For people who are thinking of re-doing their existing home or decorating a new one, the most common question that comes to their mind is – what is the difference between modern and contemporary furniture? Even-though, many may think it to be one and the same thing, but theoretically there’s a world of difference between the two. Broadly speaking, Modern design refers to an era that has passed, while contemporary design is all about the present. Despite their differences, the two have several similarities as well. However, it may get overwhelming to come to a conclusion upon which style would go best with your interiors and this is where we come in.
Our designers at Grandlay Interiors, design furniture in a manner that compliments the lifestyle of it’s users along with being aesthetically luxurious without compromising on comfort. No matter what your preferences are, be it modern or contemporary or a blend of both. The end result should be unparalleled premium furniture. Before you decide upon your choice of furniture, it is important to understand the two terms.
Modern design refers to a specific period of time from the 1920’s to the 1950’s when furniture designs went through a remarkable change. Before the 1920’s, furniture tended to be very ornate and hand crafted. When Modern era came about in the 1920’s new designers came into prominence with their clean, sleek design of furniture that centered around functionality. In fact “Modern” is a short term used for “Mid Century Modern”. Modern designs refer to clean, unadorned lines where wood, leather, teak and so forth are used in the creation of furniture. However, one can find plastic and molded plywood also as a part of Modern furniture.
A home decorated in a Modern style will be open, clean and will excel in the use of space. Even the walls are painted with white or very light shades of paint to expand the feeling of space inside a home. The furniture tends to be off the floor in-order to give an unobstructed feeling, overall designing is done in a manner to help enhance the feeling of having spacious interiors. Even when polished metal is used, the emphasis is on simplicity and clean lines to create a feeling of openness.
The very name “Contemporary” means “existing” or in other words, styles and trends of the present which are constantly evolving. Yes, we live in modern times, but a Contemporary Design refers to all the designs that are currently in vogue and are ever changing and growing. So, whatever furniture designing is happening today in terms of growing and changing is Contemporary and it may include influences and even pieces from the Modern era. Contemporary furniture can borrow elements from all styles and eras.
Overall, Contemporary furniture mostly makes use of neutrals, blacks and whites. Neutral shades are the cornerstone of contemporary furniture designing. Occasionally, bold solid colours may also be used, but if so, they are typically relegated to the role of an accent shade and must be used sparingly.
So, just to keep it simple, a “Modern” design refers to a specific period of time in furniture designing which was from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Whereas, Contemporary really means “right now” and does not refer to a specific design other than including designs from today. Modern design often features wood and earthier elements whereas Contemporary design features state-of-the-art materials, glass and metals. Contemporary design often sticks to a stricter palate of black, white and grey. If color is added, the color is often the pure, saturated tone like true red, indigo or orange. Modern design colors have an earthier hue and feature shades like rust, turquoise, brown and olive greens.
A home outfitted with contemporary furniture often has an open and spacious feel, and it’s easy to keep clean just like the modern era. Today’s contemporary-styled furniture merges with modern designs by utilizing simple and clean lines focused on comfort.
Now that you know a little more about modern and contemporary designs, you will be in a better position to tell us what your furniture preferences are so that our designers are able provide innovative furniture ideas for every room of your abode.