I’m not quite sure, yet, if we’ll be able to tell much of a difference between modern vs. contemporary style, but let’s give it a try nonetheless.  Modern, as with contemporary, begins with a neutral color palette.  It is characterized by strong geometric shapes and asymmetry.

Finishes should be smooth, shiny, or sleek.  Concrete, granite, and linoleum are common flooring options, though this picture displays a light wood floor.  Stainless steel and chrome accents are common.

This style, unlike its contemporary cousin, strays somewhat from the clean-cut lines.  The backwash is this kitchen is more distracting than we might expect from a contemporary-style kitchen.

Curves seem generally more accepted.  There is less emphasis on traditional-style furniture (i.e., a standard, everyday couch), as in the bench-like seating above.  Some living rooms just have large pillows on the floor for seating.

Some additional research, however, showed how the modern style emphasizes functionality above aesthetics while the contemporary style seeks to unite the two by creating a symbiotic relationship with nature and natural elements.  Despite the name of this style, it has actually been around for nearly a century.

Here’s a modern bedroom:

And a contemporary bedroom:

I definitely admit: I am unable to see a significant difference.  But there is a general atmospheric difference that I can’t quite pin.  But we’ll leave it at that for now.  Suffice it to say, contemporary is the newer style of the two and neither is something that I would likely consider in my personal home.  It’s good to know about the existence of these styles, however, since they are widely used.


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