Contemporary and Rustic Style: What are the Differences

Rustic reclaimed wood furniture for dining room

Contemporary vs rustic, or in other words, clean and streamlined vs organic and rugged. The two prominent styles of today’s home interior design couldn’t be any more different, but they can actually work pretty well together in any style home, if you know how. Let’s take a deeper look at rustic style interior design and contemporary styling – which one will you prefer?

Contemporary Style

Contemporary design 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 space has a therapeutic effect -move over complicated and intricate detail and say hello to calming simplicity.

modern white sofa with yellow armchair

When it comes to contemporary vs modern the differences are subtle. Living space in a contemporary style home tends towards a minimalist layout – less is more in terms of furniture and decorative objects, whereas modern still takes a fresh, on-trend approach, but may mix it with different interior schemes for some added character. With either style, kitchens and bathrooms are formed with clean lines, essential modern appliances and neutral shades. To bring the space to life, you may want to mix it up and throw some contemporary rustic into the mix with a statement colour or texture to give your space strikingly modern individuality.

Contemporary furniture focuses on streamlined design, sleek textures and complementary hues. Often, simple geometric form takes shape in contemporary design 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.

modern white kitchen with grey dining chairs

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 modern plastics.

Rustic Style

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

reclaimed wood dining table with wooden dining bench

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.

large sideboard in reclaimed wood

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 rustic sideboard and rustic dining table. 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 modern rustic interior design usually come from an organic source, wood, natural stone and natural fabric, creating a distressed, well-loved style.

What do you prefer?

Contemporary style 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 show an element of forward thinking, so why not combine them and bring in a contemporary rustic vibe to your home. 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.