Modern vs Contemporary Style

Moretti Blog   •   March 21, 2018

Modern style living room

Modern and Contemporary are two concepts often confused, overlapped and misunderstood.
Let’s see therefore through their distinctive characteristics why they are different from each other and what are instead the common elements.

Modern Style movement and its characteristic

Modern style is a decorating movement that grew out in the late 19th and early 20th century. It reached its success particularly in the 1950s and 60s, that is why often today may be referred also as mid-century modern style.
Modern style broke with the past designs, specifically with the traditional styles before the Industrial Revolution, such as Gothic, Renaissance and Victorian, which tended to be ornate and often hand-crafted, and exhibited the ideals of the machine age embracing mass production. The modern design key belief is based on the concept that “form follows the function”. One of its most important element is, in fact, the form of an object. It uses geometric shapes, including rigid square and rectangles, strong, straight and clean lines.

Mid-Century Reception room with a Contemporary twist

Modern style has also a distinctive colour scheme. It uses neutral and natural colours such as white, cream, grey, brown and natural materials such as wood and leather but also an industrial material such as moulded plastic, plywood and chrome. Touches of colours come mostly in small accent from artwork or furniture: a pop of orange, blue, red and yellow are favourite.
Modern furniture has its leg visible, typically made of polished metal or wood, to give an airy overall feeling. The chrome and stainless steel metal used substituted the more traditional wrought iron used in the past style.
Modern style eliminates unnecessary detailing, leave the space breath and concentrate the attention on a significative piece of furniture. It is not a decorative style and usually, the accessories are kept to a minimum. See one of our projects as an example.

What is Contemporary Style?

Contemporary kitchen with a touch of colour

Contemporary style, on the other hand, is not born out of a certain period but it referrers to styles, materials and ideas that are popular in the current day, whenever that day may be. Because of that it changes with trends, new technology and lifestyle changes and for this same reason is innovative and forwarding looking.
As Contemporary style borrows pieces and style from all different period, including from the modern period, can be easily overlapped with it. It does have many variations in its interiors but the most important characteristics can be highlighted.
The contemporary design style is bold, stark, and it prefers curved and sweeping lines.

Media room

In terms of colours, neutrals are still very predominant but with more various colourful details. There are no bold pop colours like in the modern style but it is more likely to find tones and shades of similar hues.
Furniture is made of simple, rounded and soft lines, super decorative items are omitted in favour of simplicity and clean lines adding a luxury touch to it with layered fabrics and quirky artwork.
Contemporary add few comfort details and personalized twist to the modern look making it more liveable and adaptable to the modern style.

What these two styles have in common is that they both tend to favour simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines and artistic flair they refuse ornate designs or heavy elements and leaving the space of the room breathing.

Moretti Interior Design can help you to better understand which is the style you like. For more information or to book a consultation, contact us today.

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