As a style, contemporary decor and furniture layouts stem from the German Bauhaus School of Design & Scandinavian Modern Design. The design is characterized by the colors, finishes, and structure of the space or object. Modern styles tend to be confused with modern styles and often times you will discover the phrases are used interchangeably. This is a frequent mistake. By definition, modern describes " of the moment" items. It is lively and ever-changing. Modern describes styles developed from the mid-century.
Modern furnishings and light utilize natural substances and neutral colors. Given the neutrality of the colors used, the design of the item itself, whether it's a walnut coffee table or an arc floor lamp takes centre stage. Contemporary designs are much more liberal in their use of color. Sleek polished finishes, chrome, and stainless steel, in particular, are most popular among contemporary decor. You'll often find sofas and end tables accented with smooth polished surfaces, another indicator that the piece probably falls into the contemporary as opposed to the modern category.
Materials and finishes in modern pieces produce a warm feeling rather than the cold and at times sterile impression left by contemporary products. Finish is particularly important when selecting modern lighting bits. The end often reveals whether the fixture is truly contemporary or modern. Contemporary furniture and light fittings typically boast angular shapes with long low lines. This contrasts greatly with all traditional styles that use softer, rounder shapes. These bits are usually considered announcement bits as they call attention for their sharp and sleek designs.
To summarize, contemporary and modern styles tend to be confused with one another, but they're distinctly different. Contemporary designs are regulated by fewer rules compared to contemporary ones. Modern bits give off a trendy, glossy feel while most other styles give off a type of warmth. When shopping for modern furnishings and lighting pay close attention to the lines and layout of the item as well as the color. These details will constantly give you insight into whether a piece is truly contemporary or contemporary.