The Meaning of Modern AND Contemporary

By Christa Sorauf

We love a layered room that incorporates pieces from different decades because the visual tension makes the space so much more chic and interesting. So when we’re choosing these special pieces with clients, the question often comes up, what’s the difference between “modern” and “contemporary”?

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The easiest way to explain the difference is that contemporary furniture is a style of furniture that is currently being produced with the latest materials, styles and designs. Contemporary furniture can only exist in the here and now. Yesterday’s contemporary, such as pieces from Milo Baughman and Vladimir Kagan, are actually today’s vintage and you can see the resurgence of their popularity in today’s interiors.

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Modern furniture is a style that describes a time specific design connected to the age of machination, typically from 1920-1950, or anything from the 20th Century. The simple, functional design breaks away from the traditional style of the pre-Industrial Revolution…

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The difference between these styles is often confusing because many elements of modern design are also popular in contemporary design, and you can see the influence of one of our favorite designers Milo Baughman everywhere right now…


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Another favorite is Vladimir Kagan and you can see his influence in many of today’s silhouettes as well. He’s still creating his sinuous sofas today for the likes of Tom Ford, who has used them in boutiques…

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One of our favorite furniture partners is Worlds Away as they interpret modern furniture in such a fresh way…

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 7.37.58 PMOne of our favorite things to do is to hunt for these timeless treasures and we’re constantly bringing new and upcycled pieces in the studio, so if you would like to add a modern or contemporary spin to your rooms, just stop on by!


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