A Working Mom’s Dive into Interior Design

Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interiors of a space or building to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing and functional environment. Through the careful selection of colors, furniture, décor, and spatial arrangements, interior designers bring out the soul of a room, shaping how inhabitants feel and interact within it.

As a working mom, whose office is in the living room, I’ve learned the importance of creating spaces in my home that feel welcoming, functional, and beautiful. Interior design, at its heart, is about crafting these spaces, making a room not just aesthetically pleasing but also a sanctuary for us and our families.

Why should you care about Modern, Contemporary, and Post-modern or any other designs?

  1. Connecting with History: Every design has a story. Modern design, for instance, started in the early 20th century, focusing on simplicity and function – a reflection of the times. By understanding these histories, I can bring bits of those eras into my home, making each room feel like a chapter in a book.
  2. Effective shopping: When discussing my DIY projects with store associates or browsing for online products, knowing design lingo ensures I can explain and get what I’m envisioning. It’s a bit like speaking another language and makes shopping more productive.
  3. Tailoring to My Family: Knowing the difference between these styles lets me pick and choose elements that speak to our family’s unique character. Maybe it’s the clean lines of modern design for the hectic kitchen or the quirky elements of post-modernism for my kid’s playroom.
  4. Smart Choices for Busy Lives: Different styles have different maintenance needs. With our whirlwind schedules, understanding this helps in choosing designs that won’t add to our workload. For example, the minimalist appeal of modern design means less clutter – and less to clean up!

In short, while my days are packed juggling work and family, I’ve found joy in understanding interior design. It allows me to transform our home one room at a time, crafting spaces that reflect our lives and bring comfort at the end of each busy day.

Contemporary vs. Modern

Which part of this room exhibits a modern style, and which one is contemporary? To many, these styles seem nearly identical, largely because contemporary design often integrates elements from the modern aesthetic, leading to occasional confusion.

“Modern” design is rooted in the early 20th century and is characterized by clean lines, earth-toned palettes, and natural materials like wood and stone.

On the other hand, “contemporary” doesn’t pin itself to a specific historical period; rather, it continuously evolves, mirroring the prevailing styles, materials and technologies of the present. As a result, a contemporary space might blend elements from modern, minimalist, and mid-century designs depending on what is popular at the time.

In the provided image, the right side showcases a modern aesthetic with its neutral shades, simplistic design, and defined side tables. Contrastingly, the left side is contemporary, featuring a mid-century styled sofa, a post-modern lighting fixture, and the current trend of natural lighting.

Contemporary vs. Post Modern

I’ll demystify the often-confused styles of Postmodern and Contemporary design. Both styles can appear eclectic to the untrained eye, but when you delve a little deeper, their unique characteristics become evident.

“Contemporary” is a dynamic term in the world of design. Its essence is captured in its very name – it reflects what is “contemporary” or current. The style embodies the trending tastes of any given period. Today, in 2023, what’s marked as contemporary heavily leans on principles of minimalism and aspects of Mid-Century Modern. The emphasis is on sustainability, open layouts, abundant natural light, and neutral palettes with occasional pops of color. Remember, as times change, so will the definition of what’s “contemporary.”

While Contemporary design shifts with time, Postmodern design is more constant in its essence. Born between the late 1930s and 1940s, Postmodernism was a spirited response to the strict and functional aesthetics of Modern design.

Modernism is the structured, rule-abiding child, Postmodernism is its free-spirited, rebellious sibling. Where Modern design championed neutrality, Postmodernism celebrated vibrant colors. The ordered symmetry of Modern spaces gave way to the intentional asymmetry of Postmodern interiors. Imagine a living room where the coffee table isn’t centered in front of the couch but is playfully off-centered. This style revels in bold hues, unconventional decor shapes, and a layout that often prioritizes artistic expression over strict functionality. Postmodern spaces aren’t just about being practical; they aim to make a statement, often challenging our traditional perceptions of space and order.

To give a historical perspective, the Mid-Century movement, popular in today’s contemporary designs, emerged as a fusion of Modern and Postmodern elements.

In conclusion, while both Postmodern and Contemporary designs might present eclectic visuals, their origins, influences, and expressions are distinct. Next time you’re admiring a space, see if you can spot these differences.


Understanding the nuances of interior design can greatly influence how you approach and experience spaces. Before diving into designing any space, it’s crucial to ask, “What purpose does this space serve?” Your answer will guide the style you adopt. For instance, if you want your front living room to be predominantly functional with a hint of flair, modern or minimalist designs might be your go-to. But if you’re aiming to make a grand entrance and leave an impression, a postmodern approach will serve that purpose effectively. Grasping the expansive world of interior design simplifies the process of personalizing and optimizing your home.

For versatile design options, consider exploring Ted Helen Furniture. With its unique offerings – from three distinctive leg styles to a spectrum of three wood tones and a dozen paint colors – customization is at your fingertips. Keep an eye out for more insights as we delve deeper into the captivating world of interior design!