Modern and contemporary designs are two decorating styles that have steadily increased in popularity throughout the 21st century. Although these two styles differ in some of their most prominent features such as color, texture and shape, they both follow one rule: sleek simplicity.
About Modern Design
Scandinavian design birthed the concept of modern design as we know it over 100 years ago.1 What we’ve come to think of as “modern,” is actually pretty old. In Scandinavian and modern décor, you can find straight lines, natural colors and legless furniture.
About Contemporary Design
In contrast, contemporary designs often use curves, reflective surfaces and bold colors. Over time, these styles have borrowed elements from each other in order to create futuristic living rooms that favor uncluttered, clean spaces.
Mixing Contemporary and Modern Into Your Home
The Lewis model by TRUmh
In the past, contemporary and modern living rooms seemed cold and upscale, making them impractical for the average family’s home. Today, it’s possible to easily create a warm, modern and luxurious living room using Scandinavian furniture and contemporary colors. And you can do it on a budget!
The key to making a living room modern and still warm is understanding the key contemporary elements that complement each other. Then you’ll be able to create a stylish, yet comfortable and affordable living room.
We’ve compiled a list of these key contemporary elements that make up a great 21st century modern living space! Rather than seeking out expensive Scandinavian and contemporary pieces, get to know our list and you’ll be able to decorate any living space for a fraction of the cost!
Modern Living Room Colors
Colors for modern living rooms tend to be natural. Think browns, beiges and greys when you’re shopping for large statement pieces of your room such as couches, coffee tables, paint colors and rugs.
The Modern Mod model by Marlette
As the lines have blurred between modern and contemporary design, it’s become increasingly common to add bolder colors into the mix. Don’t be afraid to add bright accent colors for throw pillows, blankets and artwork!
The Low Country model by Jeffrey Dungan
A key design element for creating a contemporary living room is exposed metals. These pieces can be lightweight and extremely affordable! Depending on the color scheme chosen, dark metals can stand alone as statement pieces or complement one another.
Look for metal chairs, sleek metal coffee tables or even metal wall pieces. Stainless steel appliances in kitchens are also a nice touch. Metals with the common minimalistic trends of modern design create a sleek, clean look!
Affordable Metal Decor Shopping Ideas:
The Enchantment model by Karsten
When you start to furnish your modern living room, first decide where you want to place one or two reflective pieces. You can easily decorate a small modern living room with reflective pieces to bounce light around the room and make it look bigger!
One aspect that can make or break a contemporary living space is the location of mirrors or large chrome lamps. If you choose more than one reflective piece, especially large pieces, keep them on opposite ends of the room so your guests don’t feel overwhelmed when you entertain. On the dining table above, the homeowner broke up reflective pieces with white vases!
Reflective Piece Shopping Ideas:
Picture by Monarch
When going modern, you have the option of choosing furniture with sharp angles or rounded edges. Be on the look-out for legs of coffee and end tables, couches and chairs that use these features!
The Dempsey model by TRUmh
With the right eye, you can mix and match straight and curved pieces, like the chairs in the dining room above, to create the ultimate contemporary living room.
Sleek Decor Shopping Ideas:
Picture from Flickr
Take modern decorating back to its roots by incorporating Scandinavian designs that helped birth the style. Scandinavian furniture can be spotted by its use of light wood tones, contrasting colors and slender legs.
Picture from Flickr
Introducing oak or maple wood in a bare bones chair or sleek coffee table is the perfect way to create a casual modern living space in your dream home!
Scandinavian Shopping Ideas:
Winslow model by Buccaneer
Get to know this list prior to shopping and designing and then you’ll be able to find key modern and contemporary pieces for any living room at a fraction of the price! Making a modern living room comfortable and affordable is totally possible if you know what to look for.
- Lee, Tonya. "Understanding Modern and Contemporary Design Styles." The Spruce. October 04, 2016. Accessed March 06, 2017. https://www.thespruce.com/modern-vs-contemporary-style-452465.
Topics Decor and Design