Contemporary-Modern Ideas for Small Apartments: Living Room Edition

by Beverly

There is a difference between ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ in the interior designing world

Modern Interior

Modern: This interior style derives itself from the modernism movement that started in the late 1800s that later morphed into the common ideas and images that we know and see today. The modern style, although called that is veritably very old and has been around for a long time. Commonly seen in offices.

A few main things to notice about the Modern interior style:

  • Clean and undecorated walls.
  • Prominent use of natural materials such as wool, wood, leather, linen, etc.
  • Furniture used is often very open and raised in design, giving off an airy ambiance.
  • Light and dark colors are used and manipulated to create contrast amongst elements in a room.
  • Naked floors are generally brought to the forefront when the use of rugs or any floor coverings are not present.
  • As a principle, colors are used in moderation.
  • Strong lines that highlight the neutral elements of an area can be interpreted as strict
  • Is often seen as cold due to its simplicity

Contemporary Interior

Contemporary: This interior style centers itself on the ever-developing designs, styles, and pieces of the current generation, and is very diverse. The contemporary style started evolving in the 1970s, taking components from different cultures and times in history to identify as its own. This resulted in the contemporary style being a mix of modernism, post-modernism, art deconstructivism, futurism, minimalism, and many more. The contemporary style is highly versatile and ever-changing.

A few main things to notice about the Contemporary interior style:

  • Existing and occurring designs; lots of repetition
  • Design changes and choices are endless.
  • Targets whatever the trends are today.
  • Welcomes curves and different shapes well.
  • Embraces the extreme characteristics in furniture and/or interior design as a whole that would typically be rejected for being too “weird”, “different”, or “ugly”.
  • Defies strong, disciplinarian styles like modern interior design.


While combining these two contrasting forms can produce a rather interesting alliance between the styles, modern and contemporary interior design have their similarities as well. Both embrace simplicity and orderly spaces, and commend velvety clean edges and artistic creativity.


Studio kitchen open mezzanine design white black © Ikéa





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