According to Annamarie Lopinto, the design terms of contemporary and modern are confused quite often, and it is understandable why. Many clients say they want a contemporary design, when what they really want is a modern design, or vice versa. The trick is, a modern design can be contemporary, but a contemporary design is never modern. This is confusing to say the least.

Annamarie Lopinto

The concept of a modern design relates to specific décor, furniture, and features that are pulled from the early to mid-1900s. With that being said, the idea of a contemporary design includes anything that is current and popular. So, the modern theme could be the new trend or reused of the season, which would make it contemporary. However, a Zen inspired space, a French Colonial design, or even a Tuscan theme could be the newest trend, in which any of those could become contemporary. In most contemporary designs, many elements from different places and historical or geographical backgrounds are combined to create the overall aesthetic. In essence, modern design refers to an era, while contemporary design refers to a philosophy of updating or improving upon an older era.

The use of contemporary design is prevalent around the world, as the common features include white color palettes, vibrant accent colors, uncluttered walls, and striking furnishings. When someone tells Annamarie Lopinto that they like the contemporary design, she always makes sure to clarify whether modern or contemporary are what they are really looking for.