Design Ideas

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary interior design?

When you’re renovating and redesigning your home with travertine tile, you may be looking for styles of interior design to complement the natural stone. In your search, you might have come across descriptors like “modern” and “contemporary,” which would seem to relate to the latest, cutting-edge decor.

However, modern and contemporary design are two very different things. While both of them would complement your new travertine tiles, you may want to read up on each style before you take the leap and use one to influence your design scheme. Here’s what you need to know.

Modern design
According to the Design Shuffle blog, Modern design relates to a specific time period that took place from the 1920s to the 1970s. It’s sometimes called Mid-Century Modern design. When you hear the word “retro” used to describe decor, it likely originated in this period.

There are many characteristics of Modern design, which makes sense considering it lasted for several decades. The most notable trait of Modern design is its tendency to favor clean, sparse interiors that aren’t full of too many decorations.

Instead of frills and fuss, Modern design focuses mainly on natural materials like wood, leather, teak, linen and natural stone like travertine. The beauty of these materials is enough to make any Modern room interesting and attractive – no bells and whistles needed.

However, while natural materials are prominent, Modern design also features materials like plastic, molded plywood and polished metal, noted the Relish Interiors blog. These manufactured goods were new on the scene when the Modern style was just beginning, and homeowners were excited to incorporate them into new trends at the time.

Lastly, Modern design usually involves white walls and open floor plans that give an airy feeling. Neutral colors are often favored, but brighter splashes of hues show up here and there for intrigue.

Contemporary design
If you’re truly looking for cutting-edge, trendy, current and ever-evolving decor to complement your travertine tile, Contemporary design has you covered. According to Design Shuffle, the Contemporary style tends to take conventional designs and make them cleaner, more linear and minimalistic.

Contemporary rooms are often pared down to just the basics, which leaves plenty of opportunity for showcasing your crisp travertine floors. Plastic, metal and glass are prominent in Contemporary design, which can benefit from the naturalness of stone.

Texture and color also play big roles in Contemporary homes, with many homeowners taking risks to figure out which materials and shades pair well together. Oftentimes, the majority of a room is furnished in neutral colors, but people choose one or two bright accent colors for a bit of pop.

Your design
As you can now tell, Modern and Contemporary design are two very different approaches to decorating, but either one would work perfectly in a home equipped with travertine floors, countertops, backsplashes or showers.

Depending on which style suits your tastes, you can pick furniture and design features that will transform your home into something that’s unique, focused and truly your own.

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