Modern Style and Contemporary Style are often thought to be synonymous, but are actually two separate styles hailing from different eras. The Modern style developed during the early 1900s, inspired by the Industrial Revolution, the machine era. Emphasis is placed on functionalism, the avoidance of ornamental design, and the use of glass, chrome and simple, often geometric shapes.
Contemporary design however refers to the style that is currently in fashion. Contemporary interiors currently borrow heavily from Modern style, and as such you may find similarities in both Modern and Contemporary interiors, hence the confusion, and the reason why many people use the two terms interchangeably. Contemporary interior design during this decade pairs simplicity – that’s where the Modern element kicks in – with accents that contrast this, for example with a brightly coloured accessory, or flashy wall art.
Apart from pairing the aforementioned, other styles have ended up pairing with contemporary design to form hybrid interiors. Nordic furniture with Contemporary interiors give you a cosier living space. Similarly, Industrial accessories and retro furniture in a Modern setting give you a currently very trendy Mid-Century Modern vibe. As long as you’re consistent, there’s no such thing as wrong design.
Browse our picks for accessories that fit Modern and Contemporary interior design styles, or check out our other curations for more ideas.