought in, but these colors are usually pure and saturated tones like indigo, red, and orange. Modern design colors, however, tend to focus on natural hues and feature shades of turquoise, brown, rust, and greens.

What are The Similarities ?

It’s difficult to tell whether contemporary or modern design is more popular, because contemporary interior design trends now integrate significant elements from modern interior design styles. In reality, there are many parallels between modern contemporary interior design and current contemporary designs, as both prefer a basic, minimal, and edited style with clean and smooth lines. The following are the most prevalent parallels between contemporary and modern design.


1.The aesthetics are both minimal

Both designs have clean architectural lines and zero flash. They feature simple architectural designs that showcase a sophisticated and timeless elegance.

2.Both have an open space feel

Both contemporary and modern interior design styles use an open floor plan idea to give a sense of spaciousness. The bedroom typically integrates with the shower room, or the living room with the kitchen, in this idea. As a consequence, the living room is both airy and cozy.

3.Furnishings feature exposed legs

Sofas, ottomans, and chairs with bare legs and slender bases are popular in both contemporary and modern styles. Both designs emphasize furniture with shiny surfaces, such as exposed glass and metals. From end tables with a metal base to architectural beams and raw reclaimed hardwood tabletops, natural timber elements may be found in both contemporary and modern furniture.

4.Neither style prefers ornate designs

The usage of heavy features and intricate motifs is avoided in both contemporary and modern designs, which desire a basic and uncluttered style.


The confusion of contemporary vs modern design continues today as there hasn’t been an undated set of rules for all forms of art. Part of the confusion also lies in the fact that elements of mid-century modern design are being incorporated into contemporary designs as of late. Regardless of the design style you select, our interior designers at 9Creation can assist you in realizing a contemporary or modern look for your home interior tips with precision.

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An interior design firm with years of experience in residential and commercial spaces, 9Creation approach any challenge head-on and welcome the opportunity to confront those challenges to a positive result! A successful interior design begins with an experienced project management, alongside comprehensive coordination. Precise and careful consideration of a functional design is essential.

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