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Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different

Contemporary and Modern styles, while often used interchangeably, are different concepts. Contemporary refers to a look that is trending with today’s popular standards – basically the opposite of retro. A home that is done up in a contemporary style today, might not be considered “contemporary” in a few decades. The key to a contemporary design: less is more. Pick smooth profiles over elaborated ornaments; solid, subtle patterns over colourful prints; and keep accessories to a minimal.

Modernism, on the other hand, is a more distinctive style that points to designs of the 1920s-50s, aka retro. “Modern” homes have a prominent use of natural materials like wood, leather, polished metal and plastic. Elements adds to an airy feel: white walls, sofas raised off the floor, and neutral colours.

Check out these six homes that illustrate the differences:

Modern: Common features of modern furniture are clean lines, geometric forms, rich colours, and tapered legs. Tip: Make it quirky when by mixing vintage-inspired pieces with contemporary ones.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: Chapter B
Location: Bukit Merah View

Contemporary: The current contemporary trend features a mixture of design styles, bold colours, and striking shapes.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: IdeasXChange
Location: Chai Chee

Modern: The sprightly Peranakan floor tiles brings life to the no-frills and functional cabinets which was popular in the 1930s.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: The 80's Studio
Location: Hougang

Contemporary: Glossy laminates and an all-white-so-bright concept gives this kitchen a contemporary edge.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: Ted ID
Location: Clementi Avenue

Modern: Keep bedroom interiors open and simple with lots of day light, and add visual texture through natural materials like wood to inject warmth.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: The Scientist
Location: Bukit View

Contemporary: While some may find the contemporary style slightly stark, others are attracted to the it’s timeless and adaptable appeal.

Contemporary vs Modern Decor: Why They Are Different
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Interior designer: Hue Concept
Location: Punggol Drive


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