Design-savvy friends rejoice. We’re here to clarify what defines contemporary versus modern. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they are two distinct design eras. To confuse you further, modern is never contemporary, yet, contemporary can be modern. (More on that later.) .
So what is Modern and why do we love it?
Modern is a precursor to contemporary design. The modernist movement, which began in the late 1800s, produced the modern style we know and adore today. At the height of the modern art movement—think German Bauhaus Schools of Design, Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll—conceived modern.
An emphasis on form with function defines modern. Natural materials, neutral-hues, earth tones, simple shapes and sexy silhouettes are some of the unique characteristics of the well-loved aesthetic.
Modern then morphed into mid-century modern (the 1950s, 1960s) which is still alive and well in Denver, especially in a neighborhood like Krisana Park, and continues to be an inspiration of design today. Which brings us to contemporary.