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LIVING ROOM: Modern vs. Contemporary

When people describe their living room décor style or furniture preferences, they often use “contemporary” or “modern” interchangeably.  It’s a common mistake. Fact is, that there is a difference between modern and contemporary, so knowing these differences can help you find the look you’re after.

First of all, contemporary design is CURRENT. It’s the NOW in furniture and décor and trends. It’s also constantly evolving, so, like fashion, styles can come and go quickly.

Modern design showcases a SPECIFIC ERA in time – referring to styles established between the 1920s and 1950s. For this reason, modern design never changes. It is meant to capture the style and mood of this specific era.

While modern has a variety of design influences, from Bauhaus to art deco, mid-century modern is the most known and celebrated of the modern style. In fact, new designs influenced by this MODERN era are reappearing in CONTEMPORARY designs.

Mid-Century Modern

This aesthetic is famous for ease, uncluttered, open concepts and clean lines.

To achieve the mid-century aesthetic, consider these basics:

 

  1. Open concept floor plans:fewer walls, more open and shared spaces between traditionally separate rooms.
  2. Strong angles and lines:This style prides itself on its sleek lines, geometric shapes and distinct angles in everything from mid-century modern architectural details to furniture. Asymmetry is also an important feature of mid-century design.
  3. Fewer furniture pieces:Featuring fewer furniture pieces emphasizes the mid-century idea of easy living. When it comes to this style, less is more!
  4. White walls:Mid-century homes utilize white walls to keep things fresh and make its furnishings and architectural details pop! White walls also transcend seasons and trends, so your home will always look cool and feel current.
  5. Natural materials:Modern design always has a touch of natural elements to make the space warmer and more welcoming. This would include wood, leather, wool, linen and polished metals. This was also a time period that embraced industry and manufacturing, so pieces made of molded plastic and plywood were popular choices in mid-century homes.
  6. Lots of windows:One of the most important philosophies behind mid-century modern design is forming a connection with nature. Designing a home with large windows (and plenty of them) was a thoughtful way to marry outdoor to indoor.

Ultimately, it all comes down to this – modern interior design is all about seizing a moment in time, while contemporary design observes the present moment.

Get Inspired! The Synchrony HOME credit card can help you make your home the contemporary- or modern- masterpiece you're dreaming of. Visit www.mysynchrony.com/welcomehome to learn more.

Additional Readings

  1. http://midcenturymagazine.com
  2. https://www.ebth.com/buyers-guide-mid-century-modern-design

Sources

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/modern-vs-contemporary-style-452465
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/modern-or-contemporary-whats-the-difference-in-home-styles-1478790617
  3. https://www.britannica.com/demystified/whats-the-difference-between-modern-and-contemporary-art

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