Stoneside Custom Window Treatments

Contemporary vs Modern Window Treatments

Do contemporary and modern designs have a similar meaning to you? Do you picture a similar interior when you think of those two words? If you do, you might be surprised to learn they are actually two distinct styles.

But don’t worry, you are not the only one to make that mistake! The words "modern" and "contemporary" have been used interchangeably in the design industry, ultimately leading to general confusion.

Their main difference lies in the fact that they do not derive from nor represent the same era. While the modern style refers to a design that originated between 1920 and 1950, with a German and Scandinavian influence, the contemporary style, on the other hand, simply represents the current trend and the style of today that is meant to be in constant evolution as the design trends keep changing.

Let’s take a look at both the similarities and differences existing between the modern and contemporary styles and how it applies to the choice of your window treatments.

Similarities between the modern style and the contemporary style:

The following similarities may cause confusion:

  • Uncluttered interior
  • Bright and peaceful atmosphere
  • Use of natural elements
  • Inclusion of the exterior world: natural lighting, indoor plants
  • Use of exposed wood and materials

Differences between the two styles:

Modern design characteristics:

  • Minimalist and efficient. No unnecessary elements or decorations
  • Subtle colors: neutral/white/earthy tones
  • Simple wood furniture
  • Straight lines throughout the decoration
  • Open floor plan living space
  • Large windows for maximal natural lighting

Modern Window Treatments:

  • Less is more. Keep it simple
  • Window treatments in natural elements such as bamboo, wood, natural fibers
  • Wood blinds
  • Sheer, lightweight curtains in neutral colors
  • Motorized roller and roman shades
Stoneside Custom Roller Shades

Contemporary design characteristics:

  • Clean look with more freedom to follow the current trends
  • Light tones mixed with pops of colors - for example, the use of a bold accent wall
  • Curved lines in the furniture to soften the general look
  • Big art decorative pieces

Contemporary Window Treatments:

  • Layering window treatments to create a more elaborate look
  • Use valances and drapes together
  • Floor-to-ceiling drapery with a thicker fabric for a more classic and dramatic style
  • Aluminum blinds
  • Wood or faux-wood blinds to create a stronger impact
Stoneside Custom Drapery

If modern and contemporary styles share some similarities, they also have their own very distinct characteristics. If you are looking for a simpler, more minimalist, neutral look, then a modern design might be more fitting to your needs. On the other hand, if you want more flexibility, to add more interest by using bolder colors and softer lines, the contemporary style is for you.

Come chat with our design experts to find the best style that suits your home and personality by contacting the Stoneside office near you to schedule a consultation.