Contemporary is one of those design styles that’s easy to throw about in conversation, but difficult to pin down. It’s a lot of things to a lot of people and, sometimes, it seems like there’s no common agreement about what it actually means.

Part of the problem is that it’s often mixed up another school of design known as modernism. It’s an easy mistake to make, seeing as “modern” and “contemporary”, as words, basically mean the same thing. But “modern” design isn’t modern at all. Modernism was popular back in the early to mid-20th century, and it had a well-defined look based on the ideas of minimalism, function over form, and a fusion of industrial and futuristic aesthetics.

Contemporary design, on the other hand, is contemporary to the present day. It’s what we use now. It can be confusing since we borrow so many ideas from other trends and other eras, but if you think of it as a collection of styles rather than a single look and as a reflection of our diverse 21st-century thinking and taste rather than strict design guidelines, then it starts to make sense!

Want to know what we’re all into right now? All you need to do is look at contemporary design. Want your home to be up to date? Get started with this guide!

Contemporary Exterior Design Style Infographic

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