Modern design is a designated time period, from the early to mid-20th century. It originated at the turn of the century, with roots in both German and Scandinavian design, and really gained popularity throughout the first half of the century.
Both mid-century modern (popular in the ’40s-’60s), and post-modern design evolved from modern design. “Modernism was the future in the early midcentury. It harnessed the capability of machinery to offer affordable housing and furniture solutions to the masses. This informed architecture, interiors, furnishings, and art,” says Los Angeles based interior designer, Natalie Myers.
Contemporary design, on the other hand, refers to the style of the present day. It’s difficult to pin down and define, because contemporary design is constantly evolving. It’s a reflection of the now, and will likely look very different 50 years from now than it does today.
“What may be considered contemporary now could be a fleeting trend, or may make a lasting impression that will transcend this era,” says interior designer Katie Hodges. Read on to discover what modern design actually is.