Furnishing the Present: Unveiling Contemporary vs. Modern Furniture

Sara Hospitality | Oct 19, 2023

The most common question for those planning to decorate their space with new furniture is the difference between modern and contemporary furniture. It is a fantastic question that the furniture industry gets from time to time, but it creates confusion, given the nature of the term itself. We live in the modern age, which is contemporary to our time, so what is the difference, and why is it confusing? Unarguably, the English language is filled with disorganized terminology; similar words will mean different things to different people. 

In furniture designs, the type of pieces created reflects the age in which they are developed. Thus, the time when people live in what they call the “present” is called “modern.” So, if you are curious about the difference between modern and contemporary furniture, continue with it. 

What is Contemporary Furniture?

Contemporary furniture is created according to recent design ideas without concern about styles and approaches of past decades. This hospitality furniture type is constructed using modern materials like glass, steel, and other contemporary materials, which are strong enough to manage heavy-weight objects. You can observe contemporary furniture in homes, lobbies, offices, and waiting rooms. This type of furniture is concerned with being productive and practical instead of decorative. 

For instance, usually, a sofa has arms around it, but the modern one is likely to have a U shape. So, it can be less flexible regarding how it is arranged, but it is comfortable to sit. Contemporary furniture design will not focus on classical shapes. Instead, they use geometrical shapes which look modern and trendy. It is made from extraordinary ideas which represent the modern-age person. 

What is Modern Furniture?

Modern design refers to a period from the 1920s to the 1950s when furniture design underwent a remarkable change. Before the 1920s, furniture tended to be ornate and handmade for the individual. However, a large volume of furniture existed before the 1920s, but it will show in earlier times. The modern era came in the 1920s when new designers became important with their clean and smooth furniture design centered on function. 

Modern is usually a short term of “mid-century modern,” which is the complete term. In furniture manufacturing, mid-century modern design uses clean, unadorned lines and natural materials like wood, teal or leather, etc. 

Contemporary or Modern - Which Style is Suitable for You?

Furniture styles that are modern and contemporary offer a different look to homeowners who want a new look for their homes. Modern design may be seen as abstract, while contemporary is more practical. However, both can be combined to create a unique look.

Most people gravitate towards custom hotel furniture when choosing home or business furnishings. Both are very different in terms of design and aesthetics. They are so different that your choice of which one depends on personal preference.

1. Durability

Both styles can be expected to have a long lifespan because they are made of wood or metal. The durability of furniture can be affected by many factors. Buying a wooden piece of furniture with drawers will last longer than one made from metal.

2. Location

Modern furniture pieces can be matched to a wide range of interiors. On the other hand, modern furniture is ideal for homes with a more contemporary style. The decor will be lighter and brighter.

3. Size

Modern pieces are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are available in all furniture styles, from bedroom sets to living room furniture. Contemporary styles range from those with upholstered furniture to those in glass or metal.

4. Price

Modern furniture can be expensive due to its design and materials like leather or steel. The table will still be costly if made of wood because it lasts longer.

Modern furniture is usually more expensive than contemporary design. The materials and craftsmanship used in the furniture's construction are the reason for this. Metal, leather, or glass are often combined to create modern pieces.

5. Maintenance

Modern furniture, made from leather or steel, requires minimal maintenance. There is almost no maintenance required. Modern glass, metal, or leather furniture must be dusted occasionally.


The furniture market today is filled with all sorts of designs. Furniture is much more than a place to rest. Furniture is an expression of personality and interest. We recommend you visit Sara Hospitality if you want hospitality furniture for your next improvement. Our furniture is designed to suit your tastes.