What Are Modern/Contemporary Rugs?

Rugs are renowned for infusing softness, colour, and warmth to a room. In many regards, rugs have been used for their artistic qualities in equal measure to their functionality. 

The modern rug exemplifies the functional and decorative qualities of rugs. 

Unlike traditional rugs that come in a few designs classes that include the Persian, Oriental, and other classic designs that use geometric patterns, modern rugs are not restricted in their design. 

So, what qualities define a rug as a contemporary rug, you may ask? Some of the qualities that define modern rugs include:

  • An expressive approach to rug design
  • Custom shapes and sizes
  • Use of a wide variety of materials
  • Machine-made rugs. 

An Expressive Approach To Rug Pattern And Design

Modern rugs can be considered as functional art with the rug designer and maker as the artist. Producers of modern rugs have artistic freedom to express themselves in their pieces. 

Alternatively, in the case of custom rug pieces, the rug maker has the responsibility of bringing to light the vision of the customer. 

The customer can define the kind of rug design they are after, pay custom rug producers to create the rug the customer has in mind. 

Either way, the design approach to contemporary rugs is one consisting of unfettered artistic freedom.

Consequently, modern rugs come in many different patterns and designs. Homeowners have access to a broader range of rug designs when they go for a contemporary rug. 

Whether you are looking for a formal, vibrant, dreamy, transitional, shaggy, or bland look and feel, there are many types of rugs to choose from in the modern rug front. 

You can get a modern rug designed for indoor or outdoor usage. In a nutshell, the design spectrum for the modern rug is quite extensive when compared to the traditional rugs.

Custom Shape And Sizes

Modern rugs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. 

While you can still get a modern rug with the traditional square, and rectangular shapes, you can also get a modern rug with circular and irregular shapes and custom sizes. 

As is the case with custom rug patterns and designs, you also get a rug with a custom shape and size, measured to fit a specific space or for specific function. 

For instance, homeowners can commission a modern rug with the precise shape of their hallways. 

Homeowners can also order a carpet in the shape of an animal for placement in their children’s rooms.

Modern Rugs Use A Wide Variety of Materials

As an extension of the artistic freedom that comes with making modern rug designs, a wide variety of materials are used in making contemporary rugs. 

You can get a rug made using traditional materials such as animal skin, wool, cotton, silk, sisal, and jute. 

However, modern rugs are also made using traditional materials such as synthetic materials. 

Modern Rugs Are Typically Manufactured Using Machines

Traditional rugs are hand-loomed. In fact, one of the critical criteria for qualifying a carpet as a traditional rug is the rug to have been hand-loomed. 

On the other hand, the vast majority of modern rugs are machine tufted. The tufting process can be machine-controlled entirely or hand-tufted. 

The use of tufting machines, both hand tufting and automatic tufting machine give the rug make the ability to not only produce extremely complex pattern but do so in a fast and efficient manner.


An area rug having one of the defining characteristics does not mean it is a contemporary area. 

However, if an area rug has a unique, custom and contemporary design, custom shape and size and uses modern materials and or traditional materials, it can be classified as a contemporary rug. Check out The Rug Lady for more modern/contemporary melbourne rug choices!