Contemporary and Rustic Style: What are the Differences

Contemporary vs rustic, or in other words, clean and streamlined vs organic and unpredictable. The two main styles of today’s interior design industry couldn’t be any more different, but they can actually work pretty well in any home, if you get it right.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style celebrates all that is streamlined, sleek and geometric. It aims to support modern living. Our increasingly stressful and busy work lives mean coming home to a modern streamlined space has a therapeutic effect -move over complicated and intricate detail, and say hello to calming simplicity.

Contemporary interior design chairs and white table

Living space in a contemporary home consists of minimalist layout - less is more in terms of furniture and decorative objects. Kitchens and bathrooms are formed with clean lines, essential modern appliances and neutral shades. To bring the space to life, contemporary art and an influence of statement colour or texture can be introduced to give your space strikingly modern individuality.

Contemporary furniture design focuses on streamlined shapes, sleek textures and complementary hues. Often, simple geometric form takes shape in contemporary furniture and decorative objects and art work. But it’s not all about right angles; adding circular, cylinder and orb shapes to your space adds another subtle layer of contemporary chic.

Contemporary style interior

Contemporary design is at the forefront of new modern material mixes. You won’t see a lot reclaimed exposed wood or upcycled, vintage pieces; contemporary means new and innovative, so think metal, glass and new-age plastics.

Rustic Style

Rustic interior design takes its influence from nature. Observe what you see in nature and introduce it into your home and you will find true rustic style. Although usually busy with array of organic elements, rustic style is casual and easy going; having a calming, welcoming effect on the home. Rustic style can be country vintage and shabby chic, or industrial vintage, but the main principles are the same.

Rustic style dining table wooden chairs

Rustic living spaces tend to boost a lot of reclaimed wood, earthy colours and textures. Living room furniture tends to include large, comfortable sofas, distressed coffee tables and side tables, to create a warm, welcoming room. Flooring and surfaces are usually made from reclaimed wood, left exposed or painted in off white or earthy shades.

Rustic style wooden furniture dining table and chair

Kitchens celebrate vintage style well with country cottage themes or rustic handmade kitchens made from reclaimed wood; and the room is usually completed with a reclaimed wooden dresser and rustic dining furniture. Modern appliances can be influenced by organic rustic style by choosing to have them in earthy shades, like grey-green or cream. The main aspects of rustic décor usually come from an organic source, wood, natural stone and natural fabric, creating a distressed, well-loved style.

What’s your preference?

Contemporary and rustic styles are very much the opposite ends of the spectrum within the interior design industry, however both have one thing in common, they both show an element of forward thinking. Whether you are passionate about contemporary style and the exciting, innovative materials emerging, or you prefer to breathe new life into rustic furniture or upcycle rustic pieces, both are a style that can live very well in the here and now.

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