The difference between modern and classic furniture is not hard to tell. The first difference is the size. Classic furniture was not made for compact houses or apartments. They were made to fit into big rooms. A classic chair can easily seat two people in relative comfort. However, if two people will try to sit on a modern chair, it would probably break.
Classic furniture is big, heavy and is made from solid wood. The wood used in classic furniture is dark. The cushions, seats and mattresses in past used to be stuffed with horsehair or cotton. Silk and cotton were the fabrics that were used in classic furniture.
Modern furniture is light and made from a variety of materials. Wrought iron has become very popular in making modern home furniture. Light colored woods like Pine are also used extensively in making modern furniture. Most modern home furniture use light colored wood.
Then laminated wood, chipboard is also used in contemporary furniture. These materials are used extensively in making contemporary office furniture, kitchen cabinets, and wardrobes.
A totally different material that is used extensively in contemporary furniture is strengthened plastic and glass. You can have a glass-topped table resting on strengthened glass globes or ceramic vases or with a steel or iron base. Plastic chairs are common at lounges and waiting areas in airports. The use of plastic and glass has become quite extensive in making contemporary furniture. Some plastic furniture is given a light wood colour to make it appear like wood.
A number of new fabrics are now used in making contemporary furniture. Polyesters and other man made fabrics are used extensively. The use of cotton, silk and other heavy drape material has become obsolete and out dated. Another noticeable change in contemporary furniture is the colours. Wrought iron is dull grey, blue or black. The monotony may be broken by steel, chrome or brass. Wood is light and the colours of the fabric may be bright. Old classic furniture had off white or cream as the base colour. Modern furniture fabric colours range from white to black with bright colours gaily mixed in. Purple, bright blue, fire engine red are used with gay abandon. In addition, the designs in the fabric have changed immensely. From sedate motifs of flowers, or birds, or fruits, the designs have gone to zebra stripes.
Modern furniture is brighter, airy and lighter than classic furniture. Maintaining contemporary furniture is also quite easy as is assembling and disassembling it. There are cleaners, polishers, and stain removers that keep contemporary furniture looking sparklingly new.
Modern furniture is more ergonomically designed. The chairs are not straight backed, and the cushions are more comfortable. The biggest difference is that modern furniture is not formal and stiff.
Modern furniture is more convenient and fit in easily in smaller houses. Some pieces of modern furniture are amazing in their design. They are a piece of art. Some of the geometrical patterns used in modern furniture are quite overwhelming. It is easy to tell the difference between classic and modern furniture by just looking at it.