Furniture isn’t just a thing that you would use to fill blank spaces. You can often consider it as an extension of your personality. Furniture comes in a variety of different shapes, styles, and designs. Finding the right style for you and your home can sometimes be a challenge. As such, there’s no point in randomly purchasing dining collections, chairs, sofas or any other furniture. What you need to do is first decide which broad aesthetic style of furniture is a better fit for you–modern or contemporary. Many people think the modern and contemporary design is the same.  But are they the same? Here we can discuss modern and contemporary furniture and analyse which one would suit you more.


What is Contemporary style?


What is referred to as contemporary style became popular in the 1970s, about the same time as postmodernism’s rise in popularity? Contemporary style is all about the here and now. It is constantly changing, focusing on new ideas and flowing with the seasons. Because of this, it can be quite eclectic, borrowing features from different styles in time to create something new. Creating harmony with the natural environment surrounding each room is an especially popular concept in contemporary design. This is often done by using sustainable materials and incorporating large windows. Wood, stone, and cork are regularly used in contemporary rooms. White walls and monochromatic furniture are also popular, as they can make spaces appear more expansive and open.


What is Modern Style?


Modern design refers to the popular style of the early- to mid-20th century – but is actually a mixture of two popular mid-century styles. The words “modern design” often conjure up images of impractical creations reserved for art galleries and sci-fi movies. While modern furniture certainly leans on the side of minimalism with its sleek, simple lines, that’s where the similarities end. Modern furniture focuses heavily on bringing the outdoors in. Natural elements of wood, leather, linen and polished metal create a sense of warmth and personality. Neutral colours transcend both seasons and passing trends, giving the space a forever style. A neutral colour scheme and crisp lines are two of the most ubiquitous fixtures in modern design. Natural materials like wooden beams and exposed brick are used extensively, while furniture is often made of plastic, glass or metal.


What are the similarities between Modern and Contemporary furniture?


There are similar characteristics to be found in both styles as well. This is likely where much of the confusion stems from when trying to distinguish them. Let’s check out their similarities. 


    • The aesthetics are both minimal: Both designs have clean architectural lines and zero flashes. They feature simple architectural designs that showcase a sophisticated and timeless elegance.
    • Both have an open space feel:  In order to create a feeling of spaciousness, both contemporary and modern interior design styles adopt an open floor plan concept. For this concept, the kitchen frequently merges with the dining room or the living room merges with the kitchen. This results in a simultaneously airy and comfortable living space.
    • Neither style prefers ornate designs: Both contemporary and modern designs prefer a simple and uncluttered look as they tend to shy away from the use of heavy elements and ornate designs.

  • Clean, architectural lines are their signature: These designs always have clean architectural lines which aesthetically look great and could be considered as their signature.


What are the differences between modern and contemporary furniture?

Contemporary is, by definition, what’s happening in design at this very moment in time. This definition makes it more fluid and hard to pin down. Modern design, on the other hand, has a distinguishable aesthetic that emphasizes crisp lines, warm neutrals, and balance. While the modern design is tied to a specific time period, contemporary design continues to evolve. Contemporary design changes with the times, making this movement less well-defined in comparison to modern design.


Even though each style incorporates neutral colours, modern design favours a warmer and more subdued colour palette, whereas contemporary design favours starker and more striking hues. Modern and contemporary designs may also incorporate distinct shapes and structures. While both designs are partial to shapes and lines that are crisp and clean, contemporary design sometimes features curvier furnishings.  A contemporary bench may be made completely out of solid wood, a modern accent chair may have a metallic base for its lustre, etc. The material made up of each style really depends on the manufacturer, price point and purpose of the item. Modern furniture can be as creatively designed as contemporary furniture. Modern furniture is not limited to being a collection of rectangular or oval shapes. Instead, chairs can be shaped like a tulip or be crafted in the form of a dice.

Which one to choose? 

Although the similarities in the definitions of “modern” and “contemporary” are one reason for the confusion between the two styles, there’s more to it than that. The modern style is back in favour, with many contemporary designs using characteristics from the modern era. For all their differences, both contemporary and modern furniture tends to focus on creating a simple uncluttered feel. Both styles are unique and can create an instant appeal – which is why it can be so difficult to choose between the two. Whatever your preference, always keep in mind the practical aspect of each choice, as well as the current elements of your home and décor. The first step in picking out furniture should be understanding the overall look of your home and the vibe you wish to create around to bring out your style and taste. If you are looking for a modern cutting service for your furniture, may it come to whatever category, cut and the edge is here to help you.