When it comes to interior decorating and painting the rooms just right, many homeowners are drawn to a specific style; traditional, contemporary, modern, industrial, farm house, and so on. Where some like to stick to one particular theme, others will even mash it up to create their own unique blend. Despite the similarities between contemporary and modern décor, there are details that set them apart. Considering the possibilities, we at New York Painting Services would like to discuss modern versus contemporary design to help you on your interior decorating and painting project.
Modern House Interior Design Styles
Originating in the early 1900’s Europe, modern design style, along with the industrial style had begun. Followed by Scandinavian style techniques, the German Bauhaus School of Design were known to perfect the style. When the Europeans fled the continent and came to the United States at the beginning of WWII, modern interior design came with them. With wide-open rooms, clean lines and streamlined furnishings, clutter was not permitted. Simple curves, spacious living areas where furniture was practical, but sparse and accessories were kept to a minimum, modern style really took to hear the “less is more” motto.
Modern Interior Decorating Basics
1) Colors – White, predominately used followed closely in second with black, is frequently used to paints walls, as well as selected for the minimal accessories, appliances, and other practical applications
Red, yellow, blue, or the primary colors are used subtly, add light pops of brightness.
2) Flooring — Plain wood floors or carpeting along with concrete, linoleum, and granite are common modern style flooring options. Single colors or geometric patterns of rugs can break up the plain floor look, but for the modern motif, Oriental rugs need to be avoided and the use of rugs should be done sparingly.
3) Furnishings — Modern style furnishings are black or white lacquered finishes and glass table tops, metal furniture made of chrome or stainless steel. The upholstery is tone-on-tone color patterns or solid basic colors.
4) Walls — Generally, plain white walls are essential with modern design; to break up the plain, sterile feel; one wall can be painted in an accent color.
5) Window Treatments — Skip the window treatments in keeping with modern design. If you need to protect flooring and furnishings from direct sunlight and covering the windows is necessary, opt to use plain curtain panels or blinds; avoid fancy, frilly, or patterned applications.
Contemporary Interior Design Characteristics
Contemporary and modern design styles are not one in the same, with similarities, the distinction is still there. The similarities are features like the open floor plans, clean lines, and minimal clutter and “less is more” motto still applies. Contemporary styles, however, include softer lines and colors, along with the use of natural light.
Basics of Contemporary Interior Design Concepts
Colors — Contemporary color schemes can utilize the bright accents are permutable but must be kept to a minimum in conjunction with primary use of neutral colors such as cream, white, tan, beige, gray and brown.
Flooring — Wood, cement, stone or laminate, bare flooring coincides with contemporary design along with adding an area rug in a simple pattern. Neutral- solid colors and low piles wall-to-wall carpeting is acceptable.
Furnishings — Contemporary furnishings have smooth surfaces in light-colored woods, glass, nickel, stainless steel or chrome. Neutral colors and natural fabrics such as silk, cotton, linen, and wool in neutral colors, with the occasional accent piece in bold color or pattern can break up the simplicity.
Walls — In keeping with the contemporary design and neutral colors, the same still applies on the walls, with the occasional accent wall painted in a solid brighter color for contrast. If your wallpaper is your preference, the tone-on-tone patterned works as long as the pattern doesn’t dominate the room.
Window Treatments — Like modern design, the lack of window treatments is optimal, but if privacy and protection from direct sunlight is a concern, opt a solid, neutral color.