Contemporary interior design is a sort of design that was popular in the 1970s, around the same time that postmodernism rose in popularity. This design was originally a mixture of styles before it became known. Contemporary interior design also borrowed some elements from modernity and postmodernism. It collected ideas from many other styles such as Art Deco, Deconstruction, Futurism, and many more.

However, contemporary interior design is constantly changing, and with each passing decade, today’s décor trends will always remain contemporary. It is not necessarily related to a specific period in the same way a modern style is. Instead, it is an ever-evolving technique that reflects what is happening today.

What is Modern Interior Design?

Modern interior design is one of the design and decoration styles of the Modernism movement that began in the late nineteenth century. Born by the German Bauhaus Schools of Design and the focus of Scandinavian design on simplicity and function, the modern interior design style is very old. In general, modern interior design style decor is associated with the beginning to the mid-20th century from the 20th century to the 1950s.

The modern style eventually shifted from mid-century modern (the fifties and sixties) and postmodern (the seventies and eighties), while mid-century modern closely resembles modern interior design by strategically adding splashes of bright colors.

Contemporary Interior Design vs. Modern Interior Design

The contemporary interior design style is similar to modern interior design in many aspects, but they also differ in other aspects. In this paragraph, you will learn about the similarities between the two methods and their differences.


There are similar characteristics in both styles, as this is probably where a lot of confusion stems from when trying to differentiate between them. Both kinds tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines and artistic flair, bringing a sense of comfort and tranquillity into a very inviting room.

Additionally, neither style favors ornate designs or heavy elements. However, contemporary design spaces can repeatedly bend this rule as trends change. In both styles, the ottoman sofas and chairs have exposed legs. In addition, contemporary interior design and modern interior design tend to attract reflective surfaces such as metal and exposed glass. We’ll also find plenty of exposed wood on both models, from structural beams to raw wood tables with metal bases.


As there are many similarities between contemporary interior design and modern interior design, there are also some differences between them. Contemporary design often sticks to a more rigorous black, white, and grey style on the color level. If color is added, the color is usually a pure, saturated tone such as true red, indigo, or orange. In the modern design, the colors are earthy and feature shades such as rust, turquoise, brown, and olive green.

The contemporary interior design style is different in many aspects, like the presence of decorative pieces and the tendency of the color palette in the contemporary design towards contrast, with a lot of black and white and a lot of curves. 

On the other hand, modern interior design tends to be strict through functional décor pieces. The color palette tends to be natural and neutral colors. It is characterized by intense and clear lines that make it adaptable to the latest trends. Modern interior design often features wood and earthen elements.

5 Elements of Contemporary interior design

All the modern contemporary interior design ideas are based on some essential elements and details that make a distinctive identity for this type of interior design. 

  1. Colors in contemporary modern design

As we mentioned earlier, modern contemporary interior design tends to use black and white, as they are the two primary colors in this type of design. Still, it also accepts many other colors, but it does not tend to change in the degrees of one color and always prefers the use of sharp colors.

  1. Lines and spaces in contemporary modern design

Lines and spaces are among the most important factors in contemporary interior design. It does not matter the shape of the lines used, whether horizontal, longitudinal, straight, or curved, but what matters is that these lines are clear in the design regardless of their type or shape. As for the spaces, the contemporary interior design aims to create many open spaces that have a significant role in creating a comfortable environment and a distinctive vision.

  1. Furniture in contemporary interior design

Contemporary interior design tends to the simple furniture with a unique identity that makes it a favorite of many people. Furniture in contemporary interior design is characterized by sharp colors, especially white and black. It tends to be based on correct geometric shapes, while curved shapes are not preferred, unlike the case in the line and spaces item. These rules include the decoration of modern interior design dining rooms, bedroom contemporary interior design, and all other rooms. Moreover, you can find many sofas, chairs, or beds that perfectly comply with the rules of contemporary interior design.

  1. The floor in contemporary interior design

Wood, tile, or plastic floors must be bare and smooth in a contemporary home. Choose commercial grades if you need carpet for sound control or warmth. Plain or angular shapes and rugs add color and texture.

  1. Lightning in contemporary interior design

Lighting systems and recessed lighting can aid in illuminating a wall. Consider implementing ambient lighting or indirect lighting in house renovations and new construction. On the light fittings, use color and metallic components. Light an artwork, poster, or print using spotlights or can lighting. These will aid in drawing attention to the sections you wish to highlight. They may be shown at eye level by mounting contemporary sculptures or framed paintings on a solid column or pedestal.

If you want to learn more about home decorations, you can read our other blog posts. Here are some of them: 8 Eco-Friendly Home Upgrade Ideas, “12 Most Popular Interior Design Styles” and Best Home Office Décor Ideas for Remote Workers

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