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Know the Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Style - Demanes Interiors

Know the Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Style

- September 27, 2017

Know the Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Style

When it comes to decorating, discover the basics of contemporary style.

When you are decorating your home, you should try to keep some sort of unifying style in mind to ensure a cohesive looking space. Perhaps you are thinking of a modern look, with the idea of creating a clean, updated look that reflects the, now trending, mid-century modern design style. Or what you really have in mind is a contemporary look. The mid-century modern style belongs to the period of the mid-1900s. Contemporary, as defined in the dictionary, means belonging to the present. In short, contemporary design is the design style of right here right now and is changing and evolving every day.

Mid-Century Modern Style

This style was created to bring order to the battered post-World War II era, cutting down profiles, employing simple materials and coordinating neutral tones with just a touch of color from an earth tone palette. This style borrowed from the era’s industrial emphasis on efficiency, utilitarianism and form meets function. The guiding principle of mid-century modern style was ageless beauty freed from the decorative trappings of earlier schools of design.

Materials of this period included steel, molded plywood and plastics that lent themselves to mass production. This meant that many modernist furnishings were affordable to just about anyone and ensured the widespread popularity of the modern style.

Example of a Mid-Century Modern dining room


Contemporary Style

By its very nature of immediacy, contemporary style is difficult to pinpoint, which gives you a lot of creative freedom. However, if too many choices make your task seem overwhelming, you can tap into some current trends as guidelines for your home transformation:

  • Clean, angular lines
  • Materials such as glass, metals, stone
  • Earth tones and neutrals
    • Gray, Black, Brown, Beige, Earth tones such as deep oranges, greens, and yellows
  • Sunlit spaces
  • Lush textures
    • Plush carpeting (rugs), throw blankets, a variety of throw pillows to build dimension
  • Natural accessories
    • Plants, stone and glass accents, are depicting nature
  • Vivid accents
    • Statement art pieces, brightly colored accessories
  • Large, clutter-free atmosphere
  • A sense of serenity
    • Arrange furniture in a manner that allows for socializing and interaction
    • Do not arrange furniture where an individual’s back it to the door

Example of Contemporary dining room

Combine Elements of Contemporary and Mid-Century Modern

Resist the urge to be too theme-y. Sticking to strict style rules restricts your ability to be creative. Mix your wood tones and combine different furniture textures and styles. Our professional opinion is to stick to a neutral color palette and bring in color through accessories. Therefore, you can change out accessories in your space depending on the season or time of year without breaking the bank. Bring in touches of the natural world through plants, wood, and sunlight to create a healthy feeling home.

Example of mixing the two design styles in one dining room

Get More Ideas and Design Tips

Demanes Galleries are your source for creative contemporary furnishings and design ideas in the Peoria, Ill., region. Contact us today or stop by to explore the latest trends in home decorating.



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