Are Modern and Mid-Century Modern Design the Same Thing?

You may think that modern and mid-century modern are similar design styles since they have overlapping names that share the word “modern.” Are modern and mid-century modern design the same thing, then? Surprisingly, no. Despite the similar name, these interior design styles are completely different, and each has its own complexities. Keep reading to learn more about the differences and complexities and which one is right for your home.

Modern vs. Mid-Century Modern Design Movements

The modern design movement began in the 1920s and lasted into the 1970s. This style focuses on functionality, clean lines, and natural materials such as wood. It seeks to streamline a space, keeping decoration minimal and striving for symmetry, or at least balance.

Meanwhile, the mid-century modern movement shined from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. While significantly shorter than the modern design movement and overlapping its timetable, this style is still unique. It favors neutral palettes with pops of color, straight lines that turn into sleek curves, and mixed materials.

Minimalism vs. Decoration

While the design movements and elements may not seem to have large differences, the complexities of both modern and mid-century modern styles fall in how they decorate a space. Modern interior design emphasizes minimalism—and almost to an extreme degree. This style values function over aesthetics, so there are no unnecessary flourishes, bright colors, or synthetic materials.

In contrast, mid-century modern embraces clean decoration. This style balances the functionality of modernism with additional comforts and colors. Colorful geometric wall art, starburst mirrors, and plastic furniture are all staples of mid-century modern design.

Make Your Choice

As you’ve read through this overview, you’ve probably started gravitating to one design style or the other. Modern house and room plans use space efficiently and are incredibly earth-friendly due to their use of natural elements. Mid-century modern allows for more customization while appearing timeless. Both are elegant and luxurious.

Your choice will depend on your personal style and what your space allows for. Thankfully, any floor plan design can accommodate either design as long as there is natural light and room for the furniture that you choose. Consult with an interior design expert if you’re unsure how to implement your desired design.

Now you can answer the question, “Are modern and mid-century modern design the same thing?” They are similar, but each has its own complexities and unique elements that you can embrace in your home once you’ve picked between them.