Modern vs Contemporary– Which Build is Best?

If you’re considering your own luxury property build in or around the Florida area, you’ve probably come across the modern and contemporary design options. Confusingly, these terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same architectural style, when actually, the two stand distinctly on their own.

Keep reading to discover the key differences between the modern and contemporary build, and which, if any, is better.

Defining the Terms

A contemporary build is the building style of the present moment. Obviously, building styles change rapidly, so something that’s contemporary right now most likely won’t be considered so a year or two down the line. Essentially, a temporary build is one that’s designed exactly to the current trends of today.

Modern builds, on the other hand, have a fresher, newer design associated with the more recently built real estate, but date in style back to the 1900s, and don’t actually refer to the ultra-new builds that are cropping up at the present. The modern style is distinct in all modern builds and is far less varied than today’s contemporary builds.

Differences Between Design Styles

There are quite a few differences worth noting between the modern and contemporary home design style. Here are a few of the more common interior dissimilarities between the two:


Contemporary builds, especially those that have a minimalist focus, favor stark, white space. Modern builds, on the other hand, usually feature splashes of colour and pattern to give an interior a warmer quality.


In a modern home, furnishings and other household items tend to have function as well as form. Contemporary builds are more likely to incorporate design features that are intended solely for visual appreciation.


Modern designs are more favourable of neutral tones that blend and complement one another. In a contemporary build, you’ll see more contrasting tones, with a consistent use of blacks and whites.


Modern homes are designed to reflect a particular period, so you won’t see interiors experimenting with newer design trends and concepts like contemporary designs do. That’s why it’s so hard to define contemporary architecture – it’s ever-changing.

Choosing a Favourite

There is no better design choice between modern and contemporary. Ultimately, choosing which style is for you should be based on personal preference alone. Most importantly, you need to remember the difference between the two, so you don’t end up commissioning a modern build when you wanted a contemporary, or vice-versa.

There are a few similarities between modern and contemporary – they both favour simplistic elements with features like exposed wood, smooth lines and ornate designs. You’re more likely to have a clearer image in mind if you’re after a modern design, though, as styles stay consistent.

Both styles offer their own beautiful benefits, and you won’t go wrong with either choice. Base your decision on whether you want your home to reflect the here and now, or you want it to feature elements of a specific period. Knowing what you want should help you reach a conclusion more quickly.

Interested in learning more about building a luxury home in Delray Beach? See some of our breath-taking past projects here  as well as those for sale and in construction currently.

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