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What Is Contemporary Furniture Design?
Contemporary furniture is ever-changing; by its very nature, it is always ‘of the moment’. This type of design never stands still and is almost a living entity, moving on as surely as day changes to night.
Modern v contemporary
Many people believe that modern and contemporary design is the same thing; in fact, this is not the case. Whilst contemporary design is an ever-evolving entity, modern furniture refers to a design style that was created between the 1920s and the 1950s.
When it comes to interior design, ‘modern’ refers to what is known as mid-century modern. This type of furniture is recognisable due to its clean and unadorned design. Mid-century modern is defined predominantly by its use of natural materials such as linen, teak, leather and wood, and the likes of polished metal, plastic and plywood.
Modern interiors may often be referred to as retro these days, whilst contemporary design and contemporary furniture looks to the present rather than the past. By definition, contemporary means something that belongs to the existing time. This means that contemporary furniture is used or is popular right now.
An eclectic mix
For this reason, contemporary furniture design can result in an eclectic mix of pieces. Trends and tastes can change quickly and designers can borrow styles and pieces from all sorts of different eras.
Having said that, contemporary furniture does not have to refer to pieces that have just been designed; for example, inspiration for contemporary design is often taken from what was known as the modern era.
More on contemporary design
Contemporary furniture designers typically make use of features from other styles, such as Romanesque or gothic.
In its basic form, the term refers to furniture being the opposite of traditional pieces, with items usually displaying clean lines and an unsurprisingly unchallenging colour palette. Creams, whites and light blues, along with accents such as red and green, are common, as are designs to create an uncluttered, soft and simple look.
The nature of contemporary design means that what was contemporary a decade ago is now considered vintage. Furniture that is designed in five or even ten years’ time is likely to have a completely different feel and look to the contemporary designs of today. This is due, in part, to the continuing introduction of not only new pieces but also new materials.
Contemporary furniture at home
Due to the way in which contemporary design can so easily relate to other design styles, contemporary furniture can find a place in many different types of home or business premises. As a space moves with the changing needs, tastes and preferences of the people who use it, the evolution creates a contemporary environment with room for the beauty that contemporary furniture can add.