The Best Design for Space – Modern vs. Contemporary

Often the terms modern and contemporary are used interchangeably. In some contexts, they could pass for synonyms, but there is a difference between modern interior design spaces and contemporary design in interior design. Modern designs refer to ideas of an era that has passed. Contemporary interior design is more expansive and refers to design ideas of a past period and ideas for the future. To decide which of the two works best for you, here are a few pointers to consider:

Individual taste

Since each of the two design styles’ main features varies, sometimes individual preference is what matters. The aesthetic with each design style goes from materials used to the color palette and sometimes even the furniture layout and decor pieces. None is superior to the other, but one may be more appealing to the eye than the eye, depending on what you like.

Purpose of the Room

In a residential space, individuals are more inclined to modern style living as it feels more warm and homely. Modern rooms experiment more with color and allow you to switch up decor pieces for a new refreshed look as you please. In commercial space, offices, or maybe a home library, a contemporary design style is a good option. It not only looks and feels professional but is also a timeless way to decorate spaces, making them functional and visually appealing in years to come.


If you are on a tight budget, modern interior design may be a more suitable choice. This is because many decor pieces suit this interior design style without breaking the bank. Simple furniture accents, plants, and decor items are available affordably and elevate a room without necessarily looking cheap if you shop for unique items. Contemporary design style incorporates more things built to last and tend to be at a higher price point. However, once you buy, they are one-time investments that will serve you well and will not need replacing in a long time.


If you already have an on-going theme in your space, then it could help you choose between the two. Look around your room and determine which design style pieces you have more of and consider it your theme, then invest in other complementary elements to go in line with the same from then on. It is an excellent way to start with what you already have. For more info on modern and contemporary styles you can check out Tylko’s guide.