Do you think the terms contemporary and modern design are interchangeable? They are not and if you are wondering what the differences are, continue reading.

The modern style is the design and decor of the modernism movement, which began in the very late 1800s. Birthed by the German Bauhaus schools of design and the Scandinavian design emphasis on simplicity and function, the modern decor style is very old.

  • In general terms, modern decor is linked to the beginning through the middle of the 20th century—the 1900s through the 1950s.
  • The modern style eventually morphed into midcentury modern (the 1950s and 1960s) and postmodernism (1970s and 1980s).
  • While midcentury modern looks a lot like modern design with splashes of bright color added strategically, postmodernism doesn’t. Postmodernism is bold, breaks all rules of tradition, and has a certain whimsy and irony about it. It is more about the form than the function, which is the exact opposite of the practical features found in classic modern design.

The contemporary style became popular in the 1970s, about the same time as postmodernism’s rise in popularity. It was originally a blend of styles before it became recognizable on its own.

  • Contemporary design borrowed elements from modernism and postmodernism. It also gathered ideas from many other styles such as Art Deco, deconstructivism, futurism, and more.
  • The “contemporary” style is always changing. As each decade passes, the decor trends of the day will always be considered contemporary. It is not necessarily tied to a specific period in the same way that the modern style is. Instead, it is an ever-evolving style that reflects what is happening today.

Source:  The Spruce

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