How much is a “contemporary” design different from a “modern” one? And what is actually a “traditional” design for our home rooms? Is it really so important to define a proper terminology, or actually what we want in the end is to create the most appropriate home environment while our need for style is appeased?
Actually there’s quite a long (and never ending) controversy on what’s truly “modern” vs “contemporary” but we can give you a few advises on how to choose the right design for your own home… whatever its name is going to be!
Contemporary home design
Contemporary architecture, regardless if it’s about your bedroom, kitchen or living room, is every form of art that’s being produced right now. Although many other modern designs ideated in the 70s may look like futuristic enough to appear very similar to contemporary ones, actually they’re still too vintage to be called this way.
Today, our actual “contemporary” design is a mix of both traditional and modern, and it’s mostly focused on practicality and edginess.
Shiny and smooth surfaces like steel and glass are mixed together, and most shapes tend to be rounded and somewhat bulkier, often employing subtly camouflaged lightning effects, like lights coming from the ground under the bed or just above it instead of modern and traditional lamplights.
Contemporary home rooms tend to be more solid, with little whitewash that instead leaves many empty spaces like large wide windows or glass panels. Many natural materials like wood or ceramics are blended with more “industrial” ones like metal or plastic, but what does really matter is practicality more than exteriority.
Modern home design
Modern design usually refers to a specific era of the mid twentieth century, although it usually refers to the first age of full mass-production of furniture pieces and machination (generally 1920s to 1950s).
Modern design is quite different from contemporary one especially about the choice of materials: plastic and metal usually compose the main body of furniture, which is strangely mixed up and decorated by natural materials. Straight, clean shapes with sharp or curiously twisted edges generate strange items that will often provide unsuspecting comfort when you try them, as this is an era of great experimentation. Great white spaces, lots of stucco and whitewash are often employed with strange and unexpected asymmetries. Colors tend to be quite bright, and the preferred lights are natural and standing ones: a wide window or a very tall lamplight is preferred to the complexity of light spots typical of contemporary design.
Traditional home design
Traditional design employs strong, massive furniture, with bold furnishing and rich decorations.
Color tones are usually neutral but intense, like gold, brown, black, beige or dark green.
Lots of embellishment often weight down beds and furniture, like sculpted posts, claw foots chairs, or baroque armoires.
Most traditional pieces are inspired by older European designs (from 18th an 19th century), and the spaces are usually cluttered down with several pieces of furniture and accessories, like abat-jour, carpets and painting on the walls.
Walls are often covered with wallpapers and the preferred material is wood. Light is soft and sometimes oppressing, with yellow lamps, hanging chandeliers and heavy curtains stopping natural light in order to create a cozy and secluded environment.