Contemporary and Modern Design Ideas

2 min read

Contemporary is a design style that began as an outgrowth of the Modern design movement of around 1940-1970. It brings all the simple, minimalist and curves in furniture, lamps, tables and geometric patterns into the bright, colorful 1970s. Contemporary design is still extremely popular in furniture and home furnishings and new designs are ongoing today.

The Difference between Contemporary and Other Modern Styles

Most homeowners don’t give home design much of a thought until it comes time to decorate their first home or purchase their first set of furniture. You then start noticing that there are certain looks in furniture that you really enjoy. Modern and Contemporary are two similar furniture design styles that most people today really like.

Modern design began around 1940 when the Danish Modern designers started to take hold in popular home design. Their designs focused on practical home furnishings and used a lot of molded plywood, clean, simple lines and geometric patterns. It was common to see new uses for leather, glass, iron, chrome and steel in Modern tables and chairs. It was a wild new era where practicality and affordability ruled the home furnishings marketplace.

All things come and go and so did Modern design, however, it really didn’t go away. Around the 1970s it turned into the new, improved design era called Contemporary. Contemporary design added newer and updated designs to the Modern styles, but stayed true to the minimalist nature of the movement. Now, there are more curves, more materials and brighter, fun colors to the simplicity of the furniture.

How to Start Designing Contemporary

Most people are on a tight budget, it is just part of the times. It isn’t possible for the average person to suddenly shell out many thousands of dollars in home furnishings. You don’t have to do your entire home all at once. You can chip away at it, piece by piece.

First start with only one room, preferably the room you spend the most time in. Find a particular spot to start. Maybe you want to make a dramatic change with an entire wall. You can find a geometric Contemporary wallpaper to put up on one wall in the room. This small step can dramatically change the look of the room without doing anything else. Another very large effect can be obtained by adding a large rug to the room.

Next, in your first room that has become the make-over project, you will want to purchase one furniture piece in Contemporary or in the Modern design movement. Pick a Contemporary sofa or chair, one you will sit in often. By buying a piece that you will be using daily, you will feel you are making a lot of progress because each and every day you get to enjoy it.

Design Ideas

It is difficult to give a lot of Contemporary ideas in one short article, but by starting with just one room it can make the job a lot easier. Focus your first efforts in one spot and buy Contemporary style furniture pieces that you will use often.


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