The Difference Between Modern and Contemporary Furniture

Most people think that the terms modern and contemporary designer sofas are one and the same thing. However, this is not the case. For starters, contemporary design keeps on changing. It is not static. On the other hand, the modern design is a style that was created between 1920’s and 1950’s. It is a static design.

Once you have a clear understanding of the difference between contemporary and modern, you will have an easy time understanding the modern and contemporary furniture difference.

The modern furniture styles are characterized by the clean, unadorned interior decors. The materials used are natural and include:

  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Teak
  • Linen
  • Molded plywood
  • Plastic
  • Polished metal

The modern furniture is also very open and raised a few inches off the floor to allow aeration. Presently, modern furniture is also referred to as retro.

On the other hand, contemporary furniture designs refer to the popularly used designs of the future. These designs are normally very eclectic. Contemporary borrows styles and pieces from different style eras. Most modern furniture designs are normally incorporated in contemporary designs. In many other cases, mill work and traditional moldings are also used in contemporary designs.

Some of the ways that a contemporary home design can look like include:

  • Putting large windows
  • Having odd or unique shapes
  • Designing an open plan house, e.t.c.

Some of the elements used for contemporary furniture are natural materials such as

  • Cedar
  • Stone
  • Fir

In a contemporary home, the key importance is comfort and sustainability. The finishing details are spotless. In about 10-20 years from now, something else will be considered as contemporary.


Modern is quiet and peaceful whereas contemporary is vibrant and attention seeking. When choosing a design, remember that you can use modern furniture designs in your contemporary furniture designs but not vice versa.

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