A comment left at the WSJ site: “Prairie mixed with Craftsman”
John Stewart, residential committee chair of the American Institute of Architects, helps explain the difference. Modern homes and décor have the simple lines and “stripped-down” aesthetic of 1940s, ’50s and ’60s modernism, said Mr. Stewart, an architect in San Carlos, Calif. Other qualities associated with modern design: cube-shaped structures with flat roofs, monochromatic color palettes, low-key furnishings and a greater use of exposed steel and concrete. Modern “is probably the original contemporary style,” said Mr. Stewart.
Contemporary homes are often more playful in combining materials and bright colors, explained Sheila Schmitz, editor of home-design website Houzz. Some may include a dramatic black-and-white palette. Interiors are flooded with natural light and floor plans emphasize indoor-outdoor living. When it comes to spotting home décor, “those terms are really good starting points to start a conversation, and then kind of go from there,” she says.