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Becky Lanier, Exit Realty Bob Lamb & AssociatesPhone: (931) 607-9113
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Home Themes: How to Decide Whether Modern or Contemporary Is Right for You

by Becky Lanier 05/11/2022

In everyday language, you might reasonably swap out the word modern for contemporary. In the design world, though, the two words represent two different styles. Here is a quick overview of the similarities and differences between "modern" and "contemporary" designs.

What Is Modern Design?

Modern design refers to an era that has already passed us by. When the mid-century rolled around, people challenged the traditional looks and build spaces that signified a bolder future ahead.

In the 1950s and 1960s, designers favored furniture with cleaner lines and earthy elements. For instance, a modern design might place a wooden coffee table in front of a sleek, low-backed, velvet couch or chaise lounge.

The word ‘modern’ can be a generalist term that has been used to refer to anything from the 1920s–1970s. Homeowners may need to clarify someone else’s definition before making any major assumptions.

What Is Contemporary Design?

Contemporary design is essentially the new modern and encompasses several styles introduced in the last half of the 20th century. It can favor daring state-of-the-art materials, such as metal furniture or glass accent pieces, but can also edge toward the subtler side. Colors are typically solid and pure, in tones of black, red or orange.

How to Decide Between Modern and Contemporary

Both forms of design are minimalist and clean. They give the space an open feel and encourage people to make themselves at home within it.

If you’re still at a loss, consider the following design basics:

  • Colors: With modern design, you have more shades available to you. So if you wanted a rust-colored couch or an indigo chair, then modern is a better style for you.
  • Lines: Contemporary design allows for more options in terms of curves. Modern lines are strictly straight, but you have some leeway with contemporary design to choose furniture with more dimension.

Blending the Two

The best part of modern and contemporary design is that they mesh well, meaning you may not have to choose at all. Mixing and matching can be part of an eclectic design style, or you can consider having a largely modern palate and then balancing it out with a few contemporary accent pieces.

About the Author
Author

Becky Lanier

Becky Lanier is a veteran of the real estate industry. She received her TN real estate license in 2000, and represented clients throughout middle TN. In 2005 her family moved to Vicksburg, MS to follow her husband's career. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Becky and her husband volunteered with the American Red Cross to help dislocated individuals complete the necessary paperwork to start rebuilding their lives. Listening to their stories and helping them to move forward with the next chapter of their lives was one of the most humbling experiences of her life. When her family moved back to TN, she renewed her TN license in hopes of continuing to help people find their next home.

With a passion for service, Becky volunteers with many charities in middle TN and she is ready to help you with your home buying and selling needs. Becky is a member of the Exit Realty Bob Lamb & Associates family and carries their values of integrity, ethics, professionalism, communication and hard work. Recognizing that clients put their trust in her, she strives to give them the best customer service possible and to exceed their expectations.

In her spare time, Becky is an avid wildlife photographer and enjoys time with her family and two Goldendoodles, Tyson and Godiva.