While minimalism, modern, and contemporary share some characteristics between them, each is a definitive style. Contemporary blends multiple designs together, including some elements of modern and minimalist as well as traditional. However, it’s mainly defined by what’s in style at any given time. Contemporary has more flexibility in materials, palette, and décor than modern or minimalism.
Modern shares the same principle of form over function, but minimalism takes this principle further than modern does. Modern embraces more materials and even a bit more color than minimalism does. The intents between the two designs are also different. Modern’s goal is to create clean, pleasing lines and textures. Minimalism’s goal is to instill a feeling of relaxation. Minimalism does this by focusing more on plays between light and shadow, variances in texture, and a harmonized color palette.