Home
Fact-checked

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How Do I Mix Modern and Contemporary Furniture?

Mixing modern and contemporary furniture is an artful balance of clean lines and functional beauty. Start by choosing a neutral color palette, then blend sleek modern pieces with the fluid shapes of contemporary design. Remember, the key is cohesion, not uniformity. Want to create a space that feels both timeless and on-trend? Let's explore how to achieve that perfect harmony in your home.
J. Beam
J. Beam

For those who struggle with a sense of design and lack any knowledge of design history, it can be difficult to uncover a design style, let alone mix design styles. When considering mixing modern and contemporary furniture, it may be easier if a grasp of the different meanings of each style can be obtained. The problem with this is that in some respects, there may not be mutually exclusive styles and in others, they are very different in concept. The difference between modern and contemporary furniture can indeed be the difference between what was once modern and what is considered to be presently modern. Further, there is also a design style referred to as modern-contemporary.

Contemporary furniture can refer to a collection or group of pieces that are from the same era. For example, 1950s contemporary furniture or pieces that were considered modern and contemporary furniture in the 1950s. When mixing modern and contemporary furniture, the design style may be referred to as eclectic. However, if all the components of a design scheme are from the present era, this style may be referred to as modern-contemporary.

Open concepts can mix modern appliances with more traditional furniture.
Open concepts can mix modern appliances with more traditional furniture.

In the event that modern and contemporary furniture is being used to achieve an eclectic style, it is easiest to mix the furniture pieces according to basic design rules. Modern furniture is often marked by very clean, deliberate lines and a combination of muted and vibrant colors. Modern furniture works well in open space architecture and may be used to create minimalistic impact while still being part of the overall design. To mix modern and contemporary furniture, use pieces that have similar lines, wood tones or colors. Always keep in mind the traffic flow of the room as well as the overall visual impact.

Some interior designers specialize in modern, minimalist home interiors that emphasize monochromatic decor.
Some interior designers specialize in modern, minimalist home interiors that emphasize monochromatic decor.

In an eclectic design scheme, pieces are meant to complement or harmonize with one another. Avoid mixing warm and cool colors and wood tones as well as contrasting patterns and textures. The goal of mixing modern and contemporary furniture is usually cohesiveness, especially in open concept floor plans where several “rooms” may adjoin one another. Keep in mind that period contemporary furniture is not the same as traditional furniture, in that traditional furniture is considered “classic” and the period of its design may not be easily identifiable.

Contemporary furniture can refer to a collection or group of pieces that are from the same era.
Contemporary furniture can refer to a collection or group of pieces that are from the same era.

For those who have a flair for decorating and design, it may be easier to create a mixture of furniture styles. Ignoring the basic “rules” of decorating and design can result in success for those who are able to visualize the end result. As an example, if you are able to place a clean-lined antique table amidst a modern living room arrangement, the impact can be quite appealing. Even if you don’t have a particular gift for decorating and design, experimenting with various combinations and arrangements of contemporary furniture and modern pieces may very well result in a pleasing presentation.

If all the components of a design scheme are from the present era, this style may be referred to as modern-contemporary.
If all the components of a design scheme are from the present era, this style may be referred to as modern-contemporary.

To get additional ideas for combining modern and contemporary furniture, pick up decorator magazines and books from the store or library. Identify modern-contemporary styles that appeal to your senses and attempt to replicate them in your own space. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various colors and color combinations — especially when using the characteristic colors of modern furniture in black, white or natural colors as a base.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Open concepts can mix modern appliances with more traditional furniture.
      By: pics721
      Open concepts can mix modern appliances with more traditional furniture.
    • Some interior designers specialize in modern, minimalist home interiors that emphasize monochromatic decor.
      By: victor zastol'skiy
      Some interior designers specialize in modern, minimalist home interiors that emphasize monochromatic decor.
    • Contemporary furniture can refer to a collection or group of pieces that are from the same era.
      By: Mihalis A.
      Contemporary furniture can refer to a collection or group of pieces that are from the same era.
    • If all the components of a design scheme are from the present era, this style may be referred to as modern-contemporary.
      By: Photographee.eu
      If all the components of a design scheme are from the present era, this style may be referred to as modern-contemporary.