Bohemian Vs Contemporary Interiors: What Rugs to Choose

When you’re setting up your home, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is to figure out what décor style you’d like. Each style is defined by distinctive furniture, lighting, accessories, and aesthetics that give it the signature look. Most our readers tend to favour bohemian and contemporary-style interiors, and while the two styles are quite different, it’s important to understand how to identify them so you can purchase every item that goes in your home accordingly.

What is the Bohemian interior style?

The origins of the bohemian interior style lie in 19th century Paris, from artistes of all kinds who believed that creativity and originality must be valued more than money and rigid constructs. Their principles and refusal to conform gave birth to an entirely new design trend—one that embraced the unconventional and eclectic. The bohemian style has a lack of structure, and uses freer layers of patterns, textures, and colours. At the core of the bohemian style lies the basic maxim—to style the home in pieces that the homeowner finds joy in, because the home is for their pleasure.

What is the Contemporary interior style?

The contemporary design style came into being around mid-20th century. With the entry of plastic and other materials into art and furniture, the design style evolved to what we know today as contemporary design. However, the contemporary style is very difficult to define, despite its popularity, since it’s a constantly evolving style that changes to include within it current styles, materials, and aesthetics.

How does one decide which rug suits which design style?

To pick the right rug for either design style, going through each element of the style will help.

  • Colour Palette: When it comes to a bohemian style, there are no standard main or accent colours. You can choose to keep a cleaner look, in which we suggest you pick a neutral base like a white or tan, and use rich and intense colours in your textiles and décor elements. You can pick rugs in bright jewel tones or one with a neutral base colour with exuberant patterns. If you’d rather have a bold look, pick striking colours that work with each other, like purple as the main colour with orange, pink, and/or green accents. Pick a rug that incorporates all or some of these colours.  

    For a contemporary style, stick to a smaller colour palette of no more than two main colours and two accent colours. Main colours are usually neutral shades like white, grays, or black, allowing the rest of the room to be built around this basic foundation. With neutral colours, the accent colours have no restrictions, but stick to two that draw the eye and ensure all your décor elements incorporate these colours. When buying a rug, ensure that it has at least one of the accent colours or both. The palette on the rug can be of a different shade of your main colours as well, but remember to reinforce the accent colours with other décor elements in the room.
  • Designs and Patterns: For the bohemian style, pick a rug pattern based on the overall nature of the style—minimal or bold. If you prefer the former, pick a rug that has straight patterns but don’t be scared to experiment with a rug that has whimsical or busy patterns. The bohemian look favours floor seating, so it will be good to pick a rug that is especially soft and plush and creates an overall cosy atmosphere. Botanical and oriental prints work very well in bohemian-styled homes, so pick a rug that incorporates those elements in your main or accent colours.

    The contemporary style places equal importance of form and function, and uses a mixture of straight and curved lines, but the main aim is to keep the lines tidy and towards the minimalist style. When picking a rug, take a look at the rest of the décor items in the room. If a majority of the elements have busier patterns, then pick a rug with simple patterns and vice versa. Geometric patterns are always a safe bet when picking a rug for a contemporary style aesthetic. Your rug should lend itself to the overall style statement of the room and tie the entire look together.
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