How to Distinguish Contemporary or Modern Design Furniture

Minimalism concept becomes a trend recently and its effects can be seen on interior design as well. Bright open space, sleek furniture, and crisp ambiance are the aesthetics related to that concept that people fancy nowadays. 

That refers to a more specific interior style called modern and contemporary interior design.

People often think that contemporary and modern design are similar so that those terms are perceived interchangeably. 

It is important to know deeper about those two, particularly if you want to implement it in your house. 

Let’s take a look at what makes contemporary or modern design furniture different and the characteristics of each design.

Contemporary design furniture definition

The name of contemporary defines as “now” or what is happening recently. Contemporary design furniture refers to the type of furniture which is widely-known at the moment. 

This design is also closely related to ever-changing and growing. Hence, every furniture that becomes trend in those concepts is considered to be a contemporary design.

This design can be said as dynamic as it shifts as the idea of design shifts. However, the highlight of the design is the cool shades, the updated materials and appearance of furniture, as well as cutting-edge that is widely known recently.

Modern design furniture

Although both contemporary and modern brings the minimalist feel but modern design is specifically denoted to an ear that has passed. This design refers to a past that is opposite to a contemporary. 

Modern design aims to a particular design in the period between the ‘20s to’80s. Modern design furniture is furniture that receives a great influence from the modern art movement.

It is associated with a specific period that will never repeat. Furniture that brings modern design usually comes with bold lines and primary colors. Moreover, it is commonly made from wooden material and sticks tight to the symmetrical design.   

Clean design furniture

Furniture is considered to have a clean design if it comes with smooth and crisp lines as well as carrying less disruption or blending on its lines or its surface and hues. 

Instead of comes with round or textured edges, this kind of furniture is available in very straight edges that represent the best of minimalism.

Clean design furniture provide a strong and sharp look that gives different look and feel from other elements in where it is placed. Furniture with a clean design is also known to be more functional as it receives less decoration and clutter. 

The clean line furniture is one of the general elements that can be found in contemporary or modern design furniture so that both of them are often mistreated to be similar.

Contemporary furniture design characteristics

If you still have difficulties to distinguish contemporary furniture with its other minimalist counterparts, knowing about its characteristics will help. 

Contemporary design has specific characteristics that make it different from other designs, even those who bring a similar concept.

Like what has been stated previously, contemporary furniture today has simple and clean lines to highlight comfort when being used. 

Hence, you will likely find a furniture piece with smooth lines and surfaces in neutral hues or cabinets from dark woods with glossy surfaces instead of furniture with trims that provide a luxurious or curvaceous look.

Aside from straight lines and neutral hues, it also brings minimal decorations and embellishment that pretty different from traditional or classical furniture. 

The simplicity utilized on its lines, color, and decoration creates a modest appearance of furniture that becomes the highlight of contemporary design.

The characteristic of contemporary even can be spotted in the seating area as sofas and couches come with square-edges. 

This look is quite similar to modern couches, as the bottom part of chairs raised above the floor and paired with skinny angled and metal cylindrical legs. They appear without frills and skirts so see beneath them is eligible.

When talking about its appearance, chairs and sofas in contemporary design utilize bare and bold four-sided shapes. They are created in dark or neutral colors and cover with leather or fabrics with light textures.

Another special characteristic that can help you to distinguish whether it is contemporary or modern design furniture is sustainability. 

Change on climate and environment nowadays has become a serious issue that makes people more aware of it so they try to put sustainability as quality in fashion including furniture design.

Unlike modern furniture that was created in the period when sustainability wasn’t something big, contemporary furniture design often uses solid hardwood material that is considered to be the top sustainability standards. 

Even the production process is conducted with a zero-waste manufacturing facility. Hence, it is familiar to see some existing furniture parts are reused or recycled to be installed as components on the new furniture.

Contemporary furniture is closely related to the use of natural things either on its material or texture. Seating furniture is likely used upholstery in natural colors such as black, white, or shades of brown. 

Even the upholstery is commonly made from natural fabrics. The entertainment area appears to be a long, low, and sleek combined with minimalist shelving on the walls that are often made from wooden material.

Lighting fixtures in contemporary style are usually metallic or thin wooden track to meet both functionality and style. For the bedrooms, contemporary cannot be separated from the use of the platform or low-slung beds.

The characteristic of contemporary furniture even can be spotted on its color as it uses neutral shades, black and whites, and touches of natural colors, like brown shades. When designing a space in contemporary style, people likely will use chairs with peach or salmon color to make it more appealing. 

Textured treatment for flooring such as a natural fabricated rug serves as a good complement to this design. A home with an open floor plan and spacious ambiance is perfect to be equipped with contemporary furniture as they are easy in maintenance.

Best place to buy affordable modern furniture in US

There are countless options of furniture stores in US both online and offline that offer you satisfying prices. 

However, if you want to rely on a trustworthy seller, it is important to take into account worldwide furniture stores. If it comes to affordable furniture stores, it is impossible not to put IKEA on your list.

This Swedish home store has been widely known so far to provide a wide variety of choices of on-trend furniture that can be obtained on a budget. Even this store has its fans as furniture here is perfect to be part of a growing family.

Sellers can get everything they need on IKEA, starting from living room furniture to your dream bedroom sets. 

They also come with numerous options for kitchen cabinets and what makes people like shopping here is a discount for many home decorations. 

Hence, if you plan to get contemporary or modern design furniture in US, you had better explore IKEA.

Not only contemporary and modern design, other minimalist furniture also can be found here such as cottage industry design. 

Even the ones offered in this store come with have both luxurious and unique look that makes any room more appealing anywhere they are placed. 

IKEA is known for its better discount so you should take it into account as you might get a discount for the furniture you prefer, too.

Mid century modern furniture

As numerous home designs stick to minimalist concept, people often mistreat one another. Even mid-century modern who are often mistreated as modern have differences. 

The term ‘mid-century modern’ is rather difficult to define but it is a term used to represents the design of furniture or accessories created in the mid-century period.

The design got influence from Bauhaus architects and designers who moved from German to America during World War II and begin the design movement in that country. 

Instead of receiving any design cues from the past, it is more characterized by simplicity and functionality.

Although there is still debate on when the period began, it roughly ranged between the mid-30s to mid-60s. 

Mid-century furniture gives looks that people are craving even today such as clean lines and gentle organic curves. It uses different materials from the newest one like plastic to traditional ones like solid wood. 

Not only materials, when it comes to color, mid-modern design also has a vast range of options, starting from neutral to bold colors. Graphic colors of black and white are popularly used in this design too.

Final verdict

Often thought to be the same, contemporary and modern design is actually different. The similarities found in both designs do not mean that they are the same because they are made in different periods. 

Both furniture designs stick to minimalist concepts that are indicated by clean lines, natural materials, and neutral colors that make them look alike.

However, knowing deeper about their characteristics will help you differentiate contemporary or modern design furniture. 

It is because there are characteristics in contemporary furniture that cannot be found in modern ones, especially when it comes to the quality of sustainability.