Hybrid Real Estate
Hybrid Real Estate
Robin Troy, Hybrid Real EstatePhone: (541) 914-0214
Email: [email protected]

Modern vs Contemporary Design: What's the Difference?

by Robin Troy 08/29/2021

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels

Whether you’re buying, selling or simply decorating a home, knowing the differences between architectural styles will put you at an advantage. Some home styles are simple to define and recognize, while others are a bit more complex. Some popular styles, like modern and contemporary, might even sound like the same thing. Despite their similarities, modern and contemporary are terms for separate design concepts. Here we will go over the basics of how to recognize and define these commonly conflated terms.

Modern vs Contemporary at a Glance

One of the hardest things about differentiating modern and contemporary styles is that people commonly use the terms interchangeably. This accounts for a lot of the confusion and uncertainty regarding the difference. The key difference is that in design terms, modern refers to a specific time period, while contemporary means present day.

Modern Architecture Specifics

Even though it sounds new, modern architecture is a style that emerged in the early to mid-20th century. It came about as a rejection of the style norms of the time, which for architecture meant overly ornate homes that prioritized embellishment rather than practicality. In contrast with that, modernist architects wanted to simplify home designs and focused on simplicity and functionality. One key example was the omission of formal sitting and dining rooms that had been popular previously. These were extra, unused spaces and instead modernists opened up the main rooms into open floor plans to promote multi-functional environments.

Modern architecture uses streamlined and geometrical structures with clean edges and asymmetrical elements. Large windows are a common feature and minimalist furniture and other interior furnishings. Though many consider the modern style “cold” or uncomfortable, with furniture the opposite is often true: modern designers prioritized comfort and practicality over aesthetics.

Contemporary Architecture Specifics

While modern architecture relates to a very specific time and movement, contemporary architecture is more difficult to define. This is because by nature of its concept, it changes constantly as new trends and advancements become popular. A contemporary home today will not look the same as a contemporary home in the future because of the evolving landscape of exterior and interior design. Despite this, contemporary homes continue to showcase specific themes and elements, some of which they share with modern architecture. Large windows and clean geometric lines are common in contemporary style, as are open floor plans. Materials differ by time period, with more recent contemporary designs favoring sustainable and eco-friendly materials and features like built-in solar panels. It is also common to mix materials in order to create contrast. For example, a home primarily built of concrete may have wood or metal accents.

Overall, contemporary design will always include what is trending now. Though most contemporary homes draw on design elements of modern architecture, they will always be unique depending on the era and location in which they’re built. They will also differ in that they draw on other styles entirely in order to make something “new”—for example, favoring traditional or craftsman style exterior with an open floor plan.

It's difficult to differentiate these two styles, but knowing how to distinguish between them will help you make informed decisions when buying, selling and decorating. After all, though the words modern and contemporary sound like they mean the same thing, the differences can be very important to the look and features of the home.

About the Author

Robin Troy

No two homes are identical, which is why choosing a sales price or offer price for a home can be challenging. That’s where the comparable market analysis, or CMA, can be useful. What is a CMA? The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood and price range. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single-family or condo, number of bedrooms, number of baths, zip codes, and many other factors. Its purpose is to show fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes recently put on the market. How is the CMA created? CMAs are generated by a computer program supplied by your real estate agent’s multiple listing services (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed members only, including brokers, salespeople, and appraisers, who pay dues to gain access to the service’s public and proprietary data, including tax roll information, sold transactions, and listings input by all cooperating MLS members. Listing agents generate CMAs for their sellers, and buyer’s agents create them for their buyers so both sides know what current market conditions are for the homes they’re interested in comparing. How accurate are CMAs? The CMA is a here-and-now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing, or a change of status in a home with the same criteria. Why? The market is constantly changing – new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions, and expired listings. CMAs can vary widely, depending on the knowledge and skill of the person inputting the search parameters to the software as well as the number and type of data fields that are chosen. That means some features may not be included. As informative as the CMA is, it should only be used as a tool and should not substitute for your real estate professional’s knowledge and advice.
In order to inform you about the current happenings in today's market, I have prepared this comparative market analysis (CMA) especially for you. There are many properties on the market today, and each has different amenities, sizes, and values. By reviewing this CMA, you will have the information needed to price your home in the appropriate range in today's market.

My company is dedicated to maintaining a professional, trustworthy relationship with our clients. One way this can be seen is through this Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which you hold in your hand. This CMA compiles the most current and accurate information relevant to the sale of your home. Seeing that this is perhaps your most valuable asset, it is imperative that you be equipped with the most complete information possible related to the pricing and marketing of your home.
The real estate market is always changing and as a result, I regularly attend training sessions and events to further my knowledge and be sure that I am focusing on current conditions that affect today's buyers and sellers. This type of training is imperative if I  am to be successful in obtaining top dollar on home sales. My goal is to make sure that I satisfy the special needs of all of my clients and at the same time make the process and transactions go as smoothly as possible
A little info on me:

Licensed since June 1997.

Completed the SRES, & GRI courses as well as the ABR course.

Adept in contract drafting, negotiation, market research.

Small Business owner since 1982

Alumni of SBM (3-year course at LCC Small Business)